Aftermath of the 1798 Rising

The attack on Carlow town on the 25th of May had been ill-advised. The United Irishmen were led by Michael Haydon but in reality there was a lack of leadership. The local rebels failed to link up with their counterparts in County Wexford. Neither did they avail of strategic opportunities offered by the Mount Leinster area for the strengthening of the campaign.

Following the suppression of the Rebellion a number of Courts Martial were held in Carlow in 1799. They were held in the Assembly Rooms in Dublin Street and the Courthouse during the period April - June of that year. A total of twenty-two men were tried in those Courts Martial.

Unlike in 1798 when Rebels were condemned without trial these proceedings were said to have been fair and just. Some of the cases arising from the Carlow Courts Martial were of a relatively minor nature. A man called Tom Reilly was charged with being of no fixed abode and for this he was committed to service in the British army.

On the 29th of April 1799, a man called Edward Pagan was charged with having a "safe house". He suffered 500 lashes for this misdemeanour.

Many of those who appeared were acquitted including a soldier called Patrick Dorgan who had been accused of being a United Irishman. However Jeffry Roberts was sentenced to transportation for having taken part in the Rebellion. Other cases tried were concerned with more serious crimes.

In June 1799 Patrick Cole was tried before a Courts Martial and charged with entering the house of William Cole of Bagenalstown and his subsequent murder during that raid. Cole was eventually found not guilty and cleared of the crime.

Later in the month of June another accused called Dennis Hanlon was brought to trial. He was discharged due to insufficient evidence and the case remained unresolved.

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