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Local Studies Department

The 1798 Rebellion in County Kildare

Town/Village Index of the Rebellion of 1798 - Turnpike Hill, Kilcullen

Sometime around 9 am on 24th May, the rebels, having earlier been victorious at Old Kilcullen, posted themselves at Turnpike Hill astride the Naas/Kilcullen road. On the left of the road rose the hill at their back, on the right, they dug in behind the high banks of the fields. This effectively cut off General Dundas' retreat to Naas.

They numbered almost 1,000 men, as opposed to around 30 soldiers and 100 yeomanry under the command of General Dundas. The General sent two parties forward, with orders not to engage the enemy but to draw the rebels down the hill.

This strategic feint gave the victory to Dundas as the concentrated fire decimated the rebels who descended the hill. They were routed by the cavalry as they forded the Liffey at Athgarvan. Dundas reported; "The slaughter was considerable for such an action � about 150 lay dead. No prisoners." The troops suffered no losses.

Published by Kildare County Council

Written by Mario Corrigan .