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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Remembering Robert Emmet

Liam Clancy recites key portions of Irish Republican and rebel Robert Emmet's famous speech from the dock before his hanging and beheading by the British in September 1803.

ROBERT EMMET is one of the best-remembered Irish patriots.

Born March 4th, 1778 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 and then made his way to the US where he became New York State Attorney General in 1812.

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.

Captured after the failed rebellion of 1803 Emmet was tried for high treason against King George III and executed September 20th 1803.

We will write his epitaph when Ireland is united and free.

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