The Stolen Children – Hopes and Dreams Deported Down Under

They were sent from orphanages from the north of Ireland and Britain to Australia with the promise of freedom. Many ended up in the care of the notorious Christian Brothers where they were treated as slave labour and suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse. Between 1947 and 1967 up to 10,000 children were shipped to […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger and son of Tipperary transportee, is hanged in Melbourne.

‘Ah, well, I suppose it has come to this’, as the rope was being placed round his neck. Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly was an Australian bushranger of Irish descent. His legacy is controversial; some consider him to be a murderous villain, while others view him as a folk hero and Australia’s equivalent of Robin Hood. Kelly […]

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#OTD in 2017 – President Michael D. Higgins unveiled a memorial commemorating the Great Hunger in Subiaco Park in Perth, Australia.

The memorial sculpture was designed by Charlie Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith, originally from Waterford. In Sydney, the President visited the Australian Monument to the Great Hunger, in the company of the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales. The sculpture depicts a grieving mother “bent low by the crushing loss of her children” and […]

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#OTD in 2017 – While on a 16 day State visit to Australia, President Michael D. Higgins visited Fremantle Prison near Perth, Australia, where 62 Irish prisoners were held for their part in the Fenian Rising of 1867.

“Most of the evidence on which the men were convicted related to meetings with me. I felt that I, more than any other man then living, ought to do my utmost for these Fenian soldiers.” —John Devoy, writing about his plan to rescue the Fremantle Six An American whaling ship brought together a crew with […]

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#OTD in 1791 – First convicts from Ireland arrive in New South Wales, Australia.

After the end of the American War of Independence, Britain had to find new territory to send its convicts. New South Wales (NSW) was selected as a suitable penal colony. Legislation permitting transportation from Britain to N.S.W. was passed in 1784, and the Irish Act followed in 1786. The eighteen year old, 400-ton ship Queen […]

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#OTD in 1830 – The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney.

On this date in 1830, The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney. Contrary to the popular song, “The Wild Colonial Boy” was John Donohue, transported from Ireland in 1824. This version was outlawed as seditious, so the name in the song was changed to Jack Doolan. […]

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#OTD in 1876 – The ship Catalpa arrives in the U.S. with Irish Fenian prisoners rescued from Australia.

The “Fremantle Six” were Irish political prisoners who made an audacious escape from the notorious British prison in West Australia aboard the U.S. whaling ship “Catalpa” in 1876. Captain Anthony and the Catalpa arrive at Rockingham beach near Fremantle to rendezvous with the escaped prisoners; after a fierce confrontation with the Georgette, an armed British […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger captured at Glenrowan.

Edward “Ned” Kelly was an Australian bushranger of Irish descent. His legacy is controversial; some consider him to be a murderous villain, while others view him as a folk hero and Australia’s equivalent of Robin Hood. Kelly was born in Victoria to an Irish convict father. The Australian Dictionary of Biography states Kelly was “the […]

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#OTD in 1827 – Birth of Peter Fintan Lalor in Tenakill at Raheen, Co Laois.

Peter Lalor was an activist turned politician who rose to fame for his leading role in the Eureka Rebellion, an event controversially identified with the ‘birth of democracy’ in Australia. He is famous for being the only outlaw to make it to parliament. Peter Lalor was born in the family home of Tenakill/Tinnakill at Raheen, […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger and son of Tipperary transportee, is hanged in Melbourne.

‘Ah, well, I suppose it has come to this’, as the rope was being placed round his neck. Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly was an Australian bushranger of Irish descent. His legacy is controversial; some consider him to be a murderous villain, while others view him as a folk hero and Australia’s equivalent of Robin Hood. Kelly […]

Read More