Michael Doheny (1805-63)

Quotations


Life
b. 22 May 1805, Brookhill, nr. Fethard, Co. Tipperary, son of small farmer and name-sake; self-ed. and Gray’s Inn, 1834; m. Miss O’Dwyer; barrister on Southern circuit; legal adviser to Borough of Cashel; mbr. Repeal Association, 1842; verses in The Nation as “Éiranach”, and poss. as ‘The Tipperary Man’; Young Irelander and mbr. Irish Confederation; contrib. letters to The Irish Tribune, 1848; took part in 1848 Rising, eluded arrest, and escaped at first to France, where he met Stephens, 1849;
 
practised law in America; fnd., with John O’Mahony, the Emmet Monument Association, 1857; fndr-mbr. of the IRB (Fenians), 1858; issued The Felon’s Track, or History of the Attempted Outbreak in Ireland (NY 1849; 2nd ed. 1867; Dublin edn. 1914); also “A Cushla Gal Mo Chree” and ‘The Outlaw’s Wife’; also published a History of the American Revolution for the Library of Ireland; d. suddenly in New York, 1 April 1863, and bur. Calvary Cemetery;
 
Edward L. Doheny, a nephew, made a fortune in Californian and Mexican oil and was chosen by de Valera to lead the Committee for Relief in Ireland, 1920; there is an extant Dublin Castle ‘Wanted’ poster, sometime reprinted; there is a comic play by Denis Johnston based on his life in which he is styled with the Dotheright of the ‘one-man Republic’. PI JMC DBIV DIW DIB DIH RAF OCIL FDA

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Works
  • The Felon’s Track: a narrative of 48. Embracing the leading events in the Irish struggle from the year 1843 to the close of 1848 (NY: W. H. Holbrooke 1849); Do., ed. M[ary] J[ane] Doheny [2nd edn.] (NY 1867); Do. [another edn.] (Glasgow 1875), and Do.[another edn.] (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1914), xxxi, 320pp.. ill, ports.
 
Miscellaneous
  • ‘The Men of ’48 and The Three Graces’ [i.e., “Eva of the Nation”, “Mary of the Nation”, & “Speranza” (Lady Wilde)], an article by Colonel Michael Doheny, in New York Leader (22 March 1862);
  • ‘Constitutional Action versus a War Policy - Speeches of T. F. Meagher & Michael Doheny’, in Morning News (9 Sept. 1864) [Both cuttings in Madden Papers, Gilbert Collection, MS 279, Pearse St. Library, Dublin.]
 

See the digital edition of The Felon’s Track [2nd edn.] (NY 1867), together with two poems, “Achusha gal machree” and “The Outlaw’s Wife” at Gutenberg [online; accessed 18.11.2009.]

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Commentary
R. F. Foster, Modern Ireland 1600-1972 (London: Allen Lane; NY Viking/Penguin 1988), p.317, ‘Mitchel, Duffy and Doheny all wrote autobiographies that traduced [O’Connell] mercilessly’; son of small farmer, self-ed., joined Repeal Assoc. 1842; joined Irish Confederation, 1847; wrote in The Nation as “Eiranach”; fled to America after rising, helped fnd. Fenian Brotherhood; The Felon’s Track, History of the Attempted Outbreak in Ireland (1849).

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Quotations

A Cushla Gal mo Chree

The long, long wished-for hour has come,
Yet come, astor, in vain;
And left thee but the wailing hum
Of sorrow and of pain;
My light of life, my only love!
Thy portion, sure, must be
Man’s scorn below, God’s wrath above -
A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!*

I’ve given for thee my early prime,
And manhood’s teeming years;
I’ve blessed thee in my merriest time,
And shed with thee my tears;
And, mother, thou thou cast away
The child who’d die for thee.
My fondest wishes still should pray
For cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

For thee I ’ve tracked the mountain’s sides.
And slept within the brake,
More lonely than the swan that glides
On Lua’s fairy lake.
The rich have spurned me from their door,
Because I ’d make thee free;
Yet still I love thee more and more,
A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

I’ve run the outlaw’s wild career,
And borne his load of ill;
His rocky couch - his dreamy fear -
With fixed, sustaining will;
And should his last dark chance befall,
Even that shall welcome be ;
Id death I ’d love thee beet of all,
A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

’Twas told of thee the world around,
’Twas hoped for thee by all,
That with one gallant sunward bound
Thou’dst burst long ages’ thrall;
Thy faith was tied, alas! and those
Who periled all for thee
Were cursed and branded as the foe,
A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

What fate is thine, unhappy Isle,
When even the trusted few
Would pay thee back with hate and guile,
When most they should be true!
’Twas not my strength or spirit quailed,
Or those who’d die for thee -
Who loved thee truly have not failed,
A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

 
*a cushla gal mo chree, bright vein of my heart
 

[Given in Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic University of America 1904), pp.864-65; available at Internet Archive - online.]

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References
D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); Nation poet; besides poems, author of The Felon’s Track, NY 1867; and poems ‘Acushla gal Machree’ and ‘The Outlaw’s Wife’. Fled to America after ‘48 and died in NY. See also Irish Book Lover 5. SEE also Thomas Keneally, The Great Shame: A Story of the Irish in the Old World and the New (London: Chatto & Windus 1998).

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Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. 2; 1805-1863; Felon’s Track or History of Attempted Outbreak in Ireland (NY W. H. Holbrooke, 1849) [sic Library of Congress]; The Felon’s Track (1867) is cited in Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. I, p.99).

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, p.109; Version of ‘Shan Van Vocht’ appearing in Spirit of the Nation (1882 ed.) with words by Michael Doheny entirely different from original Nation version of 29 Oct. 1842; see also FDA2 243 [in Modern Ireland Sigerson reports that O’Mahony, aided by ‘another refugee’, Col. Doheny, fnd. in 1857 the Emmet Monument Association (EMA), the allusion being to Emmet’s dock speech]; 254 [explosive oratory from Doheny and others at Grattan Club, presided over by T. F. Meagher ‘of the Sword’, recollected by John O’Leary].

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: University of America 1904); gives ‘A Cushla Gal Mo Chree’. Dublin Book of Irish Verse bio-dates 1805-1865; ‘A Cushla gal mo Chree’; ‘The Shan Van Vocht’ (‘The sainted isle of old/Says the Shan Van Vocht ...’).

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Library Cats.: British Library holds The Felon’s Track [2nd. edn. 1867]; Library of Congress holds The Felon’s Track [1st edn.] (1849). UUC Library holds The Felon’s Track, or History of the attempted outbreak in Ireland, embracing the leading events in the Irish struggle from the year 1843 to the year 1848 (Dublin: Gill 1916 [edn.]), xxxi, 320pp., 11 plates.

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