Carnew executions

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Carnew executions
LocationCarnew, County Wicklow
Date25 May 1798
Attack type
Firing squad
PerpetratorKingdom of Great Britain British Army

The Carnew executions refer to the summary execution of 28 prisoners being held as suspected United Irishmen by the local garrison in the British army barracks base of Carnew Castle, Carnew, County Wicklow, Ireland on 25 May 1798.[1][2]


The Society of United Irishmen having failed to advance its aims of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform by political means, instigated a rebellion against British rule.[3] The rebellion took place in May 1798, but the only significant uprisings outside of the province of Ulster occurred in counties Wicklow and Wexford, both south of County Dublin. The rebels were met with a swift response from British forces and the bulk of the rebellion was suppressed within a year.[1]


By the morning of the 25 May, news of the long-expected outbreak of the 1798 rebellion in neighboring County Kildare and of military losses in the battles of Ballymore-Eustace, Naas, and Prosperous had reached the garrison in Carnew, who decided to take preventative measures by assembling the rebel suspects in detention. The suspects were marched from Carnew Castle to the local handball alley and executed by firing squad as a warning to the local populace.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thomas Bartlett and Keith Jeffery. A Military History of Ireland Cambridge University Press, 1997; ISBN 0-521-62989-6, p. 279
  2. ^ a b Gwynn, Stephan Lucius (1915). Famous Cities of Ireland. p. 275.
  3. ^ "Society of United Irishmen profile". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 10 December 2015.