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The Galtee Boy
A Fenian Prison Narrative

John Sarsfield Casey (author)
Mairead Maume (author)
Patrick Maume (author)
Mary Casey (editor)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
7th December 2004

Author Biography

John Sarsfield Casey (1846-96) was born in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, and became involved in the Irish Republican Brotherhood while still at school. He was deported to Australia in 1867. After release on ticket-of-leave, he returned to Ireland in 1869, became active in nationalist politics and the Land League and was elected coroner for East Limerick in 1878. His name crops up in several accounts of Fenian deportees, in emigrant letters and there is even a 'speaking' model of him in the audiovisual display at Cork Gaol heritage centre. Mairead Maume is a local historian and expert on Fenianism. Patrick Maume is a research fellow with the Dictionary of Irish Biography. Mary Casey is Daniel Sarsfield Casey's granddaughter.


This very vivid memoir describes the prison experiences of a Cork Fenian activist, John Sarsfield Casey. 'The Galtee Boy' was a name used by Casey when he sent letters for publication to newspapers, one of which was used against him at his trial in 1865. His memoir was written after he had returned from deportation and describes the period from his arrest in 1865, his trial in Cork and conditions in Mountjoy, Millbank, Pentonville and Portland prisons. His memoir is the most extensive surviving account from the Fenian side of the experiences of those prisoners detained in Cork. Biographies of people mentioned in the memoir are given in an appendix.