Nine Fine Irishmen

3790 Las Vegas Blvd S
New York New York Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Fax: unavailable
Cross Streets: Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana
Cuisine(s): Irish
Hours: 11am-11pm Daily
Delivery Available: No

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Story of Nine Fine Irishmen

The Nine Fine Irishmen authentic Irish Pub has been inspired by the stories of nine Irishmen whose lives were entwined around that tumultuous year of revolution in Europe 1848. Young England, Young Italy, Young Poland, - all across Europe revolutionary movements sprang up inspired by ideals of liberalism and romantic nationalism.

When the Paris revolution of February overthrew Louis Phillipe and installed the poet Alphonse de Lamartine at the head of the provisional government of the second French Republic a wave of revolution spread across Europe causing the sudden collapse of established regimes and threatened the survival of others. In Ireland too, albeit the country had not yet begun to recover from the disaster of the Great Famine, there was a new generation ready to take up arms - The Young Irelanders.

In Ireland the movement that bore the name Young Ireland was first given it as label of derision and a sobriquet of contempt by its contemporary enemies. Yet despite the fact that the revolutionary activity in which they engaged was a hopeless failure, those Young Irelanders who are commemorated here have taken up a place of honour not only in the history of their own country but also in the histories of the United States, Canada and Australia.

Neither in their own lifetimes, nor in subsequent generations, have their actions or ideals received the universal approval of their fellow countrymen. The most prominent of them were controversial figures both in their land of birth and in the lands where they made their eventual homes (or passed a good portion of their lives).

Nonetheless, nobody can deny the sterling qualities of courage and selfless motivation, which characterised the romantic nationalism that was the common currency of these Nine Fine Irishmen.

These nine whose destinies became interwoven in the revolutionary activities in Ireland of 1848 were men of hugely varying backgrounds, temperaments and character. Charles Gavan Duffy came from a prosperous Catholic merchant family. John Mitchel was born into the family of a Unitarian minister. William Smith O'Brien was the son of one of the few old-Irish Gaelic Catholic families to be assumed into ruling Protestant ascendancy.
Patrick O'Donohue came from impoverished small farming stock while the others - Terence Bellew McManus, Richard O'Gorman, John Blake Dillon, Thomas Francis Meagher and Thomas D'Arcy Magee came from backgrounds of varying degrees of middle class prosperity.

Though they were all members of the Confederates, the principal organisation of the Young Ireland movement, even their political ideas spanned a wide spectrum of beliefs. When seven of the nine arrived in Australia whence they had been deported by the British government for their revolutionary activities, they were genuinely abhorred to find themselves all tarred with the same brush. Both in terms of the politics of nationalist Ireland and in the political issues of their adopted countries, they proved themselves to be greatly at odds among themselves.

In the American civil war Meagher raised a brigade to fight on the side of the abolitionists, while Mitchel lost two sons to the Confederate cause. Mitchel enthusiastically embraced the next generation of Irish revolutionaries the Fenians and became their agent in Paris for a time. D'Arcy Magee roundly condemned them and was consequently assassinated by them. In Van Dieman's Land (now Tasmania) during their exile, O'Donohue embraced a strange brand of radical socialism and liberal Catholicism that was completely at odds with the political ideas of the other transportees.

In New York O'Gorman and Dillon considered D'Arcy Magee to a be an opportunist exploiting Ireland's woes for his own gain and the three quarrelled fiercely over where to put the blame for the failed revolution.

Splits and divisions were the order of the day - both in Ireland and abroad.

Yet for however briefly or incongruously, the Nine were swept up together by an idea of nationality which inspired them to acts of great courage. Apart from their unflinching courage perhaps their greatest common feature was their age for it was not for nothing that they were called Young Irelanders.

These men were not only young in years but saw themselves very self-consciously as leading a new generation. A generation that defined itself by its opposition to the old Ireland as represented by Daniel O'Connell. The country might have laid in ruin after the devastation of the famine but these young men could believe that, perversely, the experience of the famine had created the circumstances for the emergence of a new unity of purpose.

A new nationality that would animate all classes and sections of society to act together in the interest of the nation. Albeit, as it would turn out, very naively, these young men could believe that the crisis of the famine had brought out the very best of the Irish character and in their romantic idealism they were prepared to risk their lives for that.

In the end none of them forfeited their lives. Though four were sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and though Smith O'Brien appealed for his own sentence at least to be executed, the sentences were commuted. Lord Clarendon, the Irish Lord Lieutenant advised the British Prime Minister Lord John Russell, that to carry out the sentences would only be to create martyrs and the sentences were commuted by Queen Victoria on what were presented as grounds of clemency.

Five of the men - John Mitchel, Thomas Francis Meagher, Patrick O'Donaghue and Terence McManus and William Smith O'Brien were exiled to Australia. Three- John Blake Dillon, Thomas Magee and Richard O'Gorman escaped to North America and the ninth Charles Gavan Duffy went into self-imposed exile in Australia.