Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/333

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319
NOTABLE IRISH-AUSTRALIANS.

town, I shouted to one of the occupants, 'Pray tell me how the election has gone on? 'Oh,' said the person addressed, with a fine North of Ireland brogue, 'bad enough. That b——y Papist, O'Doherty, has got in.' This story, however, would not be complete if I did not add that this same man, black Northern as he was, voted for me at the next election, and, moreover, became a very good patient of mine." The doctor was subsequently invited by the Governor of Queensland and the Executive Council to take a seat in the Legislative Council, and he continued to be a member of that chamber up to the date of his departure from the colony. From the beginning of his Australian career Dr. O'Doherty has been an avowed Irish Nationalist, and the acknowledged leader of his countrymen in Queensland; but, though he never concealed the strength of his convictions on the great question that lay nearest to his heart, he at the same time never forfeited the goodwill and esteem of his fellow-citizens of other nationalities. They, in fact, admired him all the more for his life-long consistency in being, to quote the phrase of one of themselves, "as ardent in the cause of his youth as though his head were still untouched by the snows of time." The crowning honour conferred by the Irish in Australia on this true and tried champion of the liberties of their race, was on the occasion of the great Irish-Australian Convention held in Melbourne towards the close of 1883, when delegates from all parts of the southern continent and the adjacent islands assembled in force, and enthusiastically elected the aged "Young Irelander" to the presidential chair.

Other Irishmen, whose names are prominent in the history of Queensland, are Sir Maurice O'Connell, a relative of the Liberator, and a European soldier of distinction, who was on