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Photographs supplied by Bryan Hardy

The 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
Long: 115.692222
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 13th March, 1988
Front Inscription

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
                               Catalpa Ballad

Erected by the South West Irish Club and local community

Unveiled by Ambassador Designate to Ireland Mr. Brian Burke, 13th March, 1988.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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