This is a study of the popular dimensions of Irish radicalism in the age of the French revolution. It focuses on the lower-class secret society, the Defenders, which diverged from the older patterns of rural unrest associated with the Whiteboys, by developing political aspirations. This book also looks at the more familiar face of radicalism in this period, the Society of United Irishmen, at their role in the Catholic Committee and at their uneasy relationship with Defenderism. Particular attention is paid to the vigorous traditions of street protest in 18th century Dublin, the "second city" of the British empire. The picture which merges is of a revolutionary movement which was both more radical in its rhetoric and objectives and more popular in its social base than has previously been allowed.