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  • Writer's pictureMichael O'Connor

AN EVENING IN CASTLEBAR GAOL WITH THE WOMEN AND MEN OF 1798 - FREE ZOOM WEBINAR

The artillery and musket fire has died away. Dead combatants and military ordinance are scattered on the Green. Outside the County Gaol on the Green, the blood-soaked body of a lone Fraser Fencible lay dead on the steps – bludgeoned to death by French infantrymen. The English military and local militia have fled the town with the French-Irish Alliance in close pursuit. Those inside the gaol await their fate as French officers work their way from cell to cell. Governor Moran is nowhere to be seen. The French-Irish success at Castlebar and the Republic of Connaught did not endure. The town and the gaol were quickly retaken. The historical narrative has focused heavily on the Battle of Castlebar, the celebrations, and the Republic of Connaught's brief existence. Few have ventured inside the gaol to explore the rebellion's impact on the prison population or examine the gaol's role during and after the uprising. For at least two years following the Battle of Castlebar, the County Gaol at Castlebar was at the centre of military operations in Mayo to put down the rebellion and punish those who participated in it. Significant details of those held at the gaol before, during and after the Battle of Castlebar have survived. This Webinar will be an opportunity to meet some of these men and women and learn why they found themselves in gaol and what fate awaited them. You will meet rebel captains, deserters, those gathering information to betray others, those desperately digging holes in the walls to escape, criminals, and those awaiting the gallows or transportation.

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