Wolfe Tone (1763-1798)

Theobald Wolfe Tone born in 1763 in Dublin, grew up in the shadow of the American and French revolutions. As a member of the Society of the United Irishmen Tone joined in the campaign for Catholic Emancipation but as it gained little ground he turned to armed rebellion.

Tone travelled to France in 1973 to gain French support for an Irish uprising. In the winter of 1796 he set sail with 14,000 men only to be forced to turn back from within a mile of the Irish coast by a storm. But the uprising went ahead. For two weeks the rebels held Wexford and declared a "Republic of Ireland" before Government troops retook the town.

In the summer of 1798 after an interview with Napoleon Tone tried again only to be intercepted by the British Navy of Lough Swilly where he surrendered. On being sentenced to death by hanging Tone cut his throat as his request to "die like a soldier" by shooting was refused.