Battle Of Aughrim commemorations this weekend

This month marks the 321st anniversary of the Battle of Aughrim, one of the major engagements of the Williamite Wars, and possibly the largest and most significant battle fought in County Galway.

To mark the event a new book on the Danish soldiers who fought there is to be launched and this weekend a conference looking at many aspects of the battle will be held in Aughrim village.

In July 12 1691, the Jacobite forces - those supporting Britain’s Roman Catholic King James II, and composed of Irish and French troops - fought against the Williamite forces - supporting the Dutch William of Orange, and composed of Irish, French, Dutch, German, English, and Scottish soldiers.

The battle was one of a number of engagements during the Williamite Wars where Ireland became the theatre of war for an international struggle between France and the Grand Alliance, led by the Dutch and the English.

The battle resulted in a defeat for the Jacobites and was one of the bloodiest ever fought in Ireland, with around 7,000 casualties.

The Aughrim Remembered seminar 2012 will take place in Aughrim tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. The theme for the event will be ‘From Jacobitism to Jacobinism; a reconsideration’.

Tomorrow will see the official opening of the event in St Catherine’s Hall at 7.30pm. On Saturday there will be a puc fada competition, with awards presented on Sunday. Throughout the weekend there will be ‘Soldiers Bivouac in the Park’, a display of the kinds of tents, muskets, and drills used by soldiers of the era.

The weekend will also hear lectures on aspects of the battle from the University of Ulster’s Éamonn Ó Cíardha and Billy Kelly; military historian Richard Doherty; and UCC’s Hiram Morgan.

The Aughrim Interpretative Centre will also host the launch of the new book, Danish Troops In The Williamite Army In Ireland (Four Courts Press ) by Kjeld Hald Galster, on Saturday at 6.30pm. The guest speaker will be NUI Galway’s Pádraig Lenihan.

All are welcome to the events. For more information contact Julie Cruise, Aughrim Interpretative Centre, Aughrim, Ballinasloe on 09096 - 73939.

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