About us   AnthologiesNJ Champions of Irish Freedom   Biographies   Articles   Fenian Memoribilia  Commemorations  External LinksFenian Poems   


Last Updated

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.”

John was born on April 23, 1819 in the city of Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland.  Family records show his father James was an Irish born soldier serving in the English army, and his mother Margaret  Haltigan (nee Jackman), a native of Manchester, England.  Baptismal records from St. Mary’s parish church in Kilkenny show that during the 1820’s and 1830’s John lived with his family of five brothers and four sisters on a small farm type of residence on Upper Patrick Street in Kilkenny.  --- continue

Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher (1823 -1867)

Thomas Francis Meagher was born in Waterford City,  Co. Waterford, Ireland on August 3, 1823, the second of five children, to Thomas Francis Meagher Sr. and Alica Meagher née Quan.   Thomas  and a younger sister were the only ones to survive their childhood. The Meagher's, owners of a successful business and members of the City's political elite, lived in an old mansion on the Quay, now the Granville Hotel.

Thomas's father and grandfather were both named Thomas.

The Grandfather, who had emigrated to Newfoundland towards the end of the 8th century, to avoid arrest for his involvement in the 1798 Rising, married the widow of a businessman who owned a trading and shipping company. The Grandfather took over the business and established a branch in Waterford.

Thomas's father was born in Newfoundland in 1789. He relocated to Waterford in 1816 to manage the Irish branch of the family business. After having established himself as a successful businessman he entered politics and became the first post Penal Laws Mayor of Waterford City. He later served as a Member of Parliament representing Waterford City.

 Thomas's mother, Alica Quan, was the daughter of Thomas Quan, a part owner of one of the largest trading companies in Waterford. She died at the age of 28 when Thomas was three years old.  --- continue


April 20, 1864

by Charles Graham Halpine

(Miles O'Reilly)

Three years ago to-day
We raised our hands to heaven,
And on the rolls of muster
Our names were thirty-seven;
There were just a thousand bayonets,
And the swords were thirty-seven,
As we took the oath of service
With our right hands raised to heaven.



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.


Thomas Francis Meagher Statue

 Meagher, on horseback with sword raised   located on the front lawn of the Capitol grounds in Helena, Montana. The statue was  erected in 1905



click here to view Fenian memorabilia

email --- feniangraves@optonline.net