Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/329

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315
NOTABLE IRISH-AUSTRALIANS.

centred in his hands, he protected and secured their religious liberty." To the sorrow of the nation whom he had served so well, John Hubert Plunkett died in Melbourne in 1869. His funeral oration was pronounced by Father Isaac Moore, an eloquent Jesuit then attached to the Australian Church, but who was subsequently recalled to Ireland, and was one of the select preachers on the memorable occasion of the opening of the great cathedral of Armagh. Father Moore truly remarked of the deceased statesman that "his example, his integrity and his blameless life, secured for him, and indirectly for us, the respect of those who by their early associations and early training, had imbibed against Catholics a host of prejudices. Nor during his sway of high office has he been associated with anything questionable. He was esteemed by all, and by all beloved. When he came to these colonies, he found the Church which did not need aid richly endowed, while the Roman Catholics, who were poor, were obliged to provide for the education of their children and for divine service unassisted. Not only this, but in other things they were made to feel that they were not on a footing of equality. Even in such a state of society, one liberal spirit can do a great deal towards a reform. One such spirit alone, so isolated and against such odds, did produce a great effect. It is mainly to him whose memory we honour, to him and his great fellow-champion of liberty in the parent colony, Sir Richard Bourke, that we in common with other denominations, owe the religious freedom we now possess."

The Hon. Edward Butler, Q.C., is another cherished name in the annals of the bar of New South Wales. As a young man fresh from Kilkenny College, he was the coadjutor of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy in reviving the Nation after the