150th Anniversary of the Manchester Martyrs



COL (Ret.) Robert J. Bateman, NYARG

Past National Historian, AOH (1976 – 1980)

Past Division #8 Historian, Lawrence, MA

Division #18 Historian, Peekskill, N.Y.

(Great-grandnephew of Captain Timothy Deasy)

On the 150th anniversary of their deaths, let us pause to commemorate, the brave Fenian heroes forever known in Irish history as “THE MANCHESTER MARTYRS” .

On the 18th of September 1867, in Manchester, England, Colonel Rickard O’Sullivan Burke, Captain Michael O’Brien, Captain Edward O’Meagher Condon and a rescue party of fifteen other Bold Fenian Men rescued Colonel Thomas Kelly, Chief Executive of the IRB and Captain Timothy Deasy, the Deputy Central Organizer of the Irish Republic and IRB commander for Manchester and Liverpool, who were being transported from Bellvue “Goal” (jail) by British Authorities. The Fenian Officers Burke, Condon, O’Brien, Kelly and Deasy, all American citizens and combat veterans of the American Civil War, were also members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America; while Burke, Allen, O’Brien, Condon and Deasy were all from County Cork. The names of the 15 other Fenians who made up the rescue party were Thomas O’Bolger, James Laverty, John Neary, Peter Ryan, William Melvin, Michael Larkin, Timothy Featherstone, Charles Moorhouse, Peter Rice, William Philip Allen, Patrick Bloomfield, John Stoneham, Joseph Ryan and James Cahill.

During the rescue, (“THE SMASHING OF THE VAN”), Sergeant Charles Brett, a Manchester Police veteran of some twenty-five years, was accidentally shot and killed. [read more …] “150th Anniversary of the Manchester Martyrs”

Captain Timothy Deasy

Timothy Deasy (seated at the far left), in 1863 at Culpepper, Virginia during the American Civil War

Timothy Deasy, 29, came from Clonalkilty, Co. Cork. He emigrated to the US and served in the 9th Massachusetts Infantry in the US civil war. He was wounded at The Battle Of The Wilderness in 1864. He returned to Ireland after the war to take part in the Fenian Rising, where he commanded Fenian troops at during the uprising in Millstreet in 1867.

… The most important and prominent of the Ninth’s Fenians was Timothy Deasy (also spelled Dacey), whose story MacNamara included in his regimental history. Deasy attained the rank of first lieutenant in the Ninth and received a wound at the Wilderness, As a Fenian overseas, he led an uprising at Millstreet, Co Cork, and was later assigned to oversee activities in Liverpool. At three o’clock in the morning on September 1867, Col Thomas J. Kelly and Deasy were arrested by the by the English while loitering on the street after a meeting of Fenian officers [read more …] “Captain Timothy Deasy”