John Boyle O`Reilly Print Page
Monument commemorates Irish Fenian John Boyle O'Reilly.
John Boyle O`Reilly was arrested in 1866 for being a Fenian, or Irish Republican. He was enlisted in the British 10th Hussars at the time and the charge related to mutiny and carried a penalty of death. He was transported to Western Australia aboard the Hougoumont, the last ship which carried convicts to help in the development of the colony, along with free settlers escaping the lives they had in Britain, and of course military personnel as guards. Upon arrival in Fremantle in 1868, convicts were assigned to a range of tasks, and John was fortunate enough to be sent to the South West. As an Irish prisoner, he was not hard pressed to find a friendly face, and before long established a relationship with the local catholic priest and both Irish and English free settlers. On the evening of February 17, 1869 John Boyle O`Reilly and a new friend travelled out to the northern end of the Leschenault inlet, and began a wait of more than two weeks in hiding until the American whaler Gazelle arrived and took him from the beach. History records that the English family living in Buffalo Homestead gave John shelter. On November 23, 1869 the Gazelle landed O`Reilly in Philadelphia, free to start another chapter in a remarkable life.
|Address:||Buffalo Road, Leschenault Peninsula Park, Australind, 6233|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -33.1975|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 13th March, 1988|
In Proud Memory of
FENIAN JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY
Humanitarian, author, poet and lecturer.
Born Ireland 28th June 1844.
Died U.S.A 10th August 1890.
Absconded from a convict
road party, Cokelup Swamp
18th February 1869
and escaped from this area
on the whaling ship Gazelle
3rd March 1869.
Also dedicated to all convicts
who built , sweated and toiled
in this district.
Then here's to brave John Boyle O'Reilly
who first blazed a trail over the sea
By escaping from Bunbury to Boston
An vowing his comrades to be free
Erected by the South West Irish Club and local community
Unveiled by Ambassador Designate to Ireland
Mr Brian Burke, 13th March, 1988.