#OTD in 1915 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Fenian leader, dies in the United States.

“This rooting out of the Irish people; this transplanting of them from their native home into a foreign land, may be all very well, so far as the young people are concerned; but for the fathers and mothers who have reared families in Ireland, it is immediate decay and death.” ―Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa

Death of Fenian leader and nationalist Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa (b 1831 in Roscarberry, Co Cork). He won election to the House of Commons for Tipperary in 1869, even though he was serving a life sentence in England for treason for plotting a Fenian rebellion. Released from jail on the understanding he would not return to Ireland, he travelled to the United States with a number of other Fenians who became known as The Cuba Five. He continued to plot activity against England even while in the United States.

O’Donovan Rossa is well-remembered in Ireland as a result of Pádraig Pearse’s oration at his graveside where the future leader of the 1916 Rising stated: “They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”

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