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



The Martin house in Ballyfauskin in the parish of Galbally.

In 1829 Mary Martin married my great greatgrandfather Michael Cleary in the parish church in Anglesboro. Given Michael's first child with Mary 'OLeary - Nora - was born in 1844 it appears Mary died died at about the time of the birth of my great grandfather John Cleary in 1842. Michael Martin was certainly related. Most probably, his father William Martin was Mary's older brother. They probably grew up in this house.


I asked the captain to mark my map further than Thursday Island for me. The Pacific Ocean was outside, but he said he would mark in the rest for me. And there was no sea marked on my atlas then for there was not room as the map of Queensland was put down very close to the frame of the map of Australia.

So the Pacific Ocean was outside. But I put down the names of every place we stopped at all along the way from Thursday Island to Cooktown and Townsville and Mackey, and, so in until we came to Brisbane. And the lenght (sic) of time since we left Old Home and all the ports we stopped or anchored at was all correct until we landed in Brisbane on 26th day of July,1887.

Now, my dear friends, if you get Johnston Atlas, you must go right as I have told you, as it was Johnstons map and globe our captain had. He told us they are the best made. W. & A.K. Johnston, Easter Road, Edenborough.


From Weeks Days Hours + Mins
Keylouges to London 1 5 0
London to Malta 9 0 0
Malta to Port Said 3 16 0
Port Siad to Aden 4 12 0
Aden to Batavia {Indian Ocean) 14 0 0
Batavia to Thursday Island 8 20 0
Thursday Island to Crooktown 2 18 0
Crooktown to Townsville 0 22 0
Townville to Bowen 0 10 30
Bowen to Mackey 0 10 0
Mackey to Rockhampton 0 18 0
Rockhampton to Brisbane 1 9 0

Total - 7 weeks - 5 days - 30 minutes

M.MARTIN 11/10/'87
History Of Our Voyage corrected in Menxie St.
Citie Terrace
Dated this 26th of November, 1892

Now, my dear Loving Cousins in Ballyfaskin I know that this is a short but plain History of our Voyage from Old Home to Brisbane. Will just show where your brother Joseph and sister Bridget went on first. Then all our family, your fond cousins, the Martins of Keylogues. Then afterwards your brother Maurice and I Hayes went on the same passage.

I know that all ye, old and young, will have a veneration to see it and also I hope that you will keep this book safe. Don't lend it to any person, but to Con Martin of Ballylanders. Praise you Mary and Elina Martin take this History Of Our Voyage to Con Martin's house on some Sunday to Ballylanders, also, you read and explain the passage through maps for them, and if they wish, to have the lend of it.

But I request that this book shall not go to Glenbrohane or Clohast for reasons enough. You all remember when I sent home to Con Martin the History of our Voyage to Brisbane and several other important accounts of Queensland so far as I had seen. Then Kate Tobin says in her next letter to me, that the History I sent was not much good when they got it from Con Martin. Yes, it should be as good as when I wrote it on the wild raging seas. As she said in her next letter to me.

Although the History contained several important information, they were not much . But when It was read in some of the neighbouring houses, it's what they said that if I was as well off as what I said in History that it would be fitter for me to send home the money that I got when I left home. That there was more people talking bad of me than when I left home. The rest is not fit for publication now and the reply given to it by me and Mrs.
Martin (Ellen Frazer), you will have it all in your Father's letter, and also to Con Martin very soon, and to some more.

Now, as regards what I did not put on the History of our voyage was Religion. I put all on but that was as far as I had seen up to the time I finished the writing of it. The sixth day of September, 1890, I posted it, along with six of our family pictures for Mr.Con Martin of Ballylanders.

Now, there is every sort of religion people here in Brisbane that ever you did read about in History , or in any sort of books. The Roman Catholic Religion is getting on very well here, increasing day after day, thank God, building new Churches in several places and also new school houses and several new convents. There is a large place built up lately called Magdillion Asylum for fallen women of every class. The nuns that is caring that place they have a chapel or Roman Catholic Church and Mass every morning.

Cathedral in Brisbane is a splendid place

The Cathedral in Brisbane is a splendid place, very large. I told a little about that on on the History of our Voyage. There was mission given there for 3 weeks last June, 1892 by the Redemptrist Fathers from Limerick. And a mission for 2 weeks in St. Bridget's Church parish of Red Hill, where we live now, 10 minutes walk from our house. I had some long conversations with the fathers when after dinner or walking out on Sunday evenings. Father Hegarty, superior, he knew Father Sampson and Father Johnson and all the missionaries that we had in Ballylanders some time ago. Our parish priest is a cousin to Father Hegarty , the Missioner - both from Co. Galway, Ireland. This mission done great good in Brisbane. Several people got converted and other fallen away Catholics were brought good again.

