Moyvane Notes – 27th September, 2004


A series of events to commemorate the Australian version of The Battle Of Vinegar Hill are taking place in Moyvane and Killarney this weekend. In 1804 Philip Cunningham a United Irish Man from Moyvane led a mass break out from a Sydney Prison, the many Irish convicts who followed him were armed with pitchforks. The clash, the first serious uprising on Australian soil, has since become known as The Battle of Vinegar Hill.

Philip Cunningham was born in Moyvane and as a young man moved to Tipperary. He and his wife ran a pub in Clonmel, from where he ran the Munster branch of The United Irishmen. In 1799 he was tried and convicted for treason and transported to the penal colony of Australia. In March 1804 he led a prisoner outbreak of around 275 United Irishmen after learning of Robert Emmett’s rising in Dublin. He was subsequently executed without trial.

Earlier this year 10 days of commemoration took place in Australia to mark the Bi Centenary of the event. On Friday night, Dr Ruane O’Donnell gives a lecture on Cunningham in Moyvane, this will be followed by a concert of Thomas Moore’s melodies in remembrance of the event. A parade of pikemen will begin at Killarney courthouse on Saturday as part of three days of events taking place in Kerry.

Here are some photos from the Commemoration (Click on thumbnails to view large version)