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Daithi follows rebel hero's footsteps to Oz

DAITHI O SE will be seen down under in a new TV series when he finds out what became of one the unsung heroes of 1798.

In a new series Great Irish Journeys, the 37-year-old will be seen tracing the steps of Michael Dwyer, who took part in the 1798 rebellion and continued the fight in the Wicklow Mountains where the Crown forces had to build a military road to defeat him.

Eventually Dwyer surrendered and Daithi finds out what happened to the rebel leader after he left for Australia.

"We were only out in Australia for two days but we still managed to track down some of Dwyer's relatives and interviewed them for our documentary," Daithi said.

TERRIFIED

In a complete turnaround, the former United Irishman was appointed as a constable by the Crown Governor in the Georges River area, 60km south-west of Sydney, rising to be Chief Constable of the Australian town of Liverpool in 1820, but lost the post that same year when charged with drunkeness.

"He opened a bar then called The Harrow which was named after an engagement in the 1798 Rising.

"He was so regarded by the Irish in Australia, the British were terrified he would spark a rebellion across Australia by Irish immigrants and remains one of the unsung heroes of 1798," added Daithi, whose degree in history came in useful working on the documentary.

Starting on Sunday July 7, other editions in the Great Irish Journeys series – which traces famous Irish journeys and how they shaped this island – include Grainne Seoige following in the footsteps of Thomas Carlyle and Charles Gavan Duffy.

It also features Met Eireann forecaster Evelyn O'Rourke tracing the march from West Cork to Leitrim in the depths of winter in one of the last great stories of Gaelic Ireland and John Creedon retracing Michael Collins' final 24 hours and his journey into West Cork that fateful day.

hnews@herald.ie


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