O'DOHERTY, Kevin Izod (1823-1905)


O'DOHERTY, Kevin Izod (1823-1905)
politician and public man
was born in Dublin on 7 September 1823. (Dict.Nat.Biog.) Other authorities state that he was born in June 1824 and Duffy (q.v.), in his My Life in Two Hemispheres, states that O'Doherty was still under age when he was arrested in July 1848. Duffy, however, was writing 50 Years later. O'Doherty received a good education and studied medicine, but before he was qualified, joined the Young Ireland party and in June 1848 established the Irish Tribune. Only five numbers were issued, and on 10 July O'Doherty was arrested and charged with treason-felony. At the first and second trials the juries disagreed, but at the third trial he was found guilty and sentenced to transportation for 10 years. He arrived in Tasmania in November 1849, was at once released on parole, and in 1854 received a pardon with the condition that he must not reside in Great Britain or Ireland. He went to Paris and carried on his medical studies, making one secret visit to Ireland to marry Mary Anne Kelly, to whom he was affianced before leaving Ireland. He received an unconditional pardon in 1856, and completing his studies at Dublin, graduated F.R.C.S. Ireland in 1857. He practised in Dublin with success, but in 1862 went to Brisbane and became well-known as one of its leading physicians. He was elected a member of the legislative assembly in 1867, in 1872 was responsible for a health act being passed, and was also one of the early opponents of the traffic in kanakas. In 1877 he transferred to the legislative council, and in 1885 resigned as he intended to settle in Europe. In Ireland he was cordially welcomed, and was returned unopposed to the house of commons for Meath North in November; but finding the climate did not suit him he did not seek reelection in 1886, and returned to Brisbane in that year. He attempted to take up his medical practice again but was not successful, and he died in poor circumstances on 15 July 1905. His wife survived him with a daughter. A fund was raised by public subscription to provide for his widow, a poetess of ability born in 1826, who in her early days was well known as the author of Irish patriotic verse in the Nation under the name, of "Eva". In Australia she occasionally contributed to Queensland journals, and one of her poems is included in A Book of Queensland Verse. She died at Brisbane on 21 May 1910.
O'Doherty was a genial, picturesque, and very well-known and respected figure at Brisbane. He retained his interest in Irish politics, and for some years was president of the Australian branch of the Irish National League.
The Queenslander, 22 July 1905, 28 May. 1910; The Times, 4 and 5 September 1905; C. G. Duffy, Four Years of Irish History; The Advocate, Melbourne, 29 July 1905; P. S. Cleary, Australia's Debt to Irish Nation-builders; D. J. O'Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland, 1912 Ed.; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years; J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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