On 22 August 1798, General Humbert and about 1,100 French soldiers arrived at Kilcummin Strand in North Mayo to participate in an insurrection which up to then had been confined to the north and east of Ireland. After taking Killala and Ballina, Humbert led 700 of his men and about the same number of untrained Irish recruits in an all night march and surprised the British garrison in Castlebar. They captured the town after a short sharp-encounter, and established a Provisional Republic of Connacht. After marching through Sligo and Leitrim, the Franco-Irish force were defeated at Ballinamuck, Co. Longford. Following their surrender, a terrible price was exacted from the people of Mayo, and especially Killala, when the insurgents and anyone suspected of helping the French were hunted down and executed. The publication of Thomas Flanagan's novel, The Year of the French (1979) and the subsequent film have focussed attention on what happened in Mayo during that eventful year. (From: Bernard O'Hara, Touring County Mayo. Galway: Ireland West Tourism, ).
Among the monuments to commemorate the events of 1798 are these two busts of the Generals Humbert and Sarrazin, sculpted both by the same sculptor and placed next to each other in two consecutive years on a small square in Killala.
- Carmel Gallagher, Irish sculptor.
Sources & Information
Location (N 54°12'41" - W 9°13'10")
Item Code: ie003; Photograph: 1 September 2002
/ updated: 20 September 2009
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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