Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/285

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271
A GROUP OF STATESMEN.

and their picture, sang 'The Wearing of the Green,' and ended by throwing a shower of stones at the obnoxious device. The people within the building immediately fired an indiscriminate volley in amongst the crowd. Two men and a poor boy were seriously wounded, and the boy eventually died from the effects of his wound. One man was arrested as he was escaping from the building, and others were subsequently captured who were known to have been inside at the time when the shots were fired. They were tried some weeks afterwards, but, for some reason or other not ascertained, were acquitted. Nothing can excuse the Orangemen for having in the first instance exhibited a party device, which they knew would provoke retaliation and lead to a breach of the peace. Amongst the numerous causes which may have combined to produce Fenianism, it becomes a question whether the constant irritation and annoyance inflicted on their enemies by Orangemen, in their noisy celebration of the 'Battle of the Boyne,' for the last two hundred years, have not had a much greater effect than all other grievances, fancy or real, put together. It is scarcely possible to conceive that even less excitable people than the Roman Catholic population of Ireland would tamely submit to incessant taunts and most provokingly contrived devices and emblems to remind them of defeat and subjection."[1]

Reverting from this digression to the career of Sir John O'Shanassy, it has to be recorded of him that no man in his lifetime laboured more earnestly or more successfully to build up a new Ireland at the antipodes. Seeing around him a wide expanse of rich undeveloped country, he wisely encouraged emigration from the oppressed old land to the

  1. "Cruise of the Galatea in 1867-8," by the Rev. John Milner, chaplain of the expedition.