“Nine Famous Irishmen – In the Young Irish Disorders of 1848, nine men were captured, tried and convicted of treason against Queen Victoria and were sentenced to death. Their names were: Duffy, Meagher, McManus, Donahue, O’Gorman, Lyene, Ireland, McGee and Mitchell.
Before passing sentence, the judge asked if they wished to say anything. Meagher spoke for all and said, “My Lord, this is our first offence but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise on our word as gentlemen, to try and do better next time. And next time, we sure won’t be fools to get caught.”
Thereupon, the indignant judge sentenced them all to be hanged by the neck until dead, drawn and quartered and their body parts to be displayed as a lesson to all others who would think of rebelling against the Crown. But, passionate protest from around the world convinced the Queen to commute their sentences to life and transport to a prison in the wilds of Australia.
In 1874, word reached an astounded Queen Victoria that the Sir Charles Duffy who was Prime Minister of Australia, was the same Charles Duffy who had been convicted of treason twenty-five years before. On the Queen’s demand, the lives of the other eight Irishmen were researched and this is what they revealed. While some stayed in Australia, others left for North America.
· Thomas Francis Meagher, Governor of the US State of Montana.
· Terrence McManus, General, US Army.
· Patrick Donahue, General, US Army.
· Richard O’Gorman, Governor General of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland.
· Morris Lyene, Attorney General of Australia.
· Michael Ireland, succeeded Lyene as Attorney General of Australia.
· Thomas Darcy McGee, MP from Montreal, later Minister of Agriculture of Canada and President of the Council of the Dominion of Canada.
· John Mitchell, prominent New York politician, the father of John Purroy Mitchell who was later Mayor of New York City.
The Moral? Never, never, give up!”
quoted by Phil Steffen