Thomas Devin Reilly(Tomás Damhán Ó Raghailligh) (30 March 1824 – 5 March 1854) was an Irish revolutionary, Young Irelander and journalist.
Thomas Devin Reilly was born in Monaghan Town on 30 March 1824, the son of Thomas Reilly, a solicitor with a large practice in both Monaghan and Dublin. His early education was spent at Huddart's seminary in Usher's Quay, Dublin, and in 1842, would enrol in Trinity College, Dublin.According to John Mitchel, Reilly, at the age of fifteen, "was attacked by a fit of some kind resembling apoplexy." In 1845, Devin Reilly would join the editorial staff of The Nation, becoming a regular contributor. The chief editor of The Nation, Charles Gavan Duffy, wrote of Devin Reilly in his memoirs, Four Years In Irish History :
"...outspoken to a charm, perhaps to a fault. He was middle-sized, but strongly built, with a head that seemed unduly large even for his sturdy frame, a great crop of light hair, and large, full, protruding blue eyes. He was a big, clumsy, careless, explosive boy in appearance, but he possessed a range of ideas and a vigour of expression which made him a companion for men."
Among Devin Reilly's contributions for The Nation included a critically acclaimed review of the French socialist and historian Louis Blanc's book, Histoire de Dix Ans (History of Ten Years: 1830-1840). John Savage wrote of Devin Reilly's contributions to The Nation that he had "by his powerful pen, written his burly figure into a front rank."
Devin Reilly was also a founding member of the Irish Confederation, having left Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association in the famous walkout from Conciliation Hall in 1846. He would deliver two fiery speeches to the Confederation, prompting James Fintan Lalor, in a letter to Mitchel in June 1847,to write:
"Who, what and where is Devin Reilly? He made two speeches at the Confederation, which is all I know of him. If the man be equal to the speeches – not always the case – he ought to be the foremost man in the Confederation."
Mitchel, in particular, would prove to be Devin Reilly's closest ally and friend in Young Ireland with both chafing under the constitutionalist programme of the Confederation, and when Mitchel tendered his resignation from both The Nation and the Confederation in quick succession in late 1847, Devin Reilly followed suit and would join the editorial staff of Mitchel's physical force republican newspaper, The United Irishman ,in February 1848. One of Devin Reilly's most notorious articles would be "The French Fashion," which Mitchel himself regarded as "one of the most telling revolutionary documents ever penned." The United Irishman would run for only sixteen issues, before the paper was suppressed and Mitchel was convicted under the Treason Felony Act of 1848. Devin Reilly would be briefly arrested on suspicion of having unlawfully engaged in drilling and training exercises with members of the Confederates through the streets of Dublin, although would be released without charge.
Devin Reilly would then write for John Martin's The Irish Felon ,continuing to promote physical force republicanism until The Irish Felon was also suppressed by the authorities. In early July 1848, Devin Reilly would be elected to a five-man executive of the Confederate Clubs, who were organising for an insurrection. Travelling through Kilkenny and Tipperary alongside William Smith O'Brien and Michael Doheny to muster men, Devin Reilly would play a role in the failed Young Ireland Rebellion at Ballingarry, County Tipperary.
Following the defeat of the rebels, Devin Reilly would in the aftermath quietly escape to America, fleeing Dublin disguised as a groom, arriving in New York City in December 1848.
Upon his arrival in New York, he became active in US political affairs in support of Irish independence.
He is reported as having founded The People newspaper in New York City which folded after six months in 1849.
James Connolly claims that as the editor of the Protective Union labour rights newspaper for the printers of Boston, Devin Reilly was a pioneer of American labour journalism and that Horace Greeley believed of his series of articles in the American Review on the European situation "that if collected and published as a book, they would create a revolution in Europe".
It is possible that Connolly has confused the United States Magazine And Democratic Review , which was known for its political activism, with the American Review, which for a time had Edgar Allan Poe as an editorial assistant - other sources refer to Devin Reilly being editor of the New York Democratic Review and later the Washington Union.
