Robert Emmet

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  • Dublin Castle

Another attempt to take control of the castle was staged by Robert Emmet and a small troop of men in 1803. Emmet was determined to organise a rising and decided to act on July 23 1803. The rising was to consist of planned attacks on Dublin Castle, Pigeon House Fort and the Islandbridge Barracks. Only a small proportion of the expected number of insurgents took part in the rebellion and as a result it failed.

Prisoner in the Tower

After the rebellion, Emmet went into hiding in the Dublin Mountains. Emmet's helper and accomplice, Anne Devlin was jailed in the Record Tower at Dublin Castle, and later Kilmainham, but she refused to give information to the authorities about Emmet, despite being subjected to torture and the deprivations of prison life.

After her imprisonment, Anne Devlin's experiences were taken down in her own words by Brother Luke Cullen.

In the following passage she describes conditions in the Tower: five minutes more I was in the Tower, in a little closet just the length of my pallet and about two feet broader.

There was no light but from the door, and as for a fire I never had the luxury of one even in my most debilitated state. There was an empty room adjoining mine and from which it was boarded off. I was sometimes allowed to crawl around this room, leaning against the walls.

From "Anne Devlin: Patriot and Heroine" by John Finegan.