#OTD in 1890 – Death of poet and novelist, John Boyle O’Reilly.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

“The world is large when its weary
leagues two loving hearts divide,
“But the world is small when your enemy
is loose on the other side.” –John Boyle O’Reilly

As a youth in Ireland he was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, for which crime he was transported to Western Australia. After escaping to the United States, he became a prominent spokesperson for Irish sentiment and culture, through his editorship of the Boston newspaper The Pilot, his prolific writing, and his lecture tours.

O’Reilly was born at Dowth Castle near Drogheda, Co Meath, at the onset of the Great Hunger. Ireland was at that time a part of the United Kingdom, and many Irish people bitterly resented English rule, and there was a strong nationalist movement. O’Reilly’s family was fiercely patriotic, and his mother was closely related to John Allen, who had played an important role in Robert Emmet’s…

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