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16:Dublin. March 1858

Following their escape from the disastrous rebellion of 1848, James Stephens and John O’Mahony both settled in Paris. The roomed together as Stephens wrote and lectured while O’Mahony studied at the Sorbonne. The Paris University was a hotbed for revolutionaries from all over Europe at the time. Other ‘Young Irelanders’ began arriving in the city. By 1856 Stephens and O’Mahony had decided on a new course of action. One would go to America and set up a movement within the vast number of Irish emigrants who had settled in the cities of the northern States. These settlers were comparatively well off financially, compared to the poverty and famine they had left behind. They were also bitter about the British repression of Ireland, which was generally thought to have been the cause of the famine. Stephens and O’Mahony’s planned to use the funds raised in America for use in Ireland and Britain. The objective was simple: establish an independent Ireland by using whatever physical force was necessary. On a toss of a coin, O’Mahony left for America and Stephens returned as a fugitive to Ireland. By early 1858 the groundwork had been done and symbolically on St Patrick’s Day, Stephens called a meeting of his supporters at a timber yard in Dublin. Here the Irish Republican Brotherhood was formed and the members known from inception by the more popular name, ‘Fenians.’     

17:Scotland and Ireland. April 1858

Finbar and Liam are enjoying a week’s fishing on the Scottish estate of Sir Richard Scott, a board member of Vessy’s Bank. They attend a levee, hosted by the Queen at nearby Balmoral. The following day, while out fishing on a remote part of the estate, they talk about the rumours of a new Irish republican movement. Finbar is well informed. As well as building up a network of contacts in Westminster he has also kept in regular contact with William Smith O’Brien throughout his exile. Finbar has formed the view that neither political force nor rebel activity will achieve any form of independence for Ireland, but coordinating the two together may work. His analogy is one of stick and carrot. Given the delicate balance of power in the House of

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