John Keegan “Leo” Casey

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Where: Unknown

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When: 01 January 1860

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John Keegan Casey, or as the police would say, John Keegan alias Leo Casey, in a very old and faded photograph for today’s image. A big change from the wide and crowded street of Kingscourt to the clouded and tragic world of the Fenian Brotherhood. What can we find out about John, and what happened to him?

+++ UPDATE +++
Thank you to everyone for the great information contributed about John Keegan Casey, who we found out was a poet, a teacher, a scholar, and a Fenian. BeachcomberAustralia found a great article in the Irish Times although he says it’s "hopefully reliable”. How very dare you? That’s the ‘paper of record’ you’re casting asparagus at! :))

Anyway, among many gems in that article by Denis Fahey was this interesting little nugget:
“His coffin was draped in silk banners of green white and orange, the first recorded use of a tricolour for this purpose, and thousands of people marched in a procession from his home to Glasnevin Cemetery.”

Photographers: Various

Collection: Irish Political Figures Photographic Collection

Date: ca. 1850-1870


You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 14430
irishpoliticalfiguresphotographiccollection nationallibraryofireland politicalfigures ireland photograph therisingofthemoon tellmeseanofarrell poet songwriter patriot fenian fenianbrotherhood johnkeegan leocasey johnkeegancasey

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    • 14/Apr/2020 08:08:47

    ... Rising of the moon... pikes together. he was a Fenian leader off now to Google as my 1860s/fenian history is very scattered.

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    • 14/Apr/2020 08:49:56

    "And come tell me Sean O'Farrell, tell me why you hurry so Hush a bhuachaill, hush and listen and his cheeks were all aglow I bear orders from the captain, get you ready quick and soon For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon And come tell me Sean O'Farrell, where the gathering is to be At the old spot by the river quite well known to you and me"

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    • 14/Apr/2020 09:39:03

    Flickr is sometimes amazing! A very short bio including this photo, via [] [] Wikipedia is a bit thin - The "Leo" nickname was evidently a nom de plume when he had his first work published aged 16, according to this Trove 1890 article, which has a few other gems. He died aged 23 in 1870 and 50,000 people attended his funeral -

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    • 14/Apr/2020 10:21:35

    In the trove article, it mentions the Mation newspaper . . . John Mitchel, one of the 13 young Irelanders was the editor/maybe owner, I don't exactly recall.

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    • 14/Apr/2020 11:53:18

    Died when he was 23. Bit of a songster...

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    • 14/Apr/2020 11:56:22

    Middle top of the page. Died in 1870 while in prison, his sufferings broke down his health. See "Rising of the Moon" article

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    • 14/Apr/2020 13:08:14

    This is good and hopefully reliable -

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    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 14/Apr/2020 14:02:28


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    • 14/Apr/2020 16:27:34

    "A Wreath of Shamrocks" by Leo

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    • 14/Apr/2020 17:28:50

    I'm embarrassed to admit I never heard of him until now. I know The Rising of the Moon, of course. Funnily enough, I was watching the film of the same name on TG4 on Sunday morning and it occurred to me to find out who wrote it, but I put it on the long finger and completely forgot until now. Superb info as usual. This is a great place to learn something.

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    • 14/Apr/2020 22:09:07

    Buenas fotos antiguas .

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    • 15/Apr/2020 06:51:18

    Coincidentally, and talking of Fenians, the just posted this contemporary 1868 photo of Henry James O'Farrell, an alcoholic loony with Fenian fantasies, who took a potshot at Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh at a picnic in Clontarf, Sydney, NSW ... []

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 22/Apr/2020 08:00:07

    Amazing shot