He died in 1854 at the age of 30 and is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C., together with his infant child Mollie and wife Jennie Miller from Enniskillen.
In a speech to the Irish Confederation delivered on 21st April, 1847:-
"You are all slaves. ‘Tis time you should learn the truth – ‘tis time you should open your eyes to your own abasement, and open your hearts to the sorrows of your country. False flatterers – sycophants of your vices – have told you, you are a brave and a noble people – that you are the bravest and noblest people of Europe, and so forth. Now, I, one of you – one of the class, in false language, called “the people” – one, too, of that native race which the English government proposes to brush off the Irish soil – tell you, you are no such thing. You are nobles, citizens, merchants, farmers, beggars, and all – what your present masters and owners call you – an inferior caste, because they are your masters and owners. You are at this present moment the most humiliated, the most pitiable, the most helpless, the most despised people, with a white skin, on the face of God’s whole earth... So, even should Irish Nationality perish for ever – should our race and name be indeed extinguished – should the memories of our fathers, the murder of our brothers, sink unavenged into the eternity of chaos – should the green island of ocean sparkle no more with verdure, but glisten in the Atlantic with the whitening bones of her children – even so, the world will recognise in the nobility of our death a grand example of patriotism and manhood; and Heaven itself, moved to tears and wrath, looking down upon the land where we fell, will avenge the fate of a nation of heroes."
Writing in The Irish Felon on the June 1848 uprising in France :-
"We are not Communists - we abhor communism for the same reason we abhor poor-law systems, and systems founded on the absolute sovereignty of wealth. Communism destroys the independence and dignity of labour, makes the workingman a State pauper and takes his manhood from him. But, communism or no communism, these 70,000 workmen had a clear right to existence - they had the best right to existence of any men in France, and if they could have asserted their right by force of arms they would have been fully justified. The social system in which a man willing to work is compelled to starve, is a blasphemy, an anarchy, and no system. For the present these victims of monarchic rule, disowned by the republic, are conquered; 10,000 are slain, 20,000 perhaps doomed to the Marquesas. But for all that the rights of labour are not conquered, and will not and cannot be conquered. Again and again the labourer will rise up against the idler - the workingmen will meet this bourgeoisie, and grapple and war with them till their equality is established, not in word, but in fact".
John Mitchel was an Irish nationalist activist, author, and political journalist. In the Famine years of the 1840s he was a leading writer for The Nation newspaper produced by the Young Ireland group and their splinter from Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association, the Irish Confederation. As editor of his own paper, the United Irishman, in 1848 Mitchel was sentenced to 14-years penal transportation, the penalty for his advocacy of James Fintan Lalor's programme of co-ordinated resistance to exactions of landlords and to the continued shipment of harvests to England.
The Nation was an Irish nationalist weekly newspaper, published in the 19th century. The Nation was printed first at 12 Trinity Street, Dublin from 15 October 1842 until 6 January 1844. The paper was afterwards published at 4 D'Olier Street from 13 July 1844, to 28 July 1848, when the issue for the following day was seized and the paper suppressed. It was published again in Middle Abbey Street on its revival in September 1849.
Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, KCMG, PC, was an Irish poet and journalist, Young Irelander and tenant-rights activist. After emigrating to Australia in 1856 he entered the politics of Victoria on a platform of land reform, and in 1871-72 served as the colony's 8th Premier.
William Smith O'Brien was an Irish nationalist Member of Parliament (MP) and a leader of the Young Ireland movement. He also encouraged the use of the Irish language. He was convicted of sedition for his part in the Young Irelander "Famine Rebellion" of 1848 but his sentence of death was commuted to deportation to Van Diemen's Land. In 1854, he was released on the condition of exile from Ireland, and he lived in Brussels for two years. In 1856 Smith O'Brien was pardoned and returned to Ireland, but he was never active again in politics.
John Blake Dillon was an Irish writer and politician who was one of the founding members of the Young Ireland movement.
