It was in 1866 that 1,000 volunteers of the Fenian “Irish Republic Army” embarked from the Village of Black Rock to raid British army forts and supplies in British North America (now Canada), with the intention of pressuring Britain to withdraw from Ireland. Altogether, there were five Fenian raids, none of which were successful, which culminated in the death of 31 soldiers and civilians.
While this is a relatively obscure part of the history of the region, compared to some of the other battles that took place, there is still a group that recognizes the “inspirational effort for freedom” – the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
On Saturday, June 2 at 11:30am at the Fenian Invasion Monument at Tow Path Park (the foot of Hertel Avenue), the community is invited to join members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, to commemorate the 152nd anniversary of the Fenian Invasion.
James O’Brien, AOH-Erie County Division 1 will give a brief presentation at the monument titled “The Fenians, The Crown and The River”.
Lead image: The charge of the Fenians (wearