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Charitable Irish SocietyThe Oldest Irish Society in the Americas
"With Good Will Doing Service"

             Founded 1737      

Lecture on John Boyle O'Reilly

  • 11/17/2019
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Irish Cultural Centre, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA

John Boyle O’Reilly: Irish and American Patriot and Champion of Social Justice

The strength of John Boyle O’Reilly’s commitment to his native Ireland’s cause is a central theme of the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s “Famine, Friends and Fenians” Exhibit, tracing as it does his own dramatic escape from Australia’s Freemantle prison colony and later his role in orchestrating the Catalpa voyage that liberated six of his former Fenian colleagues in 1876.  O’Reilly’s status as an iconic Irish American leader rests also upon the huge and crucial contributions he made as editor of Boston’s Pilot newspaper and as a political activist to the vibrancy of the Irish nationalist movement, American democracy and the causes of racial and social justice.  His literary talents won him acclaim from all sections of American society and helped to build bridges of understanding between the Irish diasporic community and the New England literati. This talk will focus on his services to the Irish nationalist cause as well as to his eloquent and passionate advocacy of the rights of all those who were victims of economic, social, racial, and political discrimination and injustice between his arrival in America in 1870 and his untimely passing in 1890.

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