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The Young Irish Disorders of 1848


In the young Irish disorders, in Ireland in 1848, the following nine men were captured, tried and convicted of treason against Her Majesty, the Queen, and were sentenced to death: John Mitchell, Morris Leyne, Pat Donahue, Thomas McGee, Charles Duffy, Thomas Meagher, Richard O'Gorman, Terrance McManus, and Michael Ireland.

Before passing sentence, the judge asked if there was anything that anyone wished to say. Meagher, speaking for all, said, "My Lord, this is our first offense, but not our last. If you wish to be easy with us, this once we promise, on our word as gentlemen to try to do better next time. And next time--sure we won't be fools to get caught."

Thereupon, the indignant judge sentenced them all to be hanged by the neck until dead, and drawn and quartered.

Passionate protest from all the world forced Queen Victoria to commute the sentence to transportation and exile for life to the remote, barren wilds of Australia.

In 1874, word reached an astounded Queen Victoria that the Sir Charles Duffy who had been elected Prime Minister of Australia, was the same Charles Duffy who had been transported into exile there 25 years before. On the Queen's demand, the records of the rest of the transported Irishmen were revealed and this is what was discovered:

The Queen's Record of the Rest of the Transported Irishmen:

  1. Thomas Francis Meagher: Govenor of Montana
  2. Terrance McManus: Brigadier General, U.S. Army.
  3. Patrick Donahue:Brigadier General, U.S. Army.
  4. Morris Leyne: Attorney General of Australia, in which office...
  5. Michael Ireland succeeded him as Attorney General of Australia.
  6. Richard O'Gorman: Governor General of Newfoundland.
  7. Thomas D'Archy McGee: Member of Parliament, Montreal, Minister of Agriculture and President of Council Dominion of Canada.
  8. John Mitchell: Prominent New York Politician. This man was father of John Purroy Mitchell, Mayor of New York at the outbreak of world war I.

The moral of the story? You can't Keep a good Irishman down.

Luck o' the Irish
"May those that love us, love us
And those that don't love us
May God turn their hearts
And if He doesn't turn their hearts
May He turn their ankles
So we'll know them by
their limping."

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Irish Blessing