Remembering Bartholomew Teeling
Born in 1774 in Lisburn Co Antrim, Teeling was educated at the Dubordieu School in Lisburn and later at Trinity College Dublin.
Teeling joined the United Irishmen in 1796 and headed to France where he joined the French army in the hope of returning to Ireland with a French exhibition.
Teeling returned to Ireland on 22nd August 1798, as Chief Aide de Camp to General Humbert, and landed at Killala Bay between County Sligo and Mayo with French troops ready to start a rebellion.
After taking Castlebar the joint Franco/Irish force marched through Sligo but were blocked by British cannon above Union Rock near Collooney.
At the battle of Collooney on September 5th 1798, he broke from the French ranks and galloped towards Union Rock. Teeling was armed with a pistol and shot the cannon's marksman and captured the cannon.
The French and Irish advanced, the British after losing the cannon position, retreated towards their barracks at Sligo, leaving 60 dead and 100 prisoners.
At the battle of Ballinamuck on September 8th 1798 the Irish and French forces were defeated, Teeling and roughly 200 Irishmen were taken prisoner but unlike the French prisoners were not treated as prisoners of war by the British. Even though Teeling was a French officer made no difference to the British.
Teeling was sent to Dublin's Royal Barracks for court-martial, despite putting up a good defence Teeling was found guilty of treason to the crown and sentenced to death.
Dressed in full French uniform, Barholowe Teeling was hanged in Newgate Gaol on September 24th 1798. His body like many others was thrown into "Croppy's Hole" at Arbour Hill which is now called "Croppy's Acre".
In 1898, the centenary year of the battle of Collooney, a statue of Teeling was erected in Carricknagat Co Sligo.