The Catalpa Rescue (6 Videos)

This documentary film tells the story of one of the greatest prison escapes in history. A celebrated story in its day, this 150-year-old story has long since been forgotten. Set amid the background of a period of great change in world history – the last days of Colonial Britain – the remnants of their time resonate today in the British policy towards Northern Ireland.

In 1876, a team of exiled Irish Fenians set out from the tiny whaling port town of New Bedford, Massachusetts to rescue six of their Fenian brothers from one of the most hostile and remote prisons on earth – Fremantle, Western Australia. It was a task which took two years to accomplish, required the financial assistance and silence of over 7000 Irish Americans and depended upon the ingenuity of three pivotal characters to pull off the greatest propaganda coup in Fenian history.

Not long after the attempt the three characters published accounts of their role in the rescue. The film pieces together the strands of this complex escape by using excerpts from their stories. These intimate narratives portray moments of genuine heroism from the Catalpa’s unlikely captain, George Anthony; reveal the breathtaking exploits of taciturn hero, John Breslin; and expose the agenda of the guilt-ridden mastermind behind the escape, John Devoy.

The Catalpa Rescue (Part 1 of 6)

The Catalpa Rescue (Part 2 of 6)

The Catalpa Rescue (Part 3 of 6)

The Catalpa Rescue (Part 4 of 6)

The Catalpa Rescue (Part 5 of 6)

The Catalpa Rescue (Part 6 of 6)