Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/128

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is characterissd by more of the elements of permanence and stability. Kyneton is a deanery under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Melbourne, and the mission possesses quite a host of churches, but not too many in view of the numbers and the extent of the Catholic population. Dean Greoghegan has been in ecclesiastical charge of Kyneton for more than a quarter of a century, and is held in the highest esteem throughout the district. Mr. Martin McKenna, a leading local Irishman, represented the Kyneton Boroughs in Parliament for a long series of years, and Mr. John Gavan Duffy—worthy successor to an honoured name in the records of colonial statesmanship—has been repeatedly returned for the county of Dalhousie.

The Victorian town of Belfast is a direct descendant of the Ulster capital; but, unlike the Irish parental city, it is a quiet, peaceable, and well-nigh unanimous community, undisturbed and undisgraced by riot or disorder of any description. Its history is unique in the annals of the Australian colonies. It presents the only example to be found in Australia of a large town belonging entirely to one man, and he an absentee landlord, living in Ireland and drawing a princely revenue from an estate where his corporeal presence was but a memory of a long-vanished past. The Irish people have suffered exceedingly from the curse of absenteeism, and the inhabitants of the antipodean Belfast were also, until quite recently, severely and unjustly handicapped by this incubus of a non-resident landlord. Within the last year or two, however, Belfast, to the great joy of its people, was rescued from its anomalous position amongst Victorian towns, its tenants being allowed the privilege of buying out their holdings or allotments—a privilege, it is needless to say, that was exercised with considerable pleasure