Esmonde Kyan

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Kyan, Esmonde, a distinguished leader in the Insurrection of 1798, was a gentleman of some property, who resided at Monamolin, near Oulart. At the breaking out of hostilities in the County of Wexford, he threw himself heartily into the struggle. Courageous to desperation, his arm was shattered at the battle of Arklow, while leading his division against the royalist artillery. Confined in Wexford by this wound, he did all he could to prevent the disgraceful massacre of royalists on the bridge. He subsequently joined the insurgent force that, after the fall of Wexford, endeavoured to penetrate the County of Carlow, and for a time held out with Holt, Myles Byrne, and Dwyer in the glens of Wicklow.

Returning to his home secretly to visit his relatives, he was arrested, and executed in July 1798. Few particulars are preserved of Esmonde Kyan. He is uniformly spoken of by his associates in terms of the highest respect, as a man of talents and nobility of character. Myles Byrne writes: "He was, of all the chiefs of our little Irish army, the one who merited most good terms from the English. Throughout the war he had shown the greatest humanity, and made unceasing exertions to save the lives of prisoners, even of those whose hands were steeped in the blood of the inhabitants of the County of Wexford."

Sources

65. Byrne, Myles: Autobiography. 3 vols. Paris, 1863.

331. United Irishmen, their Lives and Times: Robert R. Madden, M.D. 4 vols. London, 1858-'60.

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