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A TALE OF
THE IRISH REBELLION OF 1798.
BY THE O'HARA FAMILY.
A NEW EDITION,
BY MICHAEL BANIM, ESQ.,
THE SURVIVOR OF THE “O'HARA FAMILY."
"THE UNCIVIL KERNES OF IRELAND ARE IN ARMS."
SECOND PART OF KING HENRY VI.
LONDON ; 22, PATERNOSTER. ROW.
250. v. 92.
- PRE FACE.
THE "CROPPY” was written by Abel O'Hara, the stay-at-home member of the family, and now the Editor of the tale for Mr. Duffy's edition.
I found it difficult when I made preparation for the story, to obtain from any then extant book, a reliable history of the rebellion of 1798. Sir Richard Musgrave's publication, I could not regard in any other light than as an untruthful narrative of the period ;-which it is now generally pronounced to be by all parties. A book by a person named Taylor came into my hands; professedly a statement of the occurrences of the County Wexford insurrection : this I found to be altogether a one-sided production ; facts misstated; the outrages of one party exaggerated. The provocative outrages of the other, either entirely unnoticed, or justified. The book, in fact, not to be counted on as an authority.
The best book I could find referring to the Wexford outbreak was one published by the Rev, Mr. Gordon, a Protestant Clergyman. This I consulted with confidence, anxious as I was to form a true conception of the time I had undertaken to treat of. Many books are now avail. able not then in existence; and the historical truth I wished to find, I had to searco for in the ephemeral publications of the years preceding and inclusive of the year 1798. The lengthened notes I then made, I still possess, and I may occasionally quote from.
The historical introductory chapter to the Croppy was much more diffuse, when I sent the tale to my brother, than it is at present; too lengthened, in fact, for the place it was to hold. Of this I was consci. ous myself, and I requested Barnes O'Hara to use his pruning-knife at discretion. With this request of mine he complied quite to my satisfaction. On re-reading, I am inclined to think it is even yet too long. Some such introduction was, however, necessary, and my conscience tells me, that the chapter is historically accurate.
THE CROP P Y;
A TALE OF 1798.
INTRODUCTORY and historical, and not comprising a word of the Tale to which it leads, so that some readers will probably pass it by. Yet we intreat all who wish really to understand even the more fictitious parts of our story, to give it an indulgent and careful perusal.
Few can forget that, in the year 1798, a wide-spread conspiracy, which partially exploded, existed amongst Irishmen of every rank and sect. Which conspiracy had in view a separation from England, and the establishing, upon the ruins of British dominion, an Irish Republic.
The name adopted by the conspirators was that of United Irishmen. But as this name was inherited by them, the necessary task of explaining its nature and import cannot be accomplished without tracing it from its source.
In 1777, Britain was engaged in the war with her Colonies. France, entering into alliance with America, had sent the soldiers of her despotic monarchy to fight for republicanism. England, in want of troops, withdrew her garrisons from Ireland, in order to transport them over the Atlantic. Ireland then remained without an army to protect her against a threatened French invasion. She demanded succour from England, and understood that she must defind herself.
The Irish flew to arms. In a short time, a great national force, self-raised, self armed, self-equipped, and well-disciplined, stood forward to meet the expected foe. None appeared ; but had the contrary been the case, such was the steady, thorough chivalrous spirit of military ardour possessing the country from north to south, that, in any struggle with an invading enemy, Ireland must have