Patrick Sarsfield - One Of Ireland's Greatest Revolutionaries Of 17th Century
Patrick Sarsfield in his young life endeared himself to the hearts and souls of Irish people worldwide and still remains a peoples champion over three hundred years later.
His deeds were many and he had a military ubringing that beamed a young Lucan Co. Dublin boy to France to train the French Military Academy. He enrolled in the Duke of Monmouth’s regiment and also served under the catholic King James 11 of England.
When James sent Richard Talbot to Ireland in 1689 as commander in chief, Patrick Sarsfield was also in Ireland as his main associate in setting up the army on catholic principles. Later when William of Orange landed in England, Sarsfield went across the Irish Sea to assist James in his battles with William’s forces.
When James fled to France for his own safety it was Sarsfield who followed him. Just two months later King James and Patrick landed at Kinsale, Co. Cork and headed for Dublin where the King summoned an Irish Parliament and nominated Sarsfield as a member for Dublin.
The 1690 Battle of The Boyne then followed with defeat for James' army and also his comrade Patrick Sarsfield.
The Lucan man then set out for Limerick to defend a city whose defences were slim and would be obliterated by William of Orange and his 20,000 troops who had planned a Limerick invasion.
The invaders had a train en-route to Limerick carrying major reinforcements of troops and many tons of ammunition. Sarsfield’s intelligence units managed to infiltrate William’s troops and as the Limerick bound train was approaching Ballyneety, just five miles east of the city, Sarsfield and his men entered Ballyneety station undetected.
The plan was to halt the incoming train and Sarsfield directed his men to blow up the entire convoy just as the train braked entering Ballyneety Station.
William’s train was totally devastated and Sarsfied’s mission was so successful, William, suffering great loss of life eventually conceded he could not defeat Sarsfield and his men. General Ginkell, another British major officer, later laid siege to Limerick but he also suffered huge losses against Sarsfield’s defences.
With two famous victories to his credit Sarsfield sought a truce and the historic Treaty Of Limerick was then signed. This treaty granted Irishmen the freedom to go any country.
After the Treaty Sarsfield rounded up 11,000 Irish troops in 1691 as part of a French army with a plan to invade England in 1692.
Alas this invasion never took place. Sarsfield, now a high ranking French army officer then set his sights on another battle with the English at Steinkirk and duly bombarded the English.
Patrick Sarsfield then took his troops to the Netherlands in 1693 for another famous battle but this time his good fortune took a mortal turn .
In a fierce ambush of gunfire, the 43 year old Irishman was killed in action far away from his native homeland.