Wednesday 16 October 2019

REBELS v redcoats

Jacqui Hynes.
Jacqui Hynes.

David Medcalf

'Everybody is pitching in to make it a big success,' said 1798 Centre director Jacqui Hynes, counting down to the Bank Holiday battle.

The Redcoats are coming – at least 80 of them. The forces of the Crown will be well represented at the re-enactment of the conflict on Vinegar Hill at the weekend.

The Rebel line-up is has proven very popular, with local Wexford volunteers all eager to take up their pikes.

So the British side will rely on imported infantry when they take over the 1798 Centre as their campsite for the Bank Holiday (August 3 and 4).

At least 35 of them are coming from Britain, determined to make the re-enactment as realistic as possible.

And they will be joined by enthusiastic comrades in arms from Kildare, Cork and Northern Ireland.

The Redcoats plan to take part in Saturday's skirmish from The Duffry to Market Square due to take place around 1.30 p.m. While they may struggle there, they are confident of a winning result when the action moves to the hill on Sunday, from 2 p.m.

When not parading or fighting, they and their families will settle into the grounds of the 1798 Centre. The plan is that they will sleep in old style tents and cook their meals in old style pots over old style campfires.

Meanwhile, organiser Rory O'Connor is expecting that he will have close to 200 Rebels at the weekend.

Last-minute recruits with suitable costumes are being accepted but the force will be led by pikers who have been in training for months.

The Wexford pikers will be joined by colleagues from Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Clare as well as Carlow and Kilkenny.

Enniscorthy native Michael O'Sullivan is due to make the trip from Australia to participate.

Jacqui Hynes suggested that the re-enactment has the potential to be a major annual event, as long as attention is paid to authentic detail.

Children will not be permitted to wield weapons but many will be helping to treat casualties on Vinegar Hill.

Wexford People

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