Revolution in Wexford air as Battle of Vinegar Hill fought once more

Thousands flock to Enniscorthy for third annual re-enactment of 1798 Rebellion

Redcoats execute a rebel prisoner by firing squad during yesterday’s re-enactment of the Battle of Vinegar Hill, which saw the crushing of the 1798 Rebellion. Photograph: Patrick Browne.

Thousands of spectators gathered in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford over the weekend as pike-charging rebels and musket-wielding redcoats recreated one of the most significant events in Ireland’s history – the 1798 Rebellion.

More than 300 rebels and redcoats took part in the third annual battle re-enactment on Vinegar Hill yesterday.

Each year the re-enactment attracts huge crowds to the heritage town, which explodes into rebellion with cannon bombardments, cavalry assaults, muskets volleys and pike charges.

“This year’s battle on the famous Vinegar Hill site has been a fantastic success,” said Jacqui Hynes, manager at the 1798 National Rebellion Centre.


“We were delighted to have a visit from the French ambassador, Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, who this year visited in his personal time with a view to developing and supporting the French links that this battle re-enactment holds; given that the ideals of those involved in the French revolution were what inspired the pike-wielding rebels here in Enniscorthy.”

The highlight of the weekend in Wexford was the staging of two full-scale battle re-enactments on view free of charge to the public, where on Saturday afternoon the rebels captured Enniscorthy town and yesterday the redcoats took Vinegar Hill.

Visitors observed the two armies “fight” on the notorious battleground overlooking Enniscorthy.