Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/355

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CHAPTER XV.


IRISH-AUSTRALIAN CHARACTERISTICS.


THE COLONIES A FAIR AND OPEN FIELD—GOOD RESULTS OF HONOURABLE COMPETITION—HOW IRISHMEN COME TO THE FRONT—TESTIMONY OF DION BOUCICAULT—REPRESENTATIVE IRISHMEN AT THE INDIAN AND COLONIAL EXHIBITION—THEIR WELCOME TO DUBLIN—SPEECH OF MR. T. D. SULLIVAN, M.P., LORD MAYOR—JOINT ALLEGIANCE OF IRISH-AUSTRALIANS TO THEIR NATIVE AND ADOPTED LANDS—WHAT SMITH O'BRIEN THOUGHT OF IT—LOCAL AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE COLONIES—IRISHMEN PECULIARLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS—THEIR HARMONIOUS RELATIONS WITH PEOPLE OF OTHER NATIONALITIES—LADY WILDE ON THE COMING GREATNESS OF THE AUSTRALIAN IRISH—THE FUTURE OF THE COLONIES.


Mr. Dion Boucicault, the world-renowned reformer and delineator of the Irish character on the modern stage, in one of the many speeches he recently made in the principal cities of the colonies in response to addresses of welcome, pithily summarised the success of the Irish in Australia in a sentence, "They get a chance here." That is to say, our countrymen find in the colonies a fair and open field for the exercise of their abilities and their industry; their onward march is not obstructed by racial or religious prejudices; they are not unfairly or unjustly handicapped in the race with men of other nationalities; and thus, in the honourable competition for colonial honours in various departments of life, they always secure a goodly share of the prizes and distinctions in which young countries are proverbially fruitful. "I asked myself," said Mr. Boucicault, at a picnic given in his honour at Sydney, "as I came here and saw around me