John Mitchel (1815-1875) was a Young Irelander leader and perhaps the most esteemed republican to come from Newry. He was in fact born in Maghera, son of the Rev John Mitchel and Mary (Haslett) but the family settled in Newry from 1823 when the minister received an appointment here.
The family lived at Dromalane, John’s father surviving until 1840, his mother until 1863. John was educated at Dr Henderson’s school in Newry and later at TCD (1830-34). He was apprenticed as solicitor to John Quinn of Newry and later practiced as an attorney at Banbridge. In 1836 he eloped to
From 1842 Mitchel came under the influence of the Young Irelanders who were impatient with Daniel O’Connell’s conservatism. He was especially influenced by Thomas Davis of The Nation newspaper, who induced him to write a Life of Hugh O’Neill. After
Before it could happen Mitchel was charged with seditious writing and was sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation. He was sent via Bermuda to Van Diemen’s Land (
In the American Civil War he sympathised with the South, lost two sons in the fighting and was for a short while imprisoned by the victorious Northern forces. He went to
In 1866 his Young Irelander friends John Martin and Fr Kenyon came over from