Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/307

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A GROUP OF STATESMEN.

idea inspires their lives, and what have they done, and what are they doing to elevate their country?"

In the most pathetic and powerful chapter of "New Ireland," the one recording the fate of Glenveigh, the late A. M. Sullivan penned a handsome recognition of the warm-hearted, practical patriotism of the Hon. Michael O'Grady, the man who, when scores of poor families in Donegal were evicted from the homes of their fathers, under the most harrowing circumstances, by a landlord of infamous memory, came at once to the rescue, organised the Victorian Donegal Relief Fund, and succeeded in bringing out in a body to the sunny skies and fertile fields of Australia, the unhappy victims of a grievous old-world tyranny. With Michael O'Grady at their head, the Irishmen of the south gave this little band of persecuted emigrants a reception fraternal and cheering in the extreme. Everything that a sympathetic patriotism could suggest was done to efface the memory of the bitter wrongs of the past, to lead the newly-arrived immigrants to look forward to a bright future in Australia, and to settle them in good agricultural holdings on the soil. This policy was successful in every respect, and it is admitted on all hands that no body of immigrants ever gave more satisfaction to the land of their adoption, or reflected greater credit on the land of their nativity, than did these persecuted exiles from Donegal. What Mr. O'Grady reported of them to A. M. Sullivan twenty years ago is just as true to-day of them and their descendants: "They are all doing well, a credit to the old land." But this was far from being the only occasion on which Michael O'Grady exerted himself for the benefit of his emigrant countrymen and their families. Not only in his own colony of Victoria, but, scattered all over Australia, there are thousands of sturdy Irish yeomen, planted