Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/11

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It is now some five years since I conceived the idea of writing a history of my fellow-countrymen in Australasia, but it was only within the last year or two that I could find sufficient time to make any material progress with the undertaking, although I had been collecting the materials for some period in advance. To all those old Irish colonists, to whom I applied for general reminiscences or specific information, and who very kindly, readily, and fully complied with my request, I am deeply indebted for a variety of interesting details concerning the events of the early days that were not otherwise obtainable. Written for the most part in Melbourne, the work was subjected to a thorough revision during my recent three weeks' voyage across the Pacific from Sydney to San Francisco, and the seven days on the Atlantic between New York and Liverpool. We are now at the close of the first century of colonisation in Australia, and the time is therefore opportune for an estimate of the influence exercised by the Irish element of the population on the remarkable growth and development of the Greater Britain of the South. Having lived in Australia from childhood, I have endeavoured, not I hope without some success, to present in this volume a faithful panorama of Irish life, Irish history, and Irish achievements in the land I know and love so well.


London, October 5th, 1887.