Irish National Invincibles

Irish National Invincibles

The Irish National Invincibles ( _ga. Dosháraithe Náisiúnta na hÉireann), usually known as "the Invincibles" were a radical IRB splinter group active in Dublin during the 1880s.cite book |last =McCracken |first =J. L.|year= 2001|title =The Fate of an Infamous Informer |pages= pages all|publisher= History Ireland|location= Dublin]

Murder in Phoenix Park

The group hatched a plan to kill the Permanent Under Secretary at the Irish Office Thomas Henry Burke. It was Chief Secretary for Ireland Lord Frederick Cavendish's misfortune that he was walking with Burke when the assassins struck in Phoenix Park, in Dublin, at 17:30 Saturday, May 6, 1882, in what was to become known as the Phoenix Park Murders.

The assassinations in the park were initiated by Joe Brady knifing Burke, followed in short order by Tim Kelly, who knifed Lord Frederick. Both men used surgical knives. The British press expressed the outrage felt by many and demanded that the "Phoenix Park Murderers" be brought to justice.

A large number of suspects were arrested. By playing off one suspect against another, Superintendent Mallon of "G" Division of the Dublin Metropolitan Police got several of them to reveal what they knew.cite book |last =Moloney |first =Senan|year= 2006|title =The Phoenix Murders: Conspiracy, Betrayal and Retribution |pages= p. 146 et passim|publisher= Mercier Press|location= Dublin|id = ISBN 1-85635-511-X ] The Invincibles' leader, James Carey, and Michael Kavanagh agreed to testify against the others. Joe Brady, Michael Fagan, Thomas Caffrey, Dan Curley and Tim Kelly were hanged by William Marwood in Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin between May 14 and June 4, 1883. Others were sentenced to serve long prison terms.


Carey was shot dead on board the 'Melrose Castle' off Cape Town, South Africa, on July 29, 1883, by Donegal man Patrick O Donnell, for giving evidence against his former comrades. O'Donnell was apprehended and escorted back to London, where he was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey and hanged on December 17 1883.cite book |last =Moloney |first =Senan|year= 2006|title =The Phoenix Murders: Conspiracy, Betrayal and Retribution |pages= p. 250 et passim|publisher= Mercier Press|location= Dublin|id = ISBN 1-85635-511-X ]

In song

The Invincibles and Carey are mentioned in the folk song "Monto (Take Her Up To Monto)":

"When Carey told on Skin-the-goat,
"O'Donnell caught him on the boat
"He wished he'd never been afloat, the filthy skite.
"Twasn't very sensible
"To tell on the Invincibles
"They stood up for their principles, day and night.

External links

* [ The Shadow of the Gunman]
* [ The Phoenix Park Murders ]


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