Odd numbers rule in nature and evidently in politics. This is the story of seven Irishmen. Some say they were patriotic heroes, others call them traitorous rebels.
In 1848, seven fervent Irish nationalists - Thomas Meager, John Mitchel, William O'Brien, Charles Gavan Duffy, John Dillon, Thomas D'Arcy Magee and Richard o'Gorman - valiently fought for Irish independence.
Subsequently tried, convicted and sentenced to death, the seven found themselves, their names heading for political martyrdom - a fact which did not escape the British Monarchy. As a result, their death sentences were commuted and an exile was instead imposed - all the way to Tasmania. Not a nice place to visit and you wouldn't want to live there. A perfect place, however, for an epic tale of redemption.
Three of the men - Meagher, Mitchel and O'Brien - were forcefully transported to satan's vacationland. The fourth, Duffy - who was tried but acquitted due to lack of evidence - voluntarily made the trip to Tasmania...What? The three other men - Dillon, Magee and O'Gorman - escaped to America.
Now for the Rest of the Story. What became of these men, The seven...
Thomas Francis Meagher 1823 -1887: A key player in the 1848 Rising, Meagher was exiled to Tasmania, but escaped to the U.S. in 1852. A Brigadier General during the Civil War, Meagher later became Govenor of Montana.
Charles Gavan Duffy 1816 - 1903: Duffy played an integral part in the 1848 Rising and was tried five times for his "crimes". Never convicted he sailed to Western Australia and eventually became Governor.
John Mitchel 1815 - 1875: Exiled to Tasmania after the 1848 Rising, Mitchel escaped to America, returned to Ireland and was elected to House of Commons. Unfortunately, he died before he could take office.
Thomas D'Arcy Magee 1825 - 1868: Arrested in connection with the 1848 Rising, Magee escaped before sentencing. Settling in Canada, he eventually became Minister of Agriculture.
William Smith O'Brien 1803 - 1864: A direct descendant of the warrior-king Brian Boru, O'Brien was exiled for his part in the 1848 Rising. Ultimately pardoned, he traveled widely as an advocate for various political causes.
John Blake Dillon 1816 - 1866: Arrested during the 1848 Rising, Dillon escaped to America, where he practiced law with Richard O'Gorman. Returning to Ireland, Dillon became a member of Westminster's Parliament.
Richard O'Gorman 1826 - 1895: Arrested for his part in the 1848 Rising, O'Gorman fled to New York, where he first set up a law practice with John Blake Dillon, and later became a Superior Court Judge.
Courageous men and minds wanted Freedom for their homeland. Not every one had great outcomes to their lives, some risked everything but Freedom was in fact everything. Two other fellows, making the count 9, risked it all.
Terrence Bellew McManus 1823 - 1861: Once a wealthy shipping agent, McManus was exiiled to Tasmania after the 1848 Rising. Escaping to America, he died in poverty, but was put to rest in Ireland as a hero.
Patrick O'Donoghue 1815 - 1854: Born to a peasant family, O'Donoghue embraced Irish Nationalism and jointed the Rising of 1848. Exiled to Tasmania for his role, he escaped to the U.S. and lived in squalor until his death.
The moral to the story: Freedom a basic human right should never be taken away from anyone. Men have fought, died, given up wealth because they know it is right. Those of us who don't fight or put ourselves at risk should always, always appreciate the spirit that resides in men of greatness. We have seen it many times over, not of the least to mention the Military of the United States, the Greatest Generation - World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and Middle East.