The Young Ireland Rebellion and Limerick examines the colourful and complex local dimensions to one of the key, if inglorious, events in Irish history. Limerick was the hometown of the Young Ireland leader William Smith O'Brien and the Young Ireland club there, the Sarsfield Club, was among the most active in the country. Using a range of primary sources the book charts the myriad exciting events that occurred in Limerick during 1848, the year of the failed Young Ireland rebellion.
In the course of that year, Limerick was the scene of both joyous mass meetings between Old and Young Irelanders as well as an infamous riot between the two factions. Police spies found pikes from city stores and frantic missives were sent from magistrates to Dublin Castle detailing illegal nighttime drilling in the countryside of West Limerick and rifle practice in the city.
The book also documents the armed hold-up of the Limerick to Tralee mail coach, the 'Rising in Abbeyfeale', and the prolonged flight from authorities by Richard O'Gorman, a Young Irelander charged with fomenting rebellion in Limerick, which took him on a treacherous journey from the wilds of south-west Ireland to Constantinople and then finally on to New York and a successful career as a lawyer.