The most celebrated survivor of the 1798 Rebellion was Michael Dwyer from the Glen of Imaal, Co. Wicklow. Dwyer had fought during the 1798 campaign in Co. Wexford and held out form five years in the Wicklow Mountains as a leader of the remnants of the rebel army. Dwyer was known as the "Master of the Mountains". This was due to his extraordinary knowledge of his native terrain. His campaign was so effective that the British decided to build a military road across the top of the Wicklow Mountains from Rathfarnham to Aughavanagh.
Dwyer was celebrated for his resourcefulness and courage. He could also be ruthless. Much of his life was spent in the Glen of Imaal. In his most famous incident he escaped against great odds from a house in the Glen at Doirenamuc. After the failure of Robert Emmets Revolt in 1803 and seeing that no further help was coming from France, Dwyer successfully sued for an amnesty. He was 31 years of age and had struggled on with about 30 rebels to fight a guerrilla war against impossible odds.
He was sent to New South Wales with his wife and four young children on the Tellicherry from Cobh and arrived there on February 18th 1806. Eventually they settled down in peace on a 100 - acre farm near Sydney and seven years later the Governor made Dwyer a constable of that district. Michael Dwyer died on the 23rd August 1825 and is buried on Waverly Cemetery, New South Wales.
Visitors to the Glen of Imaal should visit Fentons Pub to see a photograph of the imposing monument to Dwyer at Waverly. This trail covers the principle places associated with Michael Dwyer in the Glen of Imaal and hopefully will encourage visitors to learn more about one of Irelands most courageous and endurable heroes.