‘Castlebar races’

views updated

‘Castlebar races’, 1798. A small French expedition under Humbert landed at Killala in August 1798 to assist the Irish rebels. On 27 August at Castlebar they engaged militia, stiffened by regulars under General Lake, and routed them. Casualties on the loyalist side would have been heavier had not the militia shown an instinct for self-preservation—hence the mocking name ‘Castlebar races’. But Humbert's force was a forlorn hope and surrendered at Ballinamuck a fortnight later.

J. A. Cannon