Plaque erected in Labane in honour of 5 Ardrahan United Irishmen Martyrs.

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The United Irishmen was a society set up in 1791 by Wolfe Tone, S. Neilson, Henry Joy McCraken and Thomas Russell. It was a political organisation with the aim of gaining freedom of religion and self-government in Ireland. Three years later it became a military organisation determined to fight to achieve their aims.

Following the defeat of the U.I. in 1798 Court Martials were set-up to try people involved in U.I. activities. 130 members of the organisation were tried in the military courts in Galway City. Informers implicated many of those tried.

20 men from Ardrahan were tried in Galway.

of these:

5 were sentenced to death
9 were transported for life
1 was sentenced to 1,000 lashes
2 were pardoned
3 were acquitted

Execution followed quickly on sentencing.

Charles Fitzgerald, Ardrahan. Sentenced - 25th Feb. 1799

Hanged at Gort 28/02/99

John Glynn, Ballymaquive. Sentenced - 25th Feb. 1799

Executed 26/02/99

John Forbes, Tullyra. Sentenced - 26th Feb. 1799 Executed 28/02/99
Richard McCabe, Moneen. Sentenced - 4th March 1799 Executed 13/03/99
John Houghegan, Ballyglass. Sentenced - 12th March. 1799 Executed 18/03/99

The following were sentenced to life transportation and sent to New Geneva for Australia:

Tried Deported
John Heher Ardrahan 25/02/99 08/05/99
Mathias Noone Cregclare



Martin Fleming Ardrahan 25/02/99 08/05/99
Thomas Mullins Cregclare 26/02/99 08/05/99
John Bermingham Tullyra 26/02/99 08/05/99
Martin Kealahan Tullyra 26/02/99 08/05/99
Patrick Tierney Tullyra 26/02/99 08/05/99
John Madden Moneen 02/03/99 08/05/99
Patrick Coleman Granna 23/03/99 08/05/99
(+ 500 lashes)

Patrick Sheehan, Tullyra was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and to remain in prison. Later pardoned on finding security for future good conduct.

Patrick Lally, Coxtown, was pardoned.

Denis Staunton, Kilcolgan, was pardoned

Laurence Egan, Ardrahan, was acquitted.

John Finn, Labane, was acquitted.

William Donohue, Tullyra, was acquitted.

The charges against all of these men are recorded and range from being members of the United Irishmen, attending illegal meetings, administering and taking illegal oaths,  maiming cattle and sheep of landlords and carrying away the flesh of houghed cattle.

There is no charge of an attempt on human life.

To this day the descendants of those transported to Van Diemen's Land, New South Wales through Botany Bay remain in Australia and are proud of their Irish roots.

This plaque was unveiled in memory of those men executed in 1799 and those deported some 200 years ago.


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