About us   NJ Champions of Irish Freedom   Biographies   Articles   Fenian Memoribilia    External Links       Fenian Poems

Last Updated

Click on inductee to view biography

Ella Young (1867 - 1956)

Ella Young was born on December 25, 1867 in Fenagh, Co. Antrim, Ireland  to James Bristow Young, a cornbroker,  and Matilda Ann Russell Young,  She was the oldest of six children, five girls and one boy. Although the Young's were middle class Presbyterians,  they were not members of the ruling Protestant Ascendency, a predatory institution consisting solely of members of the Established Protestant Churches of  England and Ireland.  Presbyterians were not trusted by the British or their vassals in Ireland, consequently they were also victims of the Penal Laws, albeit, to a lesser extent than the native Irish.

 For reasons possibly related to business, the Young family moved residence a number of times during Ella's youth, first to Limerick, and later to Portarlington  in Co. Laois. In the late 1880's or early 1890's the family's final move was to a residence in Grosvenor Square in Rathmines, Dublin  After moving there Ella became a friend and protégé of Irish nationalist and writer, George William Russell who also resided in Grosvenor Square.


John Haltigan  (1819 - 1884)

John Haltigan was a prominent figure in the Irish nationalist revolutionary movement in the two decades following the collapse of the “Young Irelander” 1848-49 revolution and the ending of the terrible famine in Ireland.  He was one of the founding members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and devoted his entire life to the struggle for Irish independence, including internment under harsh conditions in English prisons for three and one half years.  The IRB was the Irish counterpart to the US based Fenian Brotherhood, a secret oath based organization, created to fight for Ireland’s independence from British rule. John O’Mahony the founder of the Fenian Brotherhood in the U.S. was a Gaelic scholar and he took the name after the “Fianna,” mythical warriors in ancient Ireland who lived apart from society and could be called upon in time of war.   Soon both wings were to be characterized as the “Fenian” Movement, and members “Fenians.”




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.

Padraic Pearse oration given at 

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa's funeral on Aug. 1, 1915

 On Abhorring the Sword

Delivered by Thomas Francis Meagher  at Conciliation Hall in Dublin on July 28, 1846

A GOOD government may, indeed, redress the grievances of an injured people; but a strong people can alone build up a great nation. To be strong, a people must be self-reliant, self-ruled, self-sustained. The dependence of one people upon another, even for the benefits of legislation, is the deepest source of national weakness.

By an unnatural law it exempts a people from their just duties,—their just responsibilities. When you exempt a people from these duties, from these responsibilities, you generate in them a distrust in their own powers. Thus you enervate, if you do not utterly destroy, that spirit which a sense of these responsibilities is sure to inspire, and which the fulfilment of these duties never fails to invigorate. Where this spirit does not actuate, the country may be tranquil—it will not be prosperous. It may exist—it will not thrive. It may hold together—it will not advance. Peace it may enjoy—for peace and serfdom are compatible. But, my lord, it will neither accumulate wealth, nor win a character. It will neither benefit mankind by the enterprise of its merchants, nor instruct mankind by the examples of its statesmen. I make these observations, for it is the custom of some moderate politicians to say, that when the Whigs have accomplished the “pacification” of the country, there will be little or no necessity for Repeal.


The Neptune

The Neptune was one of the notorious convict ship of  the Second Fleet that sailed to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour).  Built in the River Thames in 1779, at 809 tons she was the largest ship of the fleet. The other ships were the Surprize and Scarborough.

 The fleets first voyage to Port Jackson was on January 19, 1790. The treatment of convicts aboard the Neptune was unquestionably the most horrific in the history of transportation to Australia. Convicts suspected of petty theft were flogged to death; most were kept chained below decks for the duration of the voyage; scurvy and other diseases were endemic; and the food rations were pitiful. During the voyage 31% of the "convicts" died as the result of ill treatment.

John Mitchel who was convicted and sentenced to transportation for fourteen years under the Treason Felony Act of 1848 by the British usurper in Ireland was sent from Dublin on board HMS  Scourge to Spike Island in Cork harbor where he was incarcerated for three days. From there he was transported to Van Dieman's Land, (now Tasmania).

After spells in the hulks (skeleton ships) in Bermuda he was placed aboard the Neptune bound for Cape of Good Hope in the southern tip of Africa. The colonists refused to allow the Neptune to berth there and after five months at anchor in Simon's Bay she sailed to Van Diemen's Land docking at Hobart Town in April 1850.

click here to view Fenian memorabilia

email --- feniangraves@optonline.net