Terence Bellew MacManus was an Irish rebel who participated in the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. Sentenced to death for treason, he and several other participants were given commuted sentences in 1849 and transported for life to Van Diemen's Land in Australia. Three years later in 1852, MacManus escaped and emigrated to the United States.
Thomas Francis Meagher was an Irish nationalist and leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848. After being convicted of sedition, he was first sentenced to death, but received transportation for life to Van Diemen's Land in Australia.
Young Ireland was a political and cultural movement in the 1840s committed to an all-Ireland struggle for independence and democratic reform. Grouped around the Dublin weekly The Nation, it took issue with the compromises and clericalism of the larger national movement, Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association, from which it seceded in 1847. Despairing, in the face of the Great Famine, of any other course, in 1848 Young Irelanders attempted an insurrection. Following the arrest and the exile of most of their leading figures, the movement split between those who carried the commitment to "physical force" forward into the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and those who sought to build a "League of North and South" linking an independent Irish parliamentary party to tenant agitation for land reform.
Dr. Robert Cane (1807–1858), was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1807. He was a member of the Repeal Association and the Irish Confederation. He qualified as an M.D. in 1836, became a member of Kilkenny Corporation and was Mayor twice.
The Young Irelander Rebellion was a failed Irish nationalist uprising led by the Young Ireland movement, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 that affected most of Europe. It took place on 29 July 1848 at Farranrory, a small settlement about 4.3 km north-northeast of the village of Ballingarry, South Tipperary. After being chased by a force of Young Irelanders and their supporters, an Irish Constabulary unit took refuge in a house and held those inside as hostages. A several-hour gunfight followed, but the rebels fled after a large group of police reinforcements arrived.
John Edward Pigot (1822–1871) was an Irish music collector and lawyer, who played a key role in the foundation of the National Gallery of Ireland.
James Fintan Lalor was an Irish revolutionary, journalist, and “one of the most powerful writers of his day.” A leading member of the Irish Confederation, he was to play an active part in both the Rebellion in July 1848 and the attempted Rising in September of that same year. Lalor's writings were to exert a seminal influence on later Irish leaders such as Michael Davitt, James Connolly, Pádraig Pearse, and Arthur Griffith.
Patrick O'Donoghue (1810–1854), also known as Patrick O'Donohoe or O'Donoghoe, from Clonegal, County Carlow, was an Irish Nationalist revolutionary and journalist, a member of the Young Ireland movement.
John Martin was an Irish nationalist activist who shifted from early militant support for Young Ireland and Repeal, to non-violent alternatives such as support for tenant farmers' rights and eventually as the first Home Rule MP, for Meath 1871–1875.
The Irish Confederation was an Irish nationalist independence movement, established on 13 January 1847 by members of the Young Ireland movement who had seceded from Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association. Historian T. W. Moody described it as "the official organisation of Young Ireland".
Philip Gray was an Irish republican, revolutionary and a member of the Irish Confederation. He took part in the Risings of 1848 and 1849 along with James Fintan Lalor and both James Stephens and John O'Mahony, who would go on to establish the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Ireland and the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States.
Thomas MacNevin was an influential Irish writer and journalist, who died under "peculiarly sad circumstances" in a Bristol asylum. According to T. F. O'Sullivan, he was one of the most "brilliant intellects" to be associated with The Nation newspaper and with the Young Ireland movement.
John Kenyon (1812–1869) was an Irish Catholic priest and nationalist, who was involved in the Young Ireland movement and the Irish Confederation. He was renowned for his strong political and religious views which alienated him from many of his colleagues, and resulted in his being twice suspended from clerical duties. In particular, Kenyon was known for his opposition to the Irish political leader, Daniel O'Connell. Kenyon advocated the use of force to achieve political goals and refused to condemn slavery.
The United Irishman was a nationalist weekly newspaper published by John Mitchel in Dublin in 1848. It was suppressed by the British Government the same year.
The Irish Felon was a nationalist weekly journal printed in Dublin in 1848. Only five issues were published before its suppression by the British Government.