John Boyle O’Reilly: A Life in Two Hemispheres

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Meet The Author

James Flynn was born in Galway and graduated from UCG in 1975 with a BA in English and History, and an LLB. He then attended UCD, graduated as a solicitor, and became a member of the New York Bar. Flynn remained in private practice in Ireland from that time until he was appointed Taxing Master of the High Court and Supreme Court of Ireland in 1995. He retired from that position in 2011 and became a member of the Bar Council of Ireland. His publications include the textbooks Company Law and The Taxation of Costs. He is a regular contributor to the Gazette and other periodicals.

On 10 August 1890 John Boyle O’Reilly died in Hull, Massachusetts. He was 46. His death sent shockwaves around the world.
America mourned a man who had arrived on its shores as an escaped convict, and had then risen to become one of its foremost voices of reason, a poet and an advocate for the Irish community and the working man. He had counted among this friends the underprivileged, as well as the cream of Boston society and the elite of the political, clerical and literary worlds.
Australia mourned a man who had arrived on its shores as a feared Fenian convict, had made many friends while working with a convict road gang, and had then escaped aboard a whaling ship. O’Reilly had then helped to orchestrate the escape of six of his Fenian comrades from the convict establishment in Fremantle.
Ireland mourned a hero, one of its own. A man whose childhood was shaped during the Famine and the Fenian era, who had joined the British Army with the intent of furthering the Fenian cause, who had been arrested, court-martialled and sentenced, and who had been transported to Australia on the last conviction ship to sail from English shores.
This is an authoritative biography of a man whose short life touched the lives of man, across two hemispheres.