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Aughrim Ballinasloe County Galway Ireland
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Aughrim   ~   Ballinasloe
Aughrim, a village on the main Galway - Dublin road near Ballinasloe; the name means 'the horse's back', from the shape of one of the low ridges that are a feature of the local landscape.

Aughrim's moment in history was on the 12th July 1691.
Aughrim Ballinasloe County Galway Ireland
The war of William and James had turned in favour of William at the Battle of the Boyne (1690) but the Jacobites were still a force to be reckoned with. Under the command of St. Ruth, a French commander, they prepared a strong position on the higher ground, forcing the enemy to attack across the exposed ground below. Things were favouring the Jacobites until, during the bombardment, a chance ball struck St. Ruth; he died of his wounds in a nearby ring fort (the one nearest the road). His troops lost their heart and retreated to the west; the retreat was guarded by the cavalry under one of the heroes of Irish history, Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan. Eventually they made their ways via Woodford, to Limerick, where they withstood two sieges before negotiating an honourable surrender with William, which is known as the Treaty of Limerick. The troops were given the option of going home or emigrating en masse to join the French army; very many, including Sarsfield, did so, thus providing the French forces with a ready-made Irish Brigade. These emigrant soldiers are known in Irish history as 'The Wild Geese' and are partly responsible for the very many surnames of Irish origin that are common to-day in France, often in the drinks trade!

The Irish Brigade got its belated revenge at the Battle of Fontenoy (1745) where the Brigade had its greatest victory. (A tradition of Irish soldiers joining European armies continued for many years, the principal beneficiaries besides the French being the Austrians and the Spanish.) The Irish Brigade remained a feature of the French forces for some time; its numbers maintained by a flow of new recruits from Ireland. Sarsfield was killed in action at the Battle of London by, coincidently, being struck, like St. Ruth, by cannon fire. A large cross of the Celtic type was erected to mark the site of the Battle, and an interpretive centre has recently been opened. Aughrim, like the Boyne, was a significant battle in European, not just Irish, terms, and helped to turn the course of European history. There is an account of the engagement in The Irish at War, Gerald Hayes - McCoy , 1964.

Aughrim's in history is assured as it was here that the Battle of Aughrim during the Williamite war in Ireland was fought on 12 July 1691.

The battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre tells the story of the deadly battle fought at Aughrim. The Battle of Aughrim Centre is an ideal stop-off on a journey between Dublin and Galway and is located very close to the N6. The centre lies between Ballinasloe and Loughrea in County Galway.

The battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre Aughrim County Galway Ireland Following England's Glorious Revolution in 1688, the deposed King James II fled to france to seek refuge with the Sun King, King Louis XIV. Together the Catholic Kings planned to regain the English throne for James by ousting his successor and ironically, his son-in-law, William of Orange.
You can now now re-live the day that changed the course of Irish and European history at the Battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre, situated in Aughrim village on the main Galway-Dublin road, the N6. Move back in time and place to that fateful day in 1691 through an audio-visual show based on the true and moving account of Captain Walter Dalton who fought at the Battle of Aughrim.
In 1689 this War of the Two Kings, or Cogadh an Da Ri moved to Ireland when James landed in Kinsale, County Cork. Some of the most epic events in Irish history occurred during this era - besieged cities of Derry; Athlone and Limerick; Ireland's largest naval battle, the Battle of Bantry Bay; the Battle of the Boyne remembered on the "Glorious Twelfth"; a daring raid at Ballyneety; the broken Treaty of Limerick and the Flight of the Wild Geese. Yet little is remembered about the bloodiest battle in Irish history fought in a small Connaught village during the closing stages of the War, this was the battle of Aughrim.

By nightfall, some 9,000 soldiers lay slain on the fields of Aughrim. Amongst the casualties were St. Ruth, the proud French officer, who was killed by chainshot as he led his troops to repulse the final Williamite assault of the battle. Following his death, the battle took its decisive turn and resulted in an overwhelming Williamite victory. The Jacobite resistance to Williamite rule was broken following their shattering defeat at Aughrim and their remaining leaders, including Patrick Sarsfield, agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Limerick.


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