Born 1829 in Portlaoise, County Laois. Hugh was aged thirty-eight and was married with three children when he was arrested on 29 January 1866 along with James Stephens. He was sentenced to 10 years for treason-felony. At the time he was a successful building contractor and Fenian organiser with a large and active Fenian circle recruited from employees of the Dublin building trade.
Hugh was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and was sent to Australia on board the Hougoumont. He received a free pardon in May 1869. He worked as a builder in Western Australia from 1869 to 1872, and later in Melbourne. Hugh was a great organiser and enterprising man who saw an opportunity to offer his skills to the Catholic Dioceses.
He remained active in Irish affairs and supported the Home Rule movement.
He died in Melbourne in 1919 and is buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.