Kevin Izod O’Doherty (1823-1905)


Life
b. Gloucester St., Dublin; studied medicine at Cecilia Street School [Catholic Univ.]; joined Young Ireland; co-fnd. Irish Tribune with Richard D’Alton Williams; tried with him for treason-felony (together with the printer Hoban) and condemned to 10 yrs transportation, 1849, William being acquitted; engaged to Mary Anne Kelly [“Eva”] of the Nation (‘Never mind, Kevin, I’ll wait’); conducted medical practice under supervision of Dr. Hall at Oatlands district of Van Diemen’s Land; known as ‘St. Kevin’ in Mitchel’s Jail Journal; sentenced to three months hard labour for making a call on W. S. O’Brien at New Norfolk; pardoned 1856;
 
qualified as MD 1857, and 1859; practised in Brisbane, Australia; worked as hospital doctor at St.Mary Hosp., Hobart; organised escape of John Mitchel, whom he periodically met there; released, 1855, with pardon in 1856; returned to Ireland and m. Kelly; elected fellow of Royal College of Surgeon, 1857; studied medicine in Paris for a time; returned to Australia, settled in Brisbane and practised medicine successfully; mbr. of Queensland Leg. Assembly and Council, 1877-1885;
 
returned again to Ireland; elected MP for N. Meath, 1885; failed to establish a practice in London, returned to Australia, and d. there in poverty, in Brisbane 1905; survived by his widow; a photo-port. is included in Griffith’s 1913 edn. of Mitchel’s Jail Journal (1854). ODNB DIB DIH OCIL

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Criticism
See Thomas Keneally, The Great Shame: A Story of the Irish in the Old World and the New (London: Chatto & Windus 1998), p.123 et passim. Also Chris Morash, The Hungry Voice (1989), remarks under Mary Kelly, and under Richard D’Alton Williams.

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Quotations
Letter to Meagher: ‘You will have heard that I am in the “royal greys” and wear the “commissary helmet”. But all this is a trifle; I am treated as a common convict, obliged to sleep with every species of scoundrel, and forced to work in a gang from six in the morning till six in the evening - being all the while next to starved, as I find it wholly impossible to touch their abominable “skilly”, which is the breakfast and supper offered to me. [...] I bear it all with what patience here is in my nature, thanks to my good Thomas à Kempis.’ (Letter to Thomas Francis Meagher, quoted in Francis MacManus, Adventures of an Irish Bookman, ed., M. J. MacManus, Dublin: Talbot Press 1952, p.7.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography
: contrib. Nation; transported Australia 1849; pardoned 1856; medical degrees in Ireland, 1857 and 1859; settled Brisbane; member of Queensland Assembly, 1877-85; M.P. North Meath, 1885-8; returned to Brisbane, died in poverty. See also Irish Book Lover Vols. 1 & 2.

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