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Two Irish Freedom Fighters to Be Commemorated at Calvary Cemetery in LIC Saturday

Two Irish freedom fighters who are buried at Calvary Cemetery will be commemorated Saturday where their graves will be given new headstones (Photos: Thomas Hassett (L) and Michael Harrington (R) via Wikipedia)

Oct. 14, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Two Irish freedom fighters who are buried at Calvary Cemetery will be commemorated Saturday where their graves will be given new headstones.

The event, which will take place at noon at the cemetery, will honor Thomas Hassett and Michael Harrington who were members of the Fenian Brotherhood — an Irish nationalist group founded in the U.S. in 1858.

Hassett and Harrington were part of a failed Fenian rebellion against British rule over Ireland in 1865.

The pair, who had previously served in the British Army, were then sent to Australia for penal servitude as punishment for their role in the uprising.

However, in 1876, Hassett, Harrington and four other Fenians escaped from prison via a daring plan hatched by New York City journalist John Devoy which was financed by donations from Irish Americans.

The Catalpa docked in Massachusetts (Photo: Wikipedia)

The plan involved purchasing a ship called the Catalpa which sailed from Massachusetts to Australia to pick the men up once they escaped from prison. The plan proved successful, and the men were eventually brought to America.

The event Saturday is being organized by the Fenian Memorial Committee of America, a group dedicated to remembering the Fenians and other Irish revolutionaries who are buried in the U.S.

Hassett and Harrington, who were born in County Cork, are buried at the cemetery but their graves do not have headstones.

The Fenian Memorial Committee of America has purchased new headstones that will be unveiled at the ceremony. The event will last around an hour, organizers say.

Attendees are asked to enter the cemetery at the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and Bradley Avenue.

The entrance is directly across from Bantry Bay pub, located at 33-01 Greenpoint Ave.

There will be a fundraiser and social event in the bar following the ceremony where University of Limerick lecturer Ruan O’Donnell will speak.

There will also be Irish music by Sean Maloney, Gary Gormley and Rory Murphy.

A drawing of the Catalpa under sail with escapees approaching in a boat (Wikipedia)

(Poster for the event)

 

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