Young Ireland Movement

The Young Ireland movement was a revolutionary group formed the middle of the nineteenth century. Its leaders included William Smith O’Brien, John Mitchel, Thomas Meaghar, Charles Gavan Duffy, Thomas Davis and John Dillon. In 1842, the Young Irelanders started a newspaper called The Nation, which called for Irish self government.

In 1848, several revolutions took place in Europe, inspired by the French Revolution. William Smith O’Brien and Thomas Meaghar went to France to congratulate the new Republic. Meagher returned to Ireland with a silk tricolour flag and presented it at a meeting in Dublin. The tricolour is now the Irish flag.

In July of 1848, fearing a rebellion, the British Government decided that the Young Ireland leaders could be arrested without trail. The Young Irelanders decided to revolt, rather than face arrest. The main part of the rebellion happened in Co. Tipperary, where the Young Irelanders had gathered. The police took five children hostage in a farmhouse, and some rebels outside the house were wounded and killed as the police overpowered them.

The leaders of the rebellion were caught and arrested. They were sentenced to be hanged, but this was later changed at the request of Queen Victoria and they were transported to Australia.