Now, the Cathedral Bell is the largest and best that I have ever seen or heard, very loud, all a musical sound. It cost over 5 hundreds pounds and made in Dublin. One widow in Brisbane got it made and paid for it, got it sent to Brisbane and she made a present of it to God for the Glory and Honour of the Holy R.C. Church. In all she gave 2,000 pounds to help build the Cathedral. There is 4 Masses celebrated there every Sunday, first Mass 7 o'clock, second Mass half past 8, third Mass half past 9, and, fourth Mass at 11 o'clock. The big church is crowded at 7 o'clock Mass in the morning, but 11 o'clock Mass crowded very much.


There is fine organ music, just like Mitchelstown, and a splendid choir, and, also other organ music reminding one of Paradise and the Day of General Judgement. I goes to first Mass at Red Hill at 8 o'clock. All the rest go to the Cathedral Mass. Father Touhey is Parish Priest at the Cathedral with the Archbishop from Co. Tipperary. Father Touhey is from Glanworth near Kildorrery , Co. Cork. He knows all of us very well. He comes to see us often, and, so does Father Hegarty our Parish Priest, a very nice priest from County Galway.

Our Archbishop went to Rome I think, in the, year 1890, and from Rome to Ireland from where he sent May a sad letter which was put on the newspapers about evictions and starving tale of Ireland. The Bishop brought out several priests and nuns, and, some are coming as yet.

The Catholics of Brisbane did throw down the Bishop's old house when he went, and got a splendid house, just like a palace newly built and fitted for him before he came home to Brisbane. It cost over 7 thousands pounds. The Protestants Bishop asked the Parish Priest and the Director would they have a little money for him to help Bishops new house. They thanked him for his kindness and said they would. So he collected for them from all his own class about 2 thousands pounds allover Queensland and other places.

Now, about all the other religions in Brisbane, I could mention they are not much. But their bad example is very bad. The Chinamen make a God of a piece of wood, dress it up on the 23rd June, and, adore it as their God, and, burn it afterwards. They are Mohamatons or Pagans. They are very ugly kind of people, ill determined.

There are the Salvation Army. They have no kind of church, but a barrack. They hate all other religions, and,c unfortunately, seduce many foolish, ignorant people into their clan with their brass bands and land drum. They collect money from the foolish crowd that do be around them. Those are the sort of clan that prophesied would come in course of time the Anti Christ. They first come from England and London.

Free thinkers and Confession

Now the wicked free thinker who has no sort of Religion and do seduce and persuade many to believe them. I heard about the free thinker soon after I came to Brisbane. So, as I went to confession to the Cathedral, being my first year in 1888, on a Saturday night, I seen a big crowd of people there in Queen St. not far from the Cathedral at the comer of another street. So I had seen a well-dressed man preaching to the people.

I stood for a while to hear some things. He then did talk of many things wicked and bad to the crowd. But he said all of the rest religions was fair enough, but that the Roman Catholic and Church Of England, that them two was the biggest rouges in the world. For those two persuade the people and frighten them about Hell and Heaven. He told the people not to believe them priests, get money any way you can. There is no sin. Live to your own pleasure. There is no Hell and Heaven. Then some good men did pelt him with stones and dead rats. He then called for the police. For to listen or hear him made my confession longer and never do the same again.

This place, Brisbane, is a terrible place in many ways. One man from home lived near ye at home got insolvent lately for 5,000 pounds. Another man from near Knocklong got insolvent for nearly 6,000 pounds. Another man from England go insolvent for 21,000 pounds. But I don't want to mention names. There is many ways for making money here.
Another English man last week for 20,000, another for 3,000. Several others done the same, too numerous to mention now, and do drive splendid afterward through the cities and towns.

Salaries and Elections

Some people here has big big salaries 800P to 3,000P yearly. This sort is what is wasting up all the money of Queensland. But those people that has only one pound per day is counted very small pay - whilst most of the working men are left idle, very bad times in Brisbane for the last year 1891 and 1892. We will have the General Election next March, 1893. The Governer has seven or eight thousands pounds yearly.

Now I wish to give you all a few information. You might think this a free colony same as I did when at home, In the year 1888, that was the year after we landed here, we then had a General Election. There was great noise about it just like at home in Ireland. Then the Goverment account was settled so that Queensland was owing a debt of 6 million of money to England.

