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John Boyle O'Reilly


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John Boyle O'Reilly was an Irish-born poet and novelist. 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 Douth Castle near Drogheda in Ireland at the onset of the Great Irish Famine. 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 rising in 1803.

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