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Title: Mahony, Philip to Shanahan, Lar, 1887
CollectionOceans of Consolation [D. Fitzpatrick]
SenderMahony, Philip
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationyardsman
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
DestinationCo. Cork, Ireland
RecipientShanahan, Lar
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1975
Genrenews, life in the colonies
August 18th. '87
My Dear Friend Lar
You will no doubt think myself amongst the many friends you have
got in Australia very ungrateful for not corresponding with you more regularly.
Long may be the hour my Dear Old Friend from me when fond
recollections of you all & Dear Old Ireland shall cease & when I repeat
this I hope you will consider me sincere. We received a very fond & affectionate
letter from Kate of Farside this past week & were very glad to learn
from it of you all being engoying good health.
I may mention also that we had the pleasure of a visit from a portly
Son of Erin one W. Cotter, who put in an apperance about 9 o’c. p.m.
when we were just thinking of easing our weary frames. We were taken by
surprise at his marshal bearing accompanied by a magnificent Black Thorn
the gift of a lady friend to me & one which shall be dearly cherished by
me as long as I live. Johney has it hung up in his own room, & sometimes
flourishes it with as much pride, as the heroes of Old times did at Donnybrook
fair. He gave us a lot of useful information or rather pleasant
information about many things, but supplied us with the sad news, of the
passing away of many of the Dear Friends, & grand Old Neighbours, of
Lurrig, Castlemary & Ancient Cloyne, also the N. League, the tyrany of
Landlords, the depression in trade, the failure of crops, the competition
from other lands, all, all, he says, (which is very true) has a strong tendancy
to Keep in subjection the hard wrought tenant farmers of Ireland. I think
He will be safe enough out here. We are going to have a little party of our
own out here next Sunday a genuine Irish one. Katy Murphy promised to
come also one Miss O Brien, sister to poor O Brien one of the Manchester
Martyrs in honour of whom you & I walked many a mile in proscession
about twenty years ago. They are all doing very well out here they are
Contented & happy. John & Family are all well as is Pat & Mike. He is
still at the same buisness in town & doing very well.
With regard to myself I cannot say much, but I may mention that I
got a very good job about two years ago & which I hold still in the Melbourne
Cattle market as Yardsman counting out Cattle & sheep. W. Cotter
was out one day with me & was surprised at the Quality & quantity of
stock about 40,000 sheep & 2,000 head of Cattle every week. All the meat
supply of Melbourne is disposed of in these markets they are all sold by
salesmen. There is no hard work attached to it only to be careful in the
count so as everybody will get their own.
How I came by this I will just mention. A Russian scare took place
here. I was then eight years in the Melbourne Harbour Trust a body similarly
constituted to the Cork Harbour Board & with many others I was
told if I did not put on the red & blue I would be disrated or discharged.
About one hundred joined, six were discharged, & I was taken from a easy
post & put to hard work again a thing I would not do. So in the presence
of Turks Jews & Gentiles John Bull's Germans & all others I pitched the
Queen & all Her followers to Hell & left. Of course I was called a dynamitard
but what did I care. I was & is still thinking that considering the cruel
manner in which poor Ireland is used no Irishman should be so mean as
to assist Queen Vic, in any shape or form. But as I said before Dear Lar I
do not care. The Youngsters are growing up well educated with pure Irish
blood running in their veins with one of the best Mothers in Victoria to
steer them through a virtuous life. Why should I be dismayed. I got this
job I mentioned & is now better of than ever I was in my life, & so are
all the rest of my old associates who left the Harbour Trust with me.
Johney is getting on first class at College in Melbourne. He is surprising
the Jesuit Fathers in there. He is so clever. A neighbour a woman
who is very fond of Kate asked Him a few days ago what He intended
doing with Himself. He replied He would yet be a member of Parliament
in Ireland.
We are just after receiving a letter from Kate of Farside. She mentioned
many things about home & how you all were situated. We all here
were very glad when we heard you were all well in the Dear Old Spot
where we first saw the light of God's own day & breathed the pure air of
the beautiful atmosphere of them grand Old hills in the background & of
trie fertile valley in the front. It grieves us very much to hear of the terrible
devastation of the Country. Myself & Pat often come to the conclusion
that nothing will save Ireland but a home legislature or otherwise a war
that will rake Ingland from one of her dominions to the other. May God
send either of the two, if it would have for its affect the saving of poor
helpless Irish families.
