The active participation of the Roman Catholics in the movement of the United Irishmen was strengthened by the appointment of Tone as paid secretary of the Roman Catholic Committee in the spring of 1792.
In 17 9 4 the United Irishmen, persuaded that their scheme of universal suffrage and equal electoral districts was not likely to be accepted by any party in the Irish parliament, began to found their hopes on a French invasion.
Several of the leading United Irishmen, including Reynolds and Hamilton Rowan, immediately fled the country; the papers of the United Irishmen were seized; and for a time the organization was broken up. Tone, who had not attended meetings of the society since May 1793, remained in Ireland till after the trial and suicide of Jackson in April 179.
But the Dutch fleet was detained in the Texel for many weeks by unfavourable weather, and before it eventually put to sea in October, only to be crushed by Duncan in the battle of Camperdown, Tone had returned to Paris; and Hoche, the chief hope of the United Irishmen, was dead.
Madden, Lives of the United Irishmen (7 vols., London, 1842); Alfred Webb, Compendium of Irish Biography (Dublin, 1878); W.