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4-131 (Original)

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author,male,Mahony, Philip,42 addressee,male
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Fitzpatrick, 1994
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Footscray August 18th. '87 
My Dear Friend Lar 
You will no doubt think myself amongst the many friends you have got in Australia very ungrateful for not corresponding with you more regularly. Long may be the hour my Dear Old Friend from me when fond recollections of you all & Dear Old Ireland shall cease & when I repeat this I hope you will consider me sincere. We received a very fond & affectionate letter from Kate of Farside this past week & were very glad to learn from it of you all being engoying good health. 
I may mention also that we had the pleasure of a visit from a portly Son of Erin one W. Cotter, who put in an apperance about 9 o'c. p.m. when we were just thinking of easing our weary frames. We were taken by surprise at his marshal bearing accompanied by a magnificent Black Thorn the gift of a lady friend to me & one which shall be dearly cherished by me as long as I live. Johney has it hung up in his own room, & sometimes flourishes it with as much pride, as the heroes of Old times did at Donnybrook fair. He gave us a lot of useful information or rather pleasant information about many things, but supplied us with the sad news, of the passing away of many of the Dear Friends, & grand Old Neighbours, of Lurrig, Castlemary & Ancient Cloyne, also the N. League, the tyrany of Landlords, the depression in trade, the failure of crops, the competition from other lands, all, all, he says, (which is very true) has a strong tendancy to Keep in subjection the hard wrought tenant farmers of Ireland. I think He will be safe enough out here. We are going to have a little party of our own out here next Sunday a genuine Irish one. Katy Murphy promised to come also one Miss O Brien, sister to poor O Brien one of the Manchester Martyrs in honour of whom you & I walked many a mile in proscession about twenty years ago. They are all doing very well out here they are Contented & happy. John & Family are all well as is Pat & Mike. He is still at the same buisness in town & doing very well. 
With regard to myself I cannot say much, but I may mention that I got a very good job about two years ago & which I hold still in the Melbourne Cattle market as Yardsman counting out Cattle & sheep. W. Cotter was out one day with me & was surprised at the Quality & quantity of stock about 40,000 sheep & 2,000 head of Cattle every week. All the meat supply of Melbourne is disposed of in these markets they are all sold by salesmen. There is no hard work attached to it only to be careful in the count so as everybody will get their own. 
How I came by this I will just mention. A Russian scare took place here. I was then eight years in the Melbourne Harbour Trust a body similarly constituted to the Cork Harbour Board & with many others I was told if I did not put on the red & blue I would be disrated or discharged. [264] About one hundred joined, six were discharged, & I was taken from a easy post & put to hard work again a thing I would not do. So in the presence of Turks Jews & Gentiles John Bull's Germans & all others I pitched the Queen & all Her followers to Hell & left. Of course I was called a dynamitard but what did I care. I was & is still thinking that considering the cruel manner in which poor Ireland is used no Irishman should be so mean as to assist Queen Vic, in any shape or form. But as I said before Dear Lar I do not care. The Youngsters are growing up well educated with pure Irish blood running in their veins with one of the best Mothers in Victoria to steer them through a virtuous life. Why should I be dismayed. I got this job I mentioned & is now better of than ever I was in my life, & so are all the rest of my old associates who left the Harbour Trust with me. 
Johney is getting on first class at College in Melbourne. He is surprising the Jesuit Fathers in there. He is so clever. A neighbour a woman who is very fond of Kate asked Him a few days ago what He intended doing with Himself. He replied He would yet be a member of Parliament in Ireland. 
We are just after receiving a letter from Kate of Farside. She mentioned many things about home & how you all were situated. We all here were very glad when we heard you were all well in the Dear Old Spot where we first saw the light of God's own day & breathed the pure air of the beautiful atmosphere of them grand Old hills in the background & of the fertile valley in the front. It grieves us very much to hear of the terrible devastation of the Country. Myself & Pat often come to the conclusion that nothing will save Ireland but a home legislature or otherwise a war that will rake Ingland from one of her dominions to the other. May God send either of the two, if it would have for its affect the saving of poor helpless Irish families. 