Well Dear Lar we could not help laughing when the New Chum (as
a new arival is called out here) told us that Garret Barry was married to
the fifth wife. Why we all agreed that He had some systematic manner of
doing away with them. Surely if they all lived He would have as large a
harem as the Grand Turk if there were no law. Poor Tim Aherne who
remained longer than either of us had the illuck of losing his wife. We were
surprised to hear that three Scannells were still in the farm & Ned Fitzgerald
being married at the back of the Hag-g-art or farm yard with James
as his foreman & often thought most of these were away long ago but it
seems they are still hanging on.
I forgot to mention that Kate comes very heavy on the stepmother.
Well She may have good cause no doubt Her Father appears to be very
distant with you, well that should not be. I think You were always a good
Friend to Him far more so than He was to you. I never cared much for
Him although I believe Him to be a very respectable man but I suppose
other powers are brought to bear on His good intentions & causes a sad
change oftentimes in Him who would be as good a Brother I believe as
any you have got if only left to Himself. But that is not so because your
nearest Friends out here think more about your little finger than of his
whole frame. She also appears to think that She will be sent for again. So
far I am not in a position to say anything on that matter, as I believe the
question is to be considered at a meeting of the full house here. You can
tell Her Kate is going to write to Her concerning it. I think She acted very
unwise in not coming before. It may be very hard for a young person like
her to travel alone & of course it is. The greatest difficulty a young woman
would have is in going to London & getting on board a ship but after that
She would be all right. Her uncles & aunt was very much dissapointed in
She not coming. I Knew from the tone of Her first letter after receiving the
ticket that She would not be allowed to come. I Know it's very hard for
Her to bear up against the combined force of Her Stepmother & stepbrother
why she should have the wit & ability of Bidy Moriarry who once
encountered the great Daniel O Connell on the Quay of Dublin to stand
them both, but if She is possessed of the same luck & stern nerve of her
namesake She will surely hold out a little longer.
We have had a grand season in Victoria this year & sheep & cattle
are coming in rolling fat big heavy weight Bullocks fetching only at the
rate of one pound per Cwt, & best Quality sheep about twelve shillings
per head. The only thing that brings a high price is veal. Butter is also very
dear in Winter, & so are eggs, the former as high as 2/6 lb & the latter 2/-
per dozen. Beacon is also dear as high as 10 pence per lb. Butter & eggs
we do have plenty of our own, & you Know already the sort of butter
Kate is Capable of manifacturing. I always introduce it to my Friends as
Cork's first Quality.
Well my Friend there may be very many items in this that may be of
no interest to you, but however it may have the effect of a Friendly chat
between yourselves in that grand Old Homestead wherein once resided a
pure & unconquered Patriot very near a Century ago & which in latter
days gave birth to honorable & warm hearted Men & Women. Though
it's sad to part with such Friends Still it will be a consolation for you all
to Know that they are all happy out here away from perhaps tyranical
landlords & Irish Bailiffs. Glorious My Dear Old Friend, Glorious it would
appear to us if you all in Ireland were possessed of the same amount of
freedom that we have out here & without which no people can he prosperous,
but I hope a change will soon take place. Things cannot continue
as they are much longer, if the situation is not altered then I pity the poor
starving Children of Erin.
I now consider I am pretty well advanced with what I had to say &
it now only remains for me to ask of you to sometimes see my Dear Old
Father who now must be fast & I am sure is preparing for I hope a happy
Eternity. Utter to Him & Sisters a few words of Consolation & advice, &
ask of them to remember your humble Friend who is far away in Australia
together with his Care in their prayers, & I am sure your entreaty will have
the desired effect, because with all my faults & I Know I had many, I
believe they do still think of me. Tell them that Johney promised me He
would Come from Queensland but has not arrived yet. I think He will soon
Come. Ask Mary My sister to write to me its many years since She wrote
to me now. Tell Her that She is always somehow in my memory, if you
like you can give this to Her to read & I will soon write to Her.
Now I will draw to a close by asking you to remember us all fondly
to your Mother Bridget & Mrs Quirk & family to all the Old neighbours
who may enquire about our welfare to My Father & Sisters in Castlemary,
&—Good Bye My Dear & affectionate Friend, & if we all never again
shall have the pleasure of meeting here below, I hope we shall in the Glorious
Land of Promise.
From your Unalterable Friend
Phil Mahoney
Mr. L. Shanahan
Tell mother we are just after receiving Her letter—