First Reports of Rebellion

The morning of the 24th of the Fifth-month (May) orders came for the soldiers quartered here to march to Nass. A report was circulated that Naas gaol had been broken open,- that Dublin was in arms, and so forth. All was uncertainty, except that something serious had happened, as the mail-coach had been stopped. The insurrection was to begin in Dublin, and the mail-coach not being suffered to leave the city was the signal for general revolt. This purpose was defeated by the vigilance of government; the mail-coach had got to Naas before it was stopped, yet its detention here persuaded the people that the day was their own. They threw off the appearance of loyalty, and rose in avowed rebellion. In the morning the Suffolk fencibles first marched out, nine men remaining to guard their baggage at the Mill, which was their barrack. The Tyrone militia followed, taking their baggage with them. All was hurry and confusion in the village. Several who had kept out of sight now appeared dressed in green, that colour so dear to United Irishmen, and proportionably abhorred by the loyal. The Suffolks went by the high road, the Tyrones through Narraghmore. As they marched out, a young woman privately and with tears told their lieutenant her apprehensions that their enemies lay in ambush in Narraghmore wood. He was therefore prepared to meet them, and sad havoc ensued; many on both sides fell, particularly among the undisciplined multitude. The courthouse at Narraghmore was attacked, and many met their death there. We heard the reports of firearms, and every hour the alarm increased.

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