Ireland, and especially the beautiful County Clare, is not just calling me back but is positively singing its invitation in the beautiful language of my Great Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher from County Clare who arrived in South Australia, 13 May 1855 aboard the “Nashwauk”… May those, of the diaspora, who long to visit/ re-visit the green, green fields of Erin be able to do so during “The Gathering 2013”. Thankyou Angela for this wonderful post which I’m delighted to share.

A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND

In the closing days of 2012 we read that our young people are leaving this country at the rate of 200 a day, a level of emigration not experienced since the great famine. They head off to Britain, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand, many parts of Europe or as in the case of my family, to far off Australia. Although 46,500 Irish-born  left us  in the year to April 2012, these new emigrants have opportunities to stay in contact with brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends through social media and the irreplaceable Skype.  Long ago – and indeed not so long ago – when our family members departed these shores, it was often a challenge to stay in contact; people did not have telephones, for those who did, phoning was expensive;  people either could not write or were not good at writing letters.

Today New Year’s Day…

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A exciting re-telling of the daring rescue/ escape of 6 Fenians organised by “Clan na Gael”, on the American ship the “Catalpa”, after being imprisoned in Fremantle Jail, Western Australia from 1868 to 1876. It was the last convict voyage to Australia.  Enjoy…

“Come all you screw warders and jailers,
Remember Perth Re-gatta Day.
Take care of the rest of your Fenians,
Or the Yankees will steal them away”

http://youtu.be/2oxdIzA_AGg

seaburde

In 1866 Fenians, members of the Irish Republic Brotherhood, were arrested. Among the military Fenians prisoners were Robert Cranston, Thomas Darragh, Michael Harrington, Thomas Hassett, Martin Hogan, John O’Reilley and James Wilson. In mid-October 1867 the 7 were among 63 Fenians sent to Freemantle Prison in Western Australia. They arrived on  January 19, 1868 aboard the Hougougmont, the last convict voyage to Australia. Ashore the Fenians were greeted by guards, ready to escort them to “The Establishment“. While they would suffer physically, Cranston, Darragh, Harrington, Hassett, Hogan and Wilson held up under the stress. The same couldn’t be said of O’Reilly, whose mental state was poorly. He tried to commit suicide, but as he lay dying in the desert a fellow prisoner found him. In early 1869 Father Patrick McCabe, who held secret Fenians loyalties, decided it was time to take action. McCabe and another man paid…

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