Battle of Vinegar Hill

By Esther Hayden

Rebels clash with redcoats at Vinegar Hill.
Rebels clash with redcoats at Vinegar Hill.

The fourth annual re-enactment of the Battle of Vinegar Hill is set to take place at the historic Enniscorthy location this Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2, with over 500 Rebels and Redcoats taking to the battlefield.

The largest annual battle re-enactment in Ireland will offer spectators the opportunity to see pike charging Rebels and musket wielding Redcoats recreate the most significant battles in Ireland's history, the 1798 Rebellion.

Manager of Enniscorthy Castle and the 1798 Centre Rory O'Connor says that calls of 'Make Ready, Present, Fire' will be heard throughout the weekend.

'Our Battle re-enactors have been practicing their drills on Vinegar Hill for the last number of months, we even had a battalion travel to Waterloo earlier this summer to participate in what was the bicentenary Waterloo Battle Re-enactment so we are well prepared to showcase the sights, sounds and smells of the 1798 Battle with pike charges, musket volleys, cavalry assaults and cannon bombardments, it will be two days filled with action offering all spectators the opportunity to live, breathe and witness a re-creation of history.'

The highlight of each day will be the staging of two full-scale battle re-enactments on view freely to the public, with the Rebels capturing Enniscorthy Town on Saturday, August 1 while the Redcoats take Vinegar Hill on Sunday, August 2. Visitors are invited to watch the two armies fight amidst gunfire and explosions, pike charges and cannon fire on the notorious battleground overlooking Enniscorthy.

'Unit 21' the young Rebel Camp is currently open for registrations, the children's rank will be in the middle of the action and the last line of defence when the redcoats attempt to 'take the camp' on the Hill on Sunday, August 2. Joining the forces promises the young rebels a fun day out immersed in living history. If you think you have what it takes children can enlist to join the rebel forces at www.vinegarhill.ie

Other Rebellious events taking place over the weekend include a special wreath laying ceremony, commemorating all those who died in the 1798 Rebellion which will be held at Market Square following the Battle Re-enactment of Enniscorthy Town on August 1.

Members of the public both young and old can also experience what life was like for a soldier during the 1798 Rebellion at either the Crown Force Garrison in Enniscorthy Castle on August 1 or at the Rebel Camp at the National 1798 Rebellion Centre on August 1st and at Vinegar Hill on August 2. An Antiques Fair will also take place at the Riverside Park Hotel on August 2.

For further details on the upcoming Battle of Vinegar Hill Re-enactment see www.visitwexford.ie.

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