Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/184

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CHAPTER IX.


THE MOTHER OF THE AUSTRALIAS.


SYDNEY—THE CENTENNIAL AUSTRALIAN CITY—ITS IRISH MAYOR—ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL—ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL—FOUNDATION OF THE COLONY OF NEW SOUTH WALES—EVILS OF TRANSPORTATION—FORMATION OF THE ANTI-TRANSPORTATION LEAGUE—BOYCOTTING CONVICT SHIPS—EARLY IRISH PRISONERS—THEIR UNDULY SEVERE SENTENCES—HOW THEY PROSPERED IN NEW SOUTH WALES—THE MEN OF '98—A WEALTHY PIKE-MAKER—TWO BROTHERS-IN-ARMS AT VINEGAR HILL—GENERAL JOSEPH HOLT—BRAVE MICHAEL DWYER—OFFICIAL TESTIMONY TO THE GOOD QUALITIES OF THE IRISH—THE STRANGE CAREER OF GEORGE BARRINGTON—HIS CELEBRATED PROLOGUE—SIR HENRY HAYES—HOW HE BANISHED THE SNAKES—A TYPICAL CELT—THE VARIED RESOURCES OF NEW SOUTH WALES.


In this year of grace 1887, Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, the mother colony of the Australias, has for its municipal governor an active and enterprising Irish-Australian in the person of Alderman A. J. Riley, M.P. And it is only in accordance with the fitness of things, that the honour of the mayoralty of Sydney should be frequently conferred on leading Irish citizens, as a merited recognition of the prominent and laborious part they and their countrymen have played, in building up the greatness of the most historic city of the south. Sydney is now approaching the close of the first century of its existence, and it may be aptly described as a fully-developed antipodean city of great commerce and industrial activity. Situated on the southern shores of Port Jackson, most lovely and capacious of harbours, Sydney is able to welcome the mercantile marine of the world, and to