Kirwan, Owen (DNB00)


KIRWAN, OWEN (d. 1803), Irish rebel, was a tailor by trade, resident in Plunket Street, Dublin. He joined the conspiracy of Robert Emmet, and was employed in the manufacture of ammunition. Kirwan was specially attached to the Patrick Street depôt of arms, the sudden explosion at which place on 16 July 1803 precipitated the insurrection. On the evening of 23 July Kirwan's residence was used as a muster-place for a large party of rebels. A little before nine o'clock in the evening Kirwan, attired in a green uniform, took up a position outside his door to watch for the rocket which was to announce the rising. On its appearance he summoned the men waiting in his house, and led them with a pike on his shoulder down Plunket Street into Thomas Street. After his departure his house was used as a refreshment-place for another body of rebels. Kirwan was denounced by a neighbour, and arrested immediately after the rising. He was tried before Mr. Baron George on 1 Sept. He was eloquently defended by Curran, but the evidence against him was conclusive, and he was found guilty and executed on 3 Sept. 1803.

[Madden's United Irishmen, 3rd ser. vol. iii.; Hibernian Magazine for 1803; Trial of Owen Kirwan, in Howell's State Trials, vol. xxviii.]

G. P. M-y.