Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : History Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 


JOHN AND DINNY CLEARY OF ANGLESBORO

BOUND FOR AUSTRALIA

Gleann na gCreabhar (Glen of the Woodcock) was home to the Clearys for a very long time. By 2008 there were no Clearys on the Boro Road and the old cabin was unoccupied. How long will it be before a decision is made to 'knock it'?

The Cleary cabin on the Boro Road Anglesboro in recent times.

The Clearys were plentiful on and around the Boro Road. But as was the the case with so many families they could not provide sufficient land to their children to thwart the scourge of emigration after the famine of 1847.

Aboard the Great Australia in 1863

In October 1863, Michael Cleary's two eldest sons Dinny and John Cleary - my great grandfather - boarded the Great Australia in Liverpool for Melbourne.  Only three years earlier Dinny had risked his life in the service of Pope Pius against Garibaldi. Whether John was with him in Italy is uncertain. And whether the Pope had come good with a promise of free passage anywhere in the world is equally unclear.

450 Adults - 140 days

The Great Australia was owned by James Baines and Company. There was provision for 450 adults on board for a voyage of 140 days, according to Captan Smellie's schedule. Patrick Redden, and Irish labourer aged 30, Johanna Barrett (18 years) and Margaret Barrett (16 years) were listed as not being on board. Had they paid? Why did they change their mind? On the Great Australia was Peter Cleary and his sister Elizabeth from County Clare. Peter died in April 1913 and his sister Eliza Collins (nee Cleary) died six months later.

Heagney goes missing -Dinny finds a wife

As fate would have it, just prior to Christmas 1863, with the Great Australia ploughing towards Australia an Irish immigrant, John Heagney went missing fom his farm neary Daylesford.

Heagney had a passenger on the The James Baines in 1857. In one of those strange quirks of history, in July 1864 Dinny would marry the widow Heagney - Ellen Doyle from Tipperary - a few months after taking up work on her farm.

 

So often the only photos of people born in the early 1800s capture them in old age. This photo of Ellen's daughter from her marriage to John Heagney - Ellen also - offers a clue as to what she looked like when she first spent an intimate moment with Dinny. Was it before they were married?

 

Elen's daughter Annie marries Ned Hayden. Fine looking women.

 

Six years later John would marry another Tipperary woman, Johanna Clohessy, a maid servant five years older than him.

 

This wedding photo of Johanna's daughter Brigid - tiny waist and fine features - offers a clue as to what Johanna might have looked like when she first spent an intimate moment with her new husband in 1870.

In 1974, at the Kangaroo Hills farm of Dinny Cleary's grandson Michael, I was shown a flintlock pistol that belonged to the old firebrand. It was thought to have been a relic of his service in the Papal Brigade.  Among the local Galtees brigade was a Danagher and a Madden; prominent names in contemporary Australian football.

Around the the turn of the century Dinny's daughter, Ann Cleary, married Ned Hayden, son of the Haydens from Tipperary. The wedding party is captured in this beguiling photo taken at the family home, Cora Lynn. 

 

A clan wedding - Anne Cleary - who was already pregnant - marries Ned Hayden. Ellen and Dinny Cleary are seated on the left of the front row.

 

Inhabited until the late 1970s, the old house (seen above) is now, sadly, in decay.The chapter "Garibaldi or the Pope" in my book Cleary Independent (HarperCollins 1998) is devoted to the Clearys and the people of Knockmagh. Click on History for more information about the Clearys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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