Then, when Parliament was settled down in that year 1888 Queensland Goverment did not borrow a loan of 10 million of money from England again. That was just the time that Thomas and James Gibbins came out. You remember that time. One million came on the ship with them. They did not know that . Soon afterwards there did one million on each following ship together with several hundreds of Passengers. So the Money was got in London for 41/2%.

And the Goverment bank did lend a great lot of that money to working companies. Then times got very good, work very plenty, new railways in several places. Land and house property got very high and dear. Good times money was in circulation for 3 years. Then times began to go down a little. So, as yet, Queensland goverment is Owing and indebted to England 16 million of money. They are keeping the interest paid. They would give land With Goldmines in it for to pay all the debt, but England is not agreeing to the plan.


They say that they will have the interest to hold on. I don't wonder this Goverment to be indebted for they paid 25-00pound for bringing out here each imigrant of full age, then half fare for 12 years and under. Now, about the month of February, 1891, there did a Shearer's Union formed up North in Clermont just my son Henry Martin was. It held for 9 or 10 months. The shearers and the working men wanted a rise on their hire but the squators would not give it. So the Goverment sent all the army up there to keep the peace. It was there would be war. But there was 2 million and help foolishly sent by the Goverment there. So that must be paid in taxes for the next 10 years. All works were stopped then for want of money. The unemployed had meetings in several places, so that in Brisbane alone there was 3,525 names given in at the Goverment Labour busy office asking for work. This was published on the newspapers. And 1,100 persons getting relief at the Emigration Office from the Goverment.

Imigration was then stopped for some time to come. It might be resumed next March after the General Election. So, the Goverment is ever since giving free travelling tickets to any part of the Colony for working people. So, this got employment for many. The people have got very thin in Brisbane at present and that's a good job. So this is not a free country. Everything is heavily taxed. Only just when land is bought, no more rent and taxes.


I, Michael Martin of Keylogues, now in Brisbane, Queensland, was born in December 1833, at school in Ballyfaskin in 1849, and I got First Communion and Confirmation in the year 1846 in the chapel of Aherlow, Bishop Slattery R.I.P.

In the year 1846 the public work first began the new road first opened from Barna through Keylogues to Ballylanders and finished in 1861. The year 1848 times of public works, the year of the Great Famine in Ireland. All the crops failed to grow and blighted; when hundreds of people died and several and many buried without a coffin, rolled in a sheet. 1847, 1848, and 1849 terrible time in Ireland. Times then getting better onwards as years went round.

I was bound to bootmaking trade in the year 1855 at Lough Cur, County Limerick near Knockaney and Bruff. Then I commenced to work at the boot and shoe making trade at home Keylogues in the year 1857. Then getting on well. Times were very good. Crops and prices good. My mother, Ellen Connors died in January 5th 1862 and was buried in Ballylanders R.I.Peace.

I was married to Ellen Frazer on the 5th March 1862. After that good times and bad times went round to the year 1878 and 1879 when crops failed. Corn crops did not ripen. My brother, Pat Martin was born in March 1835. He was married in the year 1866 to Mary Mahony.

My brother, Pat Martin, and cousin Ben Martin and J families left home on the lst of July, 1878 for Adelaide, South Australia, a voyage of 8 weeks and 4 days. In August, 1879, the Apparition at Knock, Co.Mayo Ireland where the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John and St. Joseph appeared at Knock. A wonderful change came on there afterwards.


In 1880, the Land League began first.

My father, William Martin of Keylogues was buried on 24th June, 1880, in his native place, Ballylanders churchyard. My mother in law, Mrs Frazer was buried 11th April
1885, in her native churchyard, Effin, Country Limerick R.I.P. A loss to us.

1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886 bad trouble then and there for the Land League. Joseph Martin and his sister Bridget left Old home in 1883 for Mackav, Queensland. I Michael Martin of Keylogues, wife, and all our family, left Old Home 30th May, 1887 after a voyage of 7 weeks and 5 days. Ship R.M.S Dacca. Dacca wrecked on the Red Sea, May 16th 1890 went down, passengers saved, a terror there.

Michael McGrath of Spittle, Ballylanders died March 13th 1887. His son, Thomas Mc Grath died May 30th 1887 in Brisbane, aged 33 years R.I.P. It was him that sent us the passage order. His funeral passed us on the Indian Ocean, he as proper and decent a young man could be found, religious, a lover of God and his Country. May God have mercy on his soul.

