To some, they were patriotic heroes. To others, traitorous rebels. We say anybody whose exploits inspired the founding of an authentic Irish pub in Las Vegas deserves a glass raised in his name. Or, rather, their names-nine in all. (Hope you’re thirsty.) But, on to the story …

In 1848, nine fervent Irish nationalists-Thomas Francis Meagher, John Mitchel, Patrick O’Donoghue, Terence Bellew McManus, William O’Brien, Charles Gavan Duffy, John Dillon, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, and Richard O’Gorman-valiantly fought for Irish independence. They lost. Later tried, convicted and sentenced to death, the Nine Fine found themselves ripe for political martyrdom-and the British monarchy knew it. As a result, their death sentences were commuted and most were exiled all the way to Tasmania-not a nice place to visit or live. This is where their epic tale of redemption begins.

Five of the men-Meagher, Mitchel, O’Donoghue, McManus, and O’Brien-were forcefully sent to Satan’s vacationland. The sixth, Duffy-who was tried but acquitted due to lack of evidence-voluntarily made the trip to Tasmania. The other three men-Dillon, McGee and O’Gorman-escaped to America. As to their fates, some became noted authors, others Civil War heroes. One was named a minister of agriculture and one was elected prime minister.

Thomas Francis Meagher
Charles Gavan Duffy
John Mitchel
Thomas D'Arcy McGee
William Smith O'Brien
John Blake Dillon
Terence Bellew McManus
Patrick O'Donoghue
Richard O'Gorman