Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/172

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ing that honest livelihood which they were not permitted to earn on the soil of their forefathers. The Queensland Government Agent displayed to the last an ungenerous opposition to Father Dunne's benevolent enterprise, and even went so far as to declare that it was very doubtful if land orders would be given to any immigrants who did not come out under the government regulations and through the accredited agent. Undismayed by this uncharitable threat, the indefatigable priest persevered in his arduous undertaking, succeeded in chartering a ship, gave it the patriotic name of "Erin-go-bragh," and placed 400 Irish immigrants on board at Queenstown. Nor did his pastoral care and oversight cease when he saw them all safely on board the "Erin-go-bragh." Far from it. He accompanied them on the long voyage to their future antipodean home, cheered them with his genial presence and fatherly counsel, shared with them the privations and discomforts of ship life, and, all through the dangers of the deep, showed himself to be a genuine Soggarth Aroon, When at last they arrived in Queensland, Father Dunne's living active interest on their behalf was naturally directed into a new channel. He smoothed away all governmental difficulties, set to work energetically to place his people on the road to success and independence, and never left them until every one of the 400 was settled in some industrial occupation in the new land of their adoption.

The voyage of the "Erin-go-bragh" was a memorable one in many respects. It lasted for the long period of five months. The ship, although roomy between decks, was the reverse of a rapid sailer, and this drawback caused a jovial immigrant to suggest to Father Dunne the propriety of rechristening her the "Erin-go-slow." Besides, there was an