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Slieve Coillte in 1798

This monument on Slieve Coillte was unveiled on April 26 1998 by the local Comóradh Group as part of the Bicentenary Commemorations.

On the top of Slieve Coillte there is a monument that says-"The rebels camped on Slieve Coillte from the 7th to the 10th June 1798. Bagenal Harvey resigned his command here. He was succeeded by Fr.Philip Roche. A de-
tachment under the command of Thomas Cloney attacked the gunboats
on the River Barrow at Fisherstown." The following is the full story of 
what happened.
Slieve Coillte was picked because of the excellent view of the other camps
 in Wexford such as Lacken Hill,Carrigbyrne Hill, Forth Mountain and Oulart Hill. It is about 3 miles from Scoil Mhuire and you can see several counties from its summit such as Waterford,Carlow Kilkenny and Tipperary. It is 888 feet in height.

Camp Sites near New Ross(by Rory O'H.)

After the Battle of Ross on June 5th 1798, which the rebels lost, they moved to a camp on Slieve Coillte from Carrigbyrne Hill.The headquarters of the rebels was Ballysop House. Lookouts were posted on top of Sliabh Coillte to watch the River Barrow and the road for the enemy. The rebels camped on Sliabh Coillte,on its side and around Ballysop House. 
Thomas Cloney was on his way to visit the Sweetmans in Newbawn one night and found his lookouts had "skulked down from the camp at the approach of night. He also took the horse and guns from Miles Doyle of Arnestown as the rebels were short of firepower.

Monument at Ballysop which was unveiled on August 23rd 1998

On the above is written "It was at Sliabh Coillte our pikes were reeking". Alas,this was not true. Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey,who was leader of the  Southern Army, resigned at Sliabh Coillte. Some say he was disgusted at what happened in a place called Scullabogue which is near to New Ross town. Here, over 100 loyalists,including children,were either burned,shot or piked to death in a shed. It was revenge for the rebel defeat at Ross. 
Others say Harvey proved to be a poor leader at the Battle of Ross and blamed him for their defeat. Fr.Philip Roche, who was a curate in Poulpeasty, took over as Commander of the rebels on Sliabh Coillte. He often said mass for the rebel army and gave them scapulars. He also gave letters of protection to loyalists so that they wouldn't be killed. The rebels stayed on Sliabh Coillte from 7th to the 10th June.

A 1798 camp scene

 While camped on Sliabh Coillte, the rebels noticed three English gunboats sailing down the Barrow. This was June 10th. Thomas Cloney from Moneyhore and some rebels attacked the boats. Two got away but they captured the "Louisa" and shot its pilot. They found no guns or ammunition
 but letters dispatches (messages) saying how they had the rebels defeated
 in every battle. The pilot or midshipman was Robert Heyland,aged 36 years and is buried in St.Mary's cemetery New Ross.
 Some rebels read about their own deaths, to  their great amusement. 
 After Sliabh Coillte the rebels moved to Lacken Hill to plan a second attack on New Ross. They were very short on ammunition and so Thomas Cloney decided to attack Borris House in Borris Co. Carlow.
 From Lacken Hill Fr. Roche wrote a letter to Fr. James Doyle P.P. of Sutton's Parish (Horeswood). He wasn't very happy with the men from
 the parish.This was June14th. 
The letter reads as follows:

You are hereby ordered in conjunction with Edmund Walsh to order all your parishioners to the camp on Lacken Hill under pain of the must severe punishment ; for I declare to you and to them in the name of the people,if you do not,that I will censure Sutton's Parish with fire and sword. Come and
 see me this day.
Lacken Hill, June14th, 1798.                                ROCHE."
To the Revd. James Doyle.

We are told that his orders were obeyed. After the 1798 Rising Fr.Doyle was tried for being on Lacken Hill. He produced the letter and so was let go free. Fr.Roche was later tortured and hanged on Wexford Bridge while trying to make peace.

Ballysop House which was the HQ of the rebels when they camped at Sliabh Coillte. It was demolished in 1965.

Looking for Help

Rev.William Glascott rector of  Killesk and St.James' warned his parishioners of the coming Battle of Ross and some of the protestants  left for Duncannon Fort and Passage to seek protection. 
Landowner Francis Glascott of Piltown wrote to Bagenal Harvey seeking to protect his property. Harvey replied that he could scarcely protect himself and had little control of the rebels since the defeat at Ross and the shooting of Matthew Furlong with a flag of peace.One of the protestants shot at the massacre in Scullabogue after the Battle of Ross on June 5th, was a Philip Hornick who was a steward to John Glascott of Alderton.
The above is based on a project done by the '97 '98 fifth class for a project organised by Mick Walsh of the Horeswood Comóradh '98. They won some books based on the '98 Rising

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