When Patrick Sarsfield and his followers left Ireland, they faced an uncertain future. After their defeat at The Battle of The Boyne (1690), they chose to surrender under The Treaty of Limerick and leave Ireland. Although now faced with exile, they believed that they had secured the freedom and safety of the Irish people.
They left Ireland with their heads held high in 1691. They had done the right thing.
But Sarsfield and his followers were ferociously optimistic in the face of the uncertainty that lay ahead of them – they hoped and believed that they would one day return to Ireland. As they stood on the shores of Limerick, they vowed to return to their Homeland, just as wild geese do.
The Wild Geese legend was born. These Irish soldiers took control of their destiny and sailed for Europe.
The year 1691 has become a defining moment in Irish history, and has come to represent all that the Irish and their descendants can achieve abroad. This has been captured in the latest video from The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes. 'The Beginning' is inspired by the opportunity that lay ahead of The Wild Geese.
When it quickly became clear that the Treaty of Limerick was not going to be honoured, The Wild Geese took up their fight once again. They created a beautiful dream – freedom for everyone – to which they remained committed as they travelled throughout the world.
Patrick Sarsfield himself fought for the French army on many occasions. Tragically, he did not see Ireland again and died overseas. His last words are said to have been 'Oh, if this were only for Ireland'. Although he never returned home, Sarsfield embodied the heroic adventures of The Wild Geese, which can still be seen in 'Men of Action' today. That is why The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes commemorate these brave exiles and celebrate modern day examples of Men of Action.
You can share your stories of your favourite 'Men of Action' on The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes website and Facebook page, and can find your nearest retailer of this three times voted 'Best Irish Whiskey' in the link below:
Today there are thought to be 80 million people of Irish descent in the world, of which 40 million live in the USA.
'Wherever you are in the world, if you are of Irish descent you are part of this story and entitled to call yourself Wild Geese'
Outside North America The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes Irish Whiskey is sold as 'The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey'.
In North America The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection is sold as 'The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes Irish Whiskey'.
The Beginning - The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes Irish Whiskey:
See the story of Patrick Sarsfield and The Wild Geese in France