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Tallaght, Ireland is the county seat of South Dublin County. The name Tallaght comes from the Irish words "támh leacht," which means a plague burial place. The first written mention of Tallaght, found in the 17th century Annals of the Four Masters (also known as the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland), which tells the legend of a Greek named Parthalon led his followers to Ireland and how, after his death, a plague killed 9,000 of his followers in just one week, and they are said to have all been buried in Tallaght and the surrounding area.

In 769, AD, St. Maelruain founded a Monastery of Tallaght. This date establishes a more reliable record of Tallaght's history. The monastery was the hub of both piety and learning. It was affiliated with the Céli Dé spiritual movement of medieval period and which was founded and led by St. Maelruain. The movement centered on an elevated devotion to the ascetic spirit which was characteristic of the Irish Christian Church, a vows of poverty and chastity, the recitation of the Book of Psalms every day, the practice of mortification, and retirement from society for the life of a recluse. St. Maelurain died in 792 and is buried in Tallaght. Vikings destroyed the monastery in 811. Even as the monastery was being repaired, the annals of the monastery kept being recorded, as would happen for centuries to come.

In 1324, the building of Tallaght Castle began, and it was finished in 1349. A hundred year later, it was badly in need of repair.

In 1729, the new Archbishop had the castle razed and then built himself a palace. By 1821, the Palace had fallen into ruin. It was declared by an Act of Parliament as being unfit for habitation. It was sold to the Inspector General of Prisons, Major Palmer, who demolished the palace and used the materials to build himself a mansion, Tallaght House. With the leftovers, he also built several cottages and a schoolhouse. Tallaght House has since been incorporated into the buildings at St. Mary's Priory. The Retreat House was built around the mansion. The monastery was replaced by St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in 1829. The present tower of the church is four stories high and features a spiral stairway to the top.

On March 5, 1867, during the Fenian Rising, the Battle of Tallaght was fought on the main street near the the old Constabulary. It was a concerted effort at an uprising, involving thousands of members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (known as Fenians) assembling at various police barracks at the same time. Uprisings were planned in numerous locations throughout Ireland, with Tallaght being the largest. The goal of the uprising was to topple British rule and set up an Irish Republic. American Civil War veteran Thomas Kelly, the Deputy Central Organizer of the Irish Republic, and the military planning was done by General Millen, another Civil War veteran.

The police in Tallaght were made aware of large numbers of horse-drawn cars having left the Combe and Kevin Street vicinity headed for the countryside. Soon, the report from the police sergeant was, "the Dublin Road is crowded with young men, ll taking the direction of Tallaght."

On the way to meet up at the police barracks in Tallaght, a large number of constables appeared and a firefight ensued, and the rebels were driven off. Meanwhile in the Dublin hills to the east, about 200 Fenians successfully attacked and occupied Irish Constabulary barracks at Dundrum, Stepaside, and Glencullen. In Cork, more than 4,000 reels assembled at Fair Hill, and made their way from there to Limerick train junction, setting fire to a handful of police barracks along the way. In Drogheda, 1,000 or so Fenian, armed with rifles, pikes, and all manner of other things gathered in the Market Square and refused the order from 28 policemen to disperse. In all, twelve people were killed that night, eight of them Fenians.

A proclamation of the Irish Republic was issued by leader James Stephens, a republican revolutionary exiled in Paris. The Proclamation chargedBritain with being an "alien aristocracy" who trampled the rights and stripped the land and other material riches. It went on to declare Ireland's independence, and list rights including universal suffrage. But the day after the rising, more than 10,000 Fenians, having been dispersed the night before, were hunted by both the Irish constabulary and the British Army.

Although the 1867 Fenian Rising seemed not to have accomplished much, they appear to have set the benchmark for future rebellion.

 

 

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