Theobald Wolfe Tone was the son of a Protestant Dublin carriage-maker. He studied at Trinity College and qualified as a barrister at the age of 26. He was more interested in politics .
Tone was angry that the Irish Parliament admitted only Protestants. Though a Protestant himself, he felt religion should not be divide Irishmen. In fact he first made his mark on politics with a short pamphlet called ‘An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland’. In it Tone called for the Catholic to be admitted to Parliament.
A Catholic committee was set up to fight for representation in Parliament. Catholic Emancipation was so impressed by Tone’s views that the leaders John Keogh hired Tone as the Committee Secretary.
In 1791 Tone founded the United Irishmen in Dublin & Belfast. The society aims were to bring about equal rights for all religions in Ireland Free of British Control. Each member took an oath. By now Tone believed that only an armed revolution could achieve his aims so he went to France to seek help. He believed that the people of Ireland would rise up in revolution against Britian when France arrived. Tone convinced France to send help. They sent 1,400 soldiers and 43 ships under the control of General Hoche. Tone was on board on one of the ships. General Hochewas one of the greatest military men. The ships anchored off Ireland for three days, due to bad weather they didn’t land.
Tone was Absent from Ireland during most of the revolution. He was in Paris trying to persuade the French to send another expedition to help the Irish The French sent another fleet under the control of General Humbert with 1,000 men. They sailed into Kialala Bay, but it was too late as most of the leaders were arrested and the rebellion was mainly over. After a defeat in Ballinmuck, Humbert surrendered.
Another French Fleet left for Ireland containing 3,000 men. Tone was onboard this fleet and when they got to land Tone was recognised. He was taken to Dublin to face trial. Tone slit his own throat rather than been hanged. Tone served as an inspiration to later generations of Irish people who wanted Freedom for Ireland. He was later called ‘The father of Irish Republicanism”.