“The Battle of Kilcumney”


The rebels are routed at the Battle of Kilcumney. Afterwards, nine British troops burn John Murphy's house. Four Wexford pikemen kill five of the nine. Teresa Malone escapes from the house to rebel lines after shooting one more of the attackers.


This particular affair was the last spasm of a dying cause, and hardly is mentioned in most histories. The Big Event had been five days earlier, at Vinegar Hill, where General Lake had dispersed the Wexford rebels. But his encirclement had been incomplete, and a handful including Father Murphy fled toward Kilkenny (see Robert Kee, _The Most Distressful Country_, being volume I of _The Green Flag_, p. 122). Their victory at Kilcolmney (as Kee spells it) was only a skirmish, an did no real good; the locals offered no help, and the rebels continued their flight, ending eventually in the death of Murphy and others (see the notes to "Father Murphy (I)" and "Some Treat of David").

General Asgill, it is generally agreed, is as brutal as Moylan's note implies; even the pro-British Thomas Pakenham calls him "as insensitive and negligent as [British Commander in Chief General] Lake." (Pakenham, _The Year of Liberty_, p. 282). Given that Lake could at least as well have been called "snake" (with apologies to all reptiles, which possess neither guile nor treachery nor Lake's peculiar stupidity), this will give you a clear view of Asgill. - RBW

Historical references

  • June 26, 1798 - "The western division of the United army, under Fr John Murphy, was attacked upon Kilcumney Hill, near Goresbridge, by General Sir Charles Asgill, and dispersed. The troops did not confine their attention to the rebel army, but carried out a slaughter of the inhabitants of Kilcumney itself." (source: Moylan)

Cross references


  1. Moylan 93, "The Battle of Kilcumney" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Moyl093


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1998 (Kinsella, Moran and Murphy's _Kilcumney '98--its Origins, Aftermath and Legacy_, according to Moylan)
Found in: Ireland