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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Remembering Robert Emmet.

ROBERT EMMET is one of the best-remembered Irish patriots but less well known are his comrades who were also executed for their part in the Rising today July 23rd ,1803.

Born of a professional Dublin family, Robert Emmet was reared in a political household where Irish and French were spoken.

His father was progressive in politics and his brother Thomas Addis Emmet was a member of the Society of United Irishmen. He was exiled and imprisoned in Scotland after his arrest in 1798. Thomas later emigrated to the US where he became Attorney General of New York

Robert Emmet was determined to strike a blow for Irish freedom following the defeat of the United Irish Rising of ‘98 and the intense repression which the British imposed in its aftermath. Far from being an impractical idealist as often imagined, Emmet was very practical in his preparations for an insurrection. He devised armaments suited for street fighting in Dublin and built up a secret network of trusted comrades, aware of the manner in which Dublin Castle had infiltrated the ranks of the United Irishmen with informers.

Emmet had several depots in the city where arms were prepared and stored. The Rising was unsuccessful and he and his comrades were captured.

On being sentenced to death Emmer gave his famous passionate and compelling speech from the dock. Here recited by Liam Clancy.

"When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then let my epitaph be written" Robert Emmet.

Emmet was put to death on 20 September 1803.

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