Well Dear Lar we could not help laughing when the New Chum (as a new arival is called out here) told us that Garret Barry was married to the fifth wife. Why we all agreed that He had some systematic manner of doing away with them. Surely if they all lived He would have as large a harem as the Grand Turk if there were no law. Poor Tim Aherne who remained longer than either of us had the illuck of losing his wife. We were surprised to hear that three Scannells were still in the farm & Ned Fitzgerald being married at the back of the Hag-g-art or farm yard with James as his foreman & often thought most of these were away long ago but it seems they are still hanging on. 
I forgot to mention that Kate comes very heavy on the stepmother. Well She may have good cause no doubt Her Father appears to be very distant with you, well that should not be. I think You were always a good Friend to Him far more so than He was to you. I never cared much for Him although I believe Him to be a very respectable man but I suppose other powers are brought to bear on His good intentions & causes a sad change oftentimes in Him who would be as good a Brother I believe as any you have got if only left to Himself. [265] But that is not so because your nearest Friends out here think more about your little finger than of his whole frame. She also appears to think that She will be sent for again. So far I am not in a position to say anything on that matter, as I believe the question is to be considered at a meeting of the full house here. You can tell Her Kate is going to write to Her concerning it. I think She acted very unwise in not coming before. It may be very hard for a young person like her to travel alone & of course it is. The greatest difficulty a young woman would have is in going to London & getting on board a ship but after that She would be all right. Her uncles & aunt was very much dissapointed in She not coming. I Knew from the tone of Her first letter after receiving the ticket that She would not be allowed to come. I Know it's very hard for Her to bear up against the combined force of Her Stepmother & stepbrother, why she should have the wit & ability of Bidy Moriarty who once encountered the great Daniel O Connell on the Quay of Dublin to stand them both, but if She is possessed of the same luck & stern nerve of her namesake She will surely hold out a little longer. 
We have had a grand season in Victoria this year & sheep & cattle are coming in rolling fat big heavy weight Bullocks fetching only at the rate of one pound per Cwt, & best Quality sheep about twelve shillings per head. The only thing that brings a high price is veal. Butter is also very dear in Winter, & so are eggs, the former as high as 2 / 6 lb & the latter 2 / per dozen. Beacon is also dear as high as 10 pence per lb. Butter & eggs we do have plenty of our own, & you Know already the sort of butter Kate is Capable of manifacturing. I always introduce it to my Friends as Cork's first Quality. 
Well my Friend there may be very many items in this that may be of no interest to you, but however it may have the effect of a Friendly chat between yourselves in that grand Old Homestead wherein once resided a pure & unconquered Patriot very near a Century ago & which in latter days gave birth to honorable & warm hearted Men & Women. Though it's sad to part with such Friends Still it will be a consolation for you all to Know that they are all happy out here away from perhaps tyranical landlords & Irish Bailiffs. Glorious My Dear Old Friend, Glorious it would appear to us if you all in Ireland were possessed of the same amount of freedom that we have out here & without which no people can be prosperous, but I hope a change will soon take place. Things cannot continue as they are much longer, if the situation is not altered then I pity the poor starving Children of Erin. 
I now consider I am pretty well advanced with what I had to say & it now only remains for me to ask of you to sometimes see my Dear Old Father who now must be fast & I am sure is preparing for I hope a happy Eternity. [266] Utter to Him & Sisters a few words of Consolation & advice, & ask of them to remember your humble Friend who is far away in Australia together with his Care in their prayers, & I am sure your entreaty will have the desired effect, because with all my faults & I Know I had many, I believe they do still think of me. Tell them that Johney promised me He would Come from Queensland but has not arrived yet. I think He will soon Come. Ask Mary My sister to write to me its many years since She wrote to me now. Tell Her that She is always somehow in my memory, if you like you can give this to Her to read & I will soon write to Her. 
Now I will draw to a close by asking you to remember us all fondly to your Mother Bridget & Mrs Quirk & family to all the Old neighbours who may enquire about our welfare to My Father & Sisters in Castlemary, & - Good Bye My Dear & affectionate Friend, & if we all never again shall have the pleasure of meeting here below, I hope we shall in the Glorious Land of Promise. 
From your Unalterable Friend Phil Mahoney 
Mr. L. Shanahan 
Lurrig Tell mother we are just after receiving Her letter -