The second annual reenactment of the Battle of Vinegar Hill is set to take place at the historic Enniscorthy location over the August bank holiday weekend.
Organisers are expecting crowds of over 5,000 to take to the battlefield to enjoy a spectacle of Redcoats and Rebels re-enacting history scenes from 1798 with professional re-enactors from Ireland, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and further afield planning their assault on the rebel positions. While the rebel forces are growing larger every day with aspiring insurgents volunteering to take part, the sign up date is still open for the public wishing to join the ranks.
On Saturday August 3 a Rebel encampment will take over the grounds of the National 1798 Rebellion Centre in Enniscorthy with Rebel commanders on the lookout for talented young Pikemen and women to train before the ensuing fight. The Blacksmith will also be on hand, shoeing horses, making pikes, swords and other weapons for the upcoming battle and demonstrating the age-old skills.
If joining the Rebels doesn’t take your fancy, joining the ranks of the Redcoats just might. A plan is afoot for them to commandeer Enniscorthy Castle and demonstrate infringement punishments such as floggings. The Redcoats will be revealing their battle plans to their fellow Generals and the public the day before the battle commences. The highpoint of the day will be a skirmish between the Rebels and Redcoats at 1pm at Duffry Gate to Market Square which will recreate the insurgents’ initial capture of Enniscorthy Town in 1798.
On Sunday August 4 both forces will amass their strength at the Fair Green at 1pm and parade through the town on their way to Vinegar Hill for battle at 2pm. Visitors are invited to watch the two armies fight amidst gunfire and explosions, pike charges and cannon fire on the notorious battle ground overlooking Enniscorthy. The crown forces will also include cavalry and three cannons to launch their assault on the hill.”
Commenting on the upcoming event Jacqui Hynes, Manager at the 1798 National Rebellion Centre said, “We are very much looking forward to recreating history here on Vinegar Hill Battlefield over the weekend. Last year we had over 5,000 visitors, and we are expecting a bigger number this year, as there has been a huge level of interest. It’s not too late to join the troops too, and anyone interested should get in touch with us on 053 92 37596 and we will decide if his or her skills are best suited to Rebel or Redcoat life.”
The Battle of Vinegar Hill, which was fought on June 21 was an engagement during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Over 10,000 crown forces launched an attack on Vinegar Hill, which was then occupied by over 20,000 rebels and camp followers. This was the largest rebel camp and headquarters of the Wexford United Irishmen and their supporters. It marked a turning point in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 as it was the last major attempt by the rebels to hold and defend ground against the crown forces / the army of King George III. The battle was actually fought in two locations: on Vinegar Hill itself and in the streets of nearby Enniscorthy. The Battle of Vinegar Hill was the pinnacle of this Rebellion, and was the last major battle on Irish soil.
See visitwexford.ie for further details.