Ned Kelly, the famous or infamous Australian outlaw, is very much in the news again both here in Ireland and in Australia.
As most people know by now, Ned’s father was John Kelly from Clonbrogan in Moyglass and John was ‘transported’ to Australia for seven years in 1840 for the stealing of two pigs in Ballysheehan near Cashel.
When John’s eldest son Ned was hanged in Melbourne Jail in 1880 his body was not given back to his family but buried in prison ground. Recently his body was identified using DNA analysis from a living relative and following a court case his remains (minus the ‘lost head’) were given back to his descendants for burial in consecrated ground.
He was buried on Friday last, January 18, in Greta cemetery very near Glenrowan where he fought his last battle. He is buried near his mother Ellen (Ellen Quin from County Antrim) and his brother Dan and other gang member Steve Hart, both of whom died at Glenrowan.
Prompted on by the developments in Australia and as part of The Gathering initiative, RTE Nationwide covered the Ned Kelly and John Kelly stories on Wednesday, January 16, on RTE 1.
Mary Kennedy and crew spent Monday, January 7, in the Moyglass area where they were shown around by local guide Terry Cunningham, who in 1988 identified the location of the Kelly home in Clonbrogan for the first time using the 1840 map and Griffith’s Valuation. The same sources also show that the Kelly home in Clonbrogan was gone by the mid 1850s and local people point out the spot where the Kellys then moved to set up their new home.
The programme was great publicity for the Moyglass area and the Village Inn in particular with its authentic recreation of the famous suit of armour that the Kelly gang wore at Glenrowan. The programme also highlighted local Fethard guiding duo of Terry Cunningham and Colm McGrath of Backs to The Wall Tours (www.backstothewalltours.com) are available to take visiting coach groups on tours of Kelly Country here in Tipperary.