25th March 2023: 11.30am
1798 United Irishmen Walking Tour
Join public historians Sean Napier and Colm Dore on their epic 1798 journey through Belfast’s hidden and illustrious past.
The Epic #1798 Walking Tour. The 1st Society of United Irishmen founded in Belfast. They would change Irish history forever.
“Equality — It is new-strung and shall be heard.”
Its inspiration was a young Dublin Barrister, Theobald Wolfe Tone, who was invited to Belfast by Presbyterian radical republicans after publishing a pamphlet titled ‘An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland’
In Belfast Theobold Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken, Thomas Russell and Samuel Neilson drafted the three resolutions of the United Irishmen that were to guide republicans for the next two centuries.
The political thinking of Tone and his associates was strongly influenced by the democratic principles of the French revolutionary ideals of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” and it was natural that they should turn to France for help.
Belfast was known as “The Athens of The North” due to its radical thinking on ‘enlightenment ideas’.
Its newspaper The Northern Star would become the most popular across Ireland espousing these ideas. Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man was described as the ‘Koran of Belfast’… what a time to be alive in 1790’s Belfast!
Revolution was in the air!