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The Fenian Landing At Helvic

1. Introduction

It would be useful to read this article in conjunction with 'The Cruise Of The Jacknell'. A reproduction of a book published by Fenian symphatisers in 1868. The article deals with the the trial of the Fenian crew of the Jacmel (Erins Hope) who landed at Helvic in an abortive attempt to stage a rebellion against British rule.

A Note On The Name Of The Ship: In the articles on this site the ship the Jacmel is frequently called 'The Jacknell', 'The Jacknel' or 'The Jacnell'. 'The Jacmel' is the correct name of the ship. The other forms are errors. Where the incorrect name is given in a contemporary document we have retained it. The Jacmel was renamed the 'Erin's Hope' by the Fenians in the course of their voyage across the Atlantic.

On the road overlooking Helvic pier stands a monument commemorating the landing of the American Fenians in 1867. It was unveiled in 1955 by Cathleen Clarke, wife of the 1916 leader, Tom Clarke. The tradition of republicanism lived on in the Ring area and na Finini are remembered with pride. That may not be generally known, however, is the accidental nature of the Helvic landings and the fact that no guns actually came on shore. Before describing the Helvic episode, it will first be necessary to look at some aspects of the Fenian movement.

Author: Sylvester Murray

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