Thomas and James Gibbons left old home August 11th, 1888, and, landed in Brisbane on Monday Sept 29th 1888, and they left Brisbane February 3rd 1891 for Sydney.
Mr. C.S. Parnell died in Dublin October 7th, 1891. We had heard all about his death in Brisbane on 8th October by cable from London. It's under the seas, fastened to the bottom.


Now, since Mr Parnell died there is very troublesome times in Dear Old Ireland and I fear will hold for some time. Now, I said before now that I would tell you a little more about Aden. It was the first place where our first parents, Adam and Eve were placed, and about the churchyard I seen there that morning as our ship passed close by to it at sunrise. That was the church where our first parents and more of the ancient race was buried. It was all on the History Of Our Voyage.

Now, the garden Of Aden lies North side of the hill, the Indian Ocean in front of it, and the wild desert surrounds the other parts where nothing can get into the Garden of Aden from there. It's the finest and nicest place in all the world. There is every kind of tree there and beautiful flowers. No person cannot get in there but a good Roman Catholic Priest or Bishop Our Archbishop Bunn in Brisbane when coming back from Rome called there to see the Garden Of Aden and St. Peter's church in Rome were the finest places in the world. Some pagans and others went to see the Garden Of Aden.

But the will of God did push them all in the raging terrible tides one night live for to tell the frightful story. More pagans did think to build " temples and get to there through the desert. But their J camels were all buried in the desert with the rolling sand I of the wild hot desert.

Brisbane dated this 27th day of December, 1892:

Now my dear cousins in Ballyfaskin, and, my cousin, Con Martin in Ballylanders. All the request for this and the other things that I sent ye is whenever ye hear of my death, or of anyone of us, that ye will get me prayed for in my native chapel of Galbally, and, also in the chapel of Ballylanders near my oId native churchyard of Ballylanders.

As I hope with the assistance of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary that my father and my relations will come for - to Brisbane for my remains, just like they took Thomas McGrath home.

Gloria In Exelcis Deo, Michael Martin, Keylogues.

When and before I left home:

I'm bidding you a Ion farwell, My Mary kind and true, for 1'11 not forget you, darling, in the land I'm going to .
They say there is bread and work all, and the sun shines always there.
Butll1 not forget Old Ireland, were if fifty times as fair.

And often in those grand old woods, I'd sit and shut my eyes
And my heart will travel back again to the place where Mary lies.
And I think I see the little stile where we sat, side by side.
And the bright springing corn and the bright May Morning The day when first you were my bride.

Oh, Native Land I lovest ever more, wher the world's din is drowned
Between the daylight and the dark, a wandering solemn sound.
That we on the Eastern wind is borne across the dewey desert.
It's the voice of those who mourn for thee in the far distant East and West.

Fare thee well, dear Erin I am going to love you cross the seas to a foreign clime.
My heart is breaking for to love you, for with you I spent many a happy day.
I'll think of Old Ireland where'ere I go where the green shamrocks grow.
I think of Old Ireland across the blue waves and the wild raging seas.

1'11 think of Old Ireland, the land of the brave where no snakes of serpents are seen.
Now, in the land of the wild buffalo far from the old Galty mountains and sweet Aherlow.
Where St. Patrick banished the snakes, Ireland you're my (last line missing)

This is a very hot climate in the months of November, December and January. February is hot. Now, this time last year, 1891, it was very hot in the sun at this time.
There was great changes in the weather. The beginning of the day very hot; 110 degrees in the shade. Then it was dangerous. Several do get sun struck. So people must be very careful them days. And horses do be sun struck, but cows go under the trees or bushes. Now, in June and July last, it was very cold, just when your brother, Joe Martin was here at our house, when he came to see us all. Forty-four degrees was the coldest, and, then did only rise to 55, and, sometimes, to 60 degrees. We then felt it cold. Now, the weather is about the same way, but Christmas day was very rainy. We have terrible thunder and lightening. It makes the ground shake, and big, hail stones.

KEEP THIS SAFE for I have got long trouble by all of it for ye.

I typed this material from a much - worn original in December 1986, on my return from Australia where I visited Queensland and Brisbane where the writer and his family lived, almost 100 years ago now. I also visited Brigid Martin's family who now live in Perth, West Australia.
My trip to Australia which involved a 25-hour flight from London to Sydney and three months holiday in Australia and New Zealand was a completely different and most pleasant experience for me. Australia is modern and ranks among the most well developed nations in the world. It is a fitting tribute to those courageous people who braved the unknown and made a new life away from their homeland.

Emma Fitzgerald
Grand daughter of Ellen Martin.




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