23 August-General Humbert

John Moore President of the Republic of Connaught died in the Royal Oak Coachman’s Inn in The Royal Oak village near Bagenalstown County Carlow on December 6th 1799. Moore had been appointed president of the Government of the Province of Connaught by General Humbert. Humbert had been victorious at the Battle of Castlebar in Co Mayo on August 27th 1798.

General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert was a French soldier who led an army of about 1,000 French troops to Ireland to assist the Irish rebels in the rising of 1798. By the time he landed at Kilcummin in Killala Bay in August 1798 the rising was over and the rebels had been defeated. However Humbert decided to continue his mission. Having seized Killala Humbert marched south capturing Ballina before marching on Castlebar. Following a battle which lasted from 6.00am to midday the British forces were defeated. They fled the town pursued by the French and Irish in what has come to called ‘The Races of Castlebar’

Humbert spent six days in Castlebar during which time insurgents seized other towns in Mayo. He proclaimed the Republic of Connaught and appointed John Moore of Moore Hall as President. Moore Hall is located on the shores of Lough Carra near Ballinrobe, Co Mayo. It was looted and burned down in February 1923 by anti-treaty forces during the civil war. Humbert left Castlebar intending to cross the Shannon and march towards Dublin. However his army was surrounded by a 15,000 strong British force and he surrendered at Ballinanmuck in Co Longford.

President Moore was arrested by the British and sentenced to transportation. He was en-route, under guard to New Geneva near Passage East in County Waterford when he became ill. He died in The Royal Oak Inn about 12km south of Carlow town. He was buried in Ballygunner Temple cemetery in Waterford City. In 1961 his body was exhumed and reinterred at a state military funeral at The Mall in Castlebar. On the headstone of his grave is written, ‘Ireland’s first President and a descendant of St Thomas More, who gave his life for his country in the rising of 1798’.

General Humbert, having landed at Kilcummin in Killala Bay, began his campaign in Co. Mayo in the year 1798 On This Day.

Image from page 76 of “The French invasion of Ireland in ’98. Leaves of unwritten history that tell of an heroic endeavor and a lost opportunity to throw off England’s yoke” (1890) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1890-01-01 00:00:00

Image from page 152 of “The French invasion of Ireland in ’98. Leaves of unwritten history that tell of an heroic endeavor and a lost opportunity to throw off England’s yoke” (1890) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1890-01-01 00:00:00

Moore Hall photo

1798 Sculpture in Castlebar

Photo by pedrofcuk

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