Fremantle Stuff > Organisations > Fenians

Irish Republican Brotherhood, aka Fenians

From 1865 to 1867, British authorities rounded up supporters of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an Irish independence movement, and transported sixty-two of them to the penal colony of Western Australia. They were convicted of crimes ranging from treason-felony to outright rebellion. Sixteen were soldiers who were court-martialled for failing to report or stop the treason and mutinous acts of the others. Among them was John Boyle O'Reilly, later to become the editor of the Boston newspaper The Pilot. They were sent on the convict ship Hougoumont which arrived at Fremantle on 9 January 1868, and were interned in the Convict Establishment (now Fremantle Prison). Wikipedia.

References and Links


Amos, Keith 1988, The Fenians in Australia 1865-1880, NSWUP.

Barry, Liam 1992, The Dramatic Escape of Fenian John Boyle O'Reilly, CFN Publications, Australind.

Barry, Liam 2006, Voices from the Tomb: A Biographical Dictionary of the 62 Fenians Transported to Western Australia, National Gaelic Publications.

Fennell, Thomas McCarthy 2000, Voyage of the Hougoumont and Life at Fremantle, ed Philip Fennell & Marie King, privately published.

Pease, Z.W. 2002, The Catalpa Expedition, Hesperian Press.

Reece, Bob ed. 1991, Exiles from Erin: Convict Lives in Ireland and Australia, Macmillan.

Waters, Ormonde D.P. 2011, The Fenian Wild Geese, Catalpa Publications.


Graham, Allen 2007, 'Patrick Moloney: the story of a Femantle publican and his connection to the Fenian Fright of 1881', Fremantle Studies, 5: 40-62.

Heseltine, William 2004, 'The escape of the military Fenians from Fremantle Prison: the warders' perspective', Fremantle Studies, 3: 26-45.

Murray, Sandra 2007, 'Escape! Fremantle to Freedom: an exhibition on the Irish Fenian convicts and their bold escape from the Fremantle Prison to America', Fremantle Studies, 5: 74-86.

Garry Gillard | New: 1 July, 2016 | Now: 16 November, 2018