The Asgard, which was commissioned by Erskine Childers in 1905 as a wedding gift for his wife, Molly, was built by Colin Archer a Norwegian boat builder and designer.
On May 28, 1914 writer and political activist Darrell Figgis and Childers negotiated a shipment of 1,500 rifles and 49,000 rounds of ammunition from arms firm Moritz Magnus in Hamburg.
Childers, his wife and a small crew, made the channel crossing with 900 rifles and 29,000 rounds of ammunition from Germany into Howth just north of Dublin, to arm the Irish Volunteers in response to the arming of the Ulster Volunteers by the Larne gun-running in April.
Conor O'Brien, an architect who served in the Royal Naval Reserve during the First World War carried the rest in his yacht The Kelpie. The arms were transferred enroute to the Chotah and unloaded Kilcoole in Co.Wicklow by Sir Thomas Myles, a surgeon, barrister and politician Tom Kettle and barrister James Meredith
On the 12th of April, 1867, an party of between forty and fifty Fenians consisting mostly of former Civil War officers and enlistees, boarded the Jacknell, a 200 ton brigantine in Sandy Hook, New Jersey and set sail for Ireland to participate in the Fenian Rising. J. E. Kerrigan was in command of the Fenians assisted by William J. Nagle and John Warren. The ship's was under the command of Capt. Cavanagh .
The ships cargo included a large quantity of firearms and a small quantity of artillery pieces.
After nine days of sailing the green flag of Erin was hoisted and the ship’s name changed to Erin’s Hope. The first landing in Sligo was abandoned after six days due to unanswered signals to 'awaiting' Fenians on shore.
Next the ship sailed south to the alternate landing site at Helvick outside Dungarvan in Waterford where most of the Fenians disembarked. Several more landing attempts were made before those remaining on board decided to return to the U.S. having learned that that the Rising had floundered.
Although Erin’s Hope did not rendezvous with the Fenians as planned her Captain managed to outsmart the British navy for over three weeks while being pursued by as many as three British navy war ships.
The voyage, which lasted 107
days and covered over 9,000 miles returned
safely to the United States with its cargo intact.
Most of the officers and men who disembarked in Helvic including John Warren, William Halpin and Augustine E Costello were captured and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. They were released in 1871 in response to pressure by the Dublin Amnesty Association and U. S government intervention.
The SS Libau, masquerading as the SS Aud, an existing Norwegian vessel, set sail from the Baltic port of Lübeck on 9 April 1916, under the Command of Karl Spindler. The vessel was bound for the south-west coast of Ireland with a cargo consisting of 20,000 rifles, 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 machine guns, and explosives to support the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
It arrived off the Kerry coast on April 20 1916. Unable to communicate with volunteers on shore, Captain Spindler was left with no option but to abort the mission and return to Lubeck.
The reason why contact with the shore failed was that three of the six volunteers enroute to Kerry to handle communications were drowned when their car took a wrong turn and ran into the River Laune. The three volunteers who drowned were Con Keating, Donal Sheehan and Charlie Monaghan.
Shortly after starting the return journey, the ship was intercepted by the British Navy and escorted back to Cobh Harbor. Before reaching Cobh the captain scuttled the ship with preset explosives rather than have it fall into enemy hands.
In the meantime, Roger Casement, who had negotiated the arms shipment with Germany, had been put ashore off a German U-Boat on Banna Strand on 21, April in the hope of a rendezvous with the Aud. He was subsequently arrested, tried for treason and executed on August 3 1916.
The 'Gazelle' was a
whaling ship built in New Bedford Massachusetts in the early 1800's that plied the
Pacific Ocean in search of sperm
After two years in English prisons John Boyle O'Reilly was transported with sixty-one other Fenians in the Hougoumont, arriving in Western Australia on 10 January 1868.
In his first weeks at the Convict Establishment in Fremantle he worked with the chaplain, Father Lynch, in the prison library. O'Reilly was transferred to a road party at Bunbury but was soon given clerical duties and entrusted to deliver the weekly report to the local convict depot.
Befriended by the priest, Patrick McCabe, and an Irish settler named James Maguire who was sympathetic to the Fenian cause, O'Reilly, with their assistance, planned his escape. Foiled in his first attempt, he hid on Maguire's farm until he boarded the American whaler Gazelle on February 18, 1869. After narrowly escaping capture at Roderiquez Island he transferred to the American Sapphire at St Helena and joined the Bombay as a deck-hand at Liverpool. He arrived in Philadelphia on November 23, 1869.