20 November 2017
Harris Museum, Preston, 29 November 2017, 18:00 – 19:30.
John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890) was a radical Irish nationalist and world-renowned author and campaigner who lived in Preston for a few short years with relatives and retained a fond affection for the town and the time he spent there.
He later became involved in the militant revolutionary Irish nationalist movement, the Fenians, was imprisoned and transported to Australia from where he escaped, finally settling in Boston in the US. Here he turned away from the violent revolutionary path of his younger days and became a leading public figure in American society, noted for his literary work and his campaigning for Irish independence and the rights of American workers. O’Reilly became editor of the Boston Pilot newspaper and used his position to also fight against the racism and inequality he saw in American society against both African-Americans and the Native American people.
This event at the Harris Museum and Library will feature display boards highlighting O’Reilly’s adventurous and dramatic life and will be accompanied by a talk from Dr Máirtín Ó Catháin, Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish History at the University of Central Lancashire on the famous Preston Irishman, his local family links and the wider Fenian movement in Lancashire.