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Irish Role In Australia Changes

By Bill O'Donnell, November 2, 2012

Almost a century and a half has passed since those early convict ships filled with the Irish sailed from English prisons like Dartmoor and Portsmouth bound for Australia. The Fenians constituted the first wave in the 1860s of a British solution to a British problem: What to do with the overcrowded prisons filled with minor criminals, many of whom were Irish convicted of petty crimes amidst the anti-Irish fervor of the day? The answer was to create a prison colony in distant Australia to accommodate the criminal Irish, in a phrase: to “export” the problems at home. Read more