Start at the 1798 Inn. From the front of the pub, follow the road to the right passing a small graveyard on your right. Turn left uphill on a narrow tarmac lane. After the summit of the hill, keep left on the lane and enjoy the view to Clooncose lake, pictured here. Reach a T junction and turn left again to return to the 1798 Inn. On the way, you will pass the spot where General Blake and Gunner Magee were executed.
General George Blake was the commander of the United Irishmen forces at the Battle of Ballinamuck on September 8th, 1798. The politics of Ireland in the late 1700’s were somewhat different from modern Ireland. The United Irishmen who rose in rebellion against English governance included Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter. General Blake, son of a Protestant landlord had been an officer in the British army but was dismissed after a duel. Following the defeat of his forces, he along with Gunner Magee were hung from the shafts of a cart at this spot.
Gunner Magee enrolled himself in Irish history when his gun crew took over a French cannon inflicting much damage on the English forces. The well known Magee Barracks in Dublin is named after him