Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/359

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345
IRISH-AUSTRALIAN CHARACTERISTICS.

ment ever since the first day of its inception, and by the thousands of pounds that have been remitted from time to time in support of that movement to the parent National League in Dublin by its scores of colonial children. When Mr. J. E. Redmond, M.P. and Mr. W. H. K. Redmond, M.P., visited the colonies a few years ago, as the delegated representatives of the Irish National League, they were everywhere received with a generous welcome and a rousing enthusiasm, that were the most eloquent of testimonies to the depth and the strength of the sympathy and the affection, subsisting between the Irish in Australia and their brethren in the old land. The recent intercolonial tour of the Earl and the Countess of Aberdeen affords another evidence of the solidarity of the race. The knowledge that Lord Aberdeen was the first Irish Viceroy, for many long years, who had honestly striven to rule Ireland in accordance with Irish ideas, secured him a princely reception at the hands of grateful Irish-Australians in all the colonial cities that were visited by the Countess and himself. The moment a patriotic note is sounded in the home country, it immediately finds a responsive echo in the hearts and deeds of the Irish in Australia showing how thorough is the sympathy, and how magnetic the influence, that bind together the "sea-divided Gael." The same fraternal feeling finds expression in the loving conservatism which has led to so many distinctively Irish customs and festivals being transplanted to the antipodes, and taking deep and lasting root in the soil. This striking characteristic of colonial Irishmen—this measure of equal justice meted out to the land of their birth and the land of their adoption—did not escape the notice of Smith O'Brien during his tour in Victoria after his recall from a five years' exile. "It has caused me intense