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Tadhg Brosnan (1981 - 1971)

Tadhg Brosnan was born in 1891 into a family of blacksmiths in the West Kerry village of Castlegregory. At that time, Ireland seemed comfortable with the Empire, its defiance apparently quenched with the defeat the Fenian Rising. But to Tadhg Brosnan Ireland unfree could not be at peace. The Irish Volunteers were founded in Castlegregory under his leadership 1913 and would prepare for another fight for freedom which would come less than three years later. But Easter Week 1916 ended in another bloody failure. The Empire had put Ireland back on its knees or so it would seem. But no so in Castlegregory. On the Sunday after the surrender in Dublin, despite warnings from the Crown Forces, Tadhg Brosnan marched his company of armed Volunteers up through the village after Mass in open defiance of Britain’s might. The next day he was arrested as were his loyal followers. Brought to Richmond Barracks in Dublin, he was tried before a military court. He refused to recognise that court, becoming the first officer of all the captured Volunteers of 1916 to deny the right of any English man to pass judgement on an Irishman fighting to free his country. His sentence was twenty years hard labour. -- continue

Dr. Gertrude B . Kelly (1862-1934)

Gertrude B. Kelly was born in 1862, one of twelve children, to Jeremiah and Kate (Forrest) Kelly of Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford, Ireland.  Both of Gertrude's parents were teachers, who according to some accounts may have had been associated with the Irish Republican Brotherhood. For what ever reason, be it political or economic, the family immigrated to the United States in 1873. They took up residence in Hoboken, New Jersey where Jeremiah secured a teaching position in the public school system and, presumidely, where Gertrude and her siblings attended school.

There is scant information available regarding how many of Gertrude's siblings survived their childhood; how many were born in Ireland or if any were born in the United States -- continue

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. -- continue



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 fulfillment 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.


Ballymullen Barracks, Tralee. C0. Kerry

Ballymullen Barracks were built between 1810 and 1815 for local militia units in the service of British occupier. In 1881 the barracks were occupied by the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

After the signing of the British-drafted Anglo-Irish Treaty in December of 1921 the barracks were occupied by the Irish Republican Army.  In August of 1922, during the Treaty War,  British-backed Free State forces captured the barracks.  

In the ensuing months the barracks were used to house anti-Treaty Republican prisoners including Tadhg Brosnan.

For the duration of the war, behind the barrack walls, torture and summary executions, sanctioned by leaders of the Free State that included Cosgrave, Mulcahy and Higgins and carried out by their psychopathic henchmen, was the order of the day.  

At midnight on March 6th 1923, it was from these barracks that nine Republican prisoners were brought to Ballyseedy Wood near Ballyseedy cross by soldiers of the Free State army. They were Pat Buckley, John Daly, Pat Hartnett, Michael O'Connell, John O'Connor, George O'Shea, Tim Tuomey, James Walsh and Steven Fuller.  When they got there, they were tied around a log and a land  mine was detonated. Most of them survived the initial blast however, the soldiers used machine guns and grenades to finish them off.  All of them died except Steven Fuller who was blown away by the force of the blast.  He landed in the  nearby river Lee from where he crawled for about 500 yards to Currans House. They took him in and hid him in a dugout at the back of their farm for some weeks. He was the only one who survived the massacre

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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.

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