From the age of 10, John Boyle O’Reilly wrote poetry about nature. However, the need to free Ireland from English rule led him to join the Military and recruit others for a Fenian Rising.
This podcast tells how his creative spirit was challenged and drove him to attempt to escape from the worst of England’s prisons. Transported to Western Australia he worked in the bush near Bunbury where he begged authorities to save a majestic Tuart tree and fell in love with a warder’s daughter.
With the help of a priest, local Irish settlers and a willing American whaling captain O’Reilly escaped to Boston where he became a successful writer. He never forgot the plight of the oppressed and he never forgot his military companions in Fremantle Prison.