Young Irelander Rebellion 1848: siege at the Widow McCormack’s house

#Picture Number HS167

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Victorian illustration to download showing the siege at the Widow McCormack’s house during the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. Police fire out of the windows of the house at the rebels sheltering behind a wall, who are armed with pikes, scythes and shotguns. The Young Irelanders, fervent nationalists led by William Smith O’Brien, were chasing a unit of the Irish constabulary, who took refuge in the Widow McCormack’s house, taking her five young children hostage. The police refused to let her in or release the children. O’Brien tried to negotiate, but the police opened fire. During the resulting siege, two rebels were killed. The rebels dispersed on the arrival of police reinforcements. Today this house is designated a national heritage monument, ‘Famine Warhouse 1848’.