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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Patrick O'Donoghue

(1815-1854)


Patrick O'Donoghue circa. 1850Patrick O'Donoghue (died 1854), also known as Patrick O'Donohoe, from Clonegal, County Carlow, was an Irish Nationalist revolutionary and journalist, a member of the Young Ireland movement. Plaque on Moyacom house

In the aftermath of the failed Young Irelander Rebellion at Ballingarry, County Tipperary, in July 1848, he was placed in October 1848, before a British 'Special Commission' at Clonmel in County Tipperary and sentenced to death for treason. As with other prominent Young Irelander's, this was later commuted to transportation for life to the penal colony at Van Diemens Land (Tasmania).

Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The following information on Patrick O'Donoghue was written and researched by Cara.

Patrick O'Donoghue was indeed born in Clonegal Co Carlow Ireland, a man who has been really overlooked when it came to his involvement in the movement that was to become a household word in Tasmania (Van Diemens Land), Australia, well in particular, within and around the area of Westbury in Tasmania.

Moyacom house where Patrick O'Donoghue was bornPatrick became involved in the Young Ireland movement when the split within the Repeal Association, between the young and the Old Ireland took place in the July of 1846.

In the Autumn months of 1846 the hope of a possible reconciliation with the O’Connellite repealers was hoped for and many remonstrant meetings were held in Dublin, as this is where Patrick was by now, but by December the seceders has decided to form their own association and to be called the Irish Confederation, and it was at the first meeting of this association at the Rotunda on the 13th January 1841 he had been made a member of this association, but by January 1848 he had been struck off.

Patrick O’Donoghue claimed, both John Mitchell and Thomas Francis Meagher asked him to permit his name to be re-instated which he declined.

He indeed became a member of an established club in 1848, which had among its members one Charles Gavan Duffy. (Grattan Club).

He was not a good member as he did not attend meetings on a regular base and when he did he objected to the ideas put forward by the Secretary, Mr. P. J. Barry which he ( Patrick ) claimed were extremely violent.

This did show Patrick to me as non-violent man.

John Mitchell had been transported, to the land down under, arriving in Tasmania in the May of 1848.(His escape from Tasmania to be much written about here).

The Clubs or Associations had been calling on all people to secure arms in preparation for an insurrection in the Autumn so by July 20th 1848 the government reacted to the increased political activity, and issued a proclamation ordering the people of Ireland to surrender their arms.

The news of this reached Dublin by Saturday the 22nd that the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended and that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of William Smith O’Brien a principal leader of the Confederation Movement (another contender for Van Diemen's Land).

Patrick attended a meeting of the Grattan Club the next day and at which Patrick Barry and his brother made two violent speeches, which (he) Patrick condemned.

It is hard to understand how it was then, that by 29th July Patrick had become so involved with the movement within Co Tipperary.

In a book named “The Felon’s Track" by Michael Doheney he wrote “as an episode in this history, the fat of Patrick Donoghue is singular and startling,”

A warrant had been issued for Patrick’s arrest by Monday July 24th along with several other Young Irelander's, having no knowledge of the truth of this warrant, Patrick called on many of the Young Irelander's but he learnt nothing really, it was all very vague, but he was relied upon to deliver papers to Smith O’Brien who had fled the city.

Patrick proceeded to Kilkenny but found that Smith O’Brien had moved on so being under suspicion by the Kilkenny Confederate Club they arrested him and delivered him to Smith O’Brien.(under escort by James Stephen (future Fenian Leader) and Patrick Cavanaugh).

The shortened version is that Patrick O’Donoghue threw in his lot with Smith O’Brien and by August 5th he had been arrested, his trial being set before a special commission on October 16th.-

16 Oct 1848. Clonmel

The Attorney General contended that having joined the ranks of the rebel Army, Patrick was equally guilty with the leaders and must be supposed to have had the same objects in view and to have adopted their plans.

Found guilty of treason – Patrick O’Donoghue complained that a jury of political opponents had been empanelled to try him.

To counter the startling doctrine that he was guilty of treason by association with O’Brien.

Patrick simply added, “It is not fit, at this solemn occasion to defend my opinions or conduct. I will, therefore, only say that those opinions have always been tolerant, sincere and consistent.”

The death penalty was commuted and he was transported for life along with several of his fellow Irish Patriots.

Leaving Richmond Prison the four patriots concluded their farewell address with the words

“We owe it to our feelings to declare whatever may be the sacrifice we incur by devotion to its interest our latest aspiration will be prayer for the prosperity, honour and independence of Ireland.

1852 map of Van Diemen's LandAged just 40 Years Patrick O’Donoghue set out to begin a new life in Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land) .

An Ardent and excitable temperament, so said John Mitchell, and it was this temperament that was to cause him more hardships in Tasmania than any other of the political prisoners who came here in 1848.

After his arrival in Hobart Town he was determined to be self sufficient, he had hoped to gain employment in a solicitor’s office as a clerk, but it appears no such opening appeared for him to fulfil this.

He then decided to commence a weekly newspaper, the “Irish Exile,” and with this source he created himself trouble.

He of course met with advice from his Patriots to leave well alone, but he was Patrick O’Donoghue, he had an opinion and he wished to voice it. So the “Irish Exile,” appeared on what we now call Australia day, 26th January 1850, and to the surprise of many it met with considerable success.

Irish History, and patriotic poetry were prominent features and the Nation was quoted extensively

But by December of 1850 he was in breach of regulations, and the special police arrived to take him to Tasman Peninsula.

Ill health detained his immediate removal and so he was placed under guard in his home, but he was a cheeky Irish man, and through one way or another he managed to arrange for the paper to be published on Christmas Eve and then he turned himself over to the law.

He served 6 months penal time and upon arriving back in Hobart Town was marched to the penitentiary where he received his parole for six months and a ticket of leave, he was ordered to leave the city within in a week, and to reside in the interior of the island.

O’Donoghue in his own words said he could “Starve at Leisure.”

After 3 months of residing in Oatlands, Patrick received permission to live in Launceston (which is in the North from Hobart).

His first attempt at escape from the island was foiled, and he was returned to gaol until he renewed his promise to complete his term, and for a while after that attempt he lived quietly in Launceston as a guest with Rev. Thomas Butler.

He indeed lived for a period of time, a very real and tranquil life, but by late 1852 he was again defending his Irish friends Honour as a uncomplimentary remark had been made on one Charles Gavan Duffy. He made some threats and was once again delivered to a penal institute, where he was placed in a chain gang. But on November 1st 1852 he was ordered to Launceston, but on the way he became misplaced, lost, disappeared, and after 6 weeks of being missing he was stowed away on the “Yarra Yarra” and arrived in Melbourne by the 22nd of December, from there to Sydney and on to Tahiti and then on to San Francisco on the “Otranto.”

A freeman in America for two years but he died in New York City on 22nd January 1854.

Fact or Fiction

I have been told that his wife arrived one week after his death in 1854 and I would love to know what happened to her boy, and indeed what became of Mrs. Patrick O’Donoghue.

* this is a very short version of my research of this man.

Source: Written and researched by Cara.
Image of map from Wikipedia. Image of house & plaque from Cara.
 
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