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Irish Convict: Lost Sons

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Tom O'Connor
November 2023
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An ordinary life for young Maurice O'Brien is difficult in 1830s Ireland under British rule. Things get worse when his brother is caught by the authorities, causing trouble, and transported away as a convict, never to be seen again. As Maurice transitions from a boy to a man, he does his best to fill the role of his absent brother and live up to the expectations of his parents, his community, Father Coley, the Landlord, the oppressive English laws, and God Almighty himself. Flirting with the landlord's daughter is the least of his struggles when he meets a midshipman of the British Navy. Maurice must fight for his life, and it sets him on a journey to a new life of wild and dangerous adventure in lands far from home. These are the true stories of the people, men and women, who were sent to the British penal colonies of Australia. Most never saw their families again and simply disappeared behind the curtain of time. Little is known of their lives, deaths, or final resting places. They are the lost sons of Ireland. Tom O'Connor is a historian and writer specialising in Maori and New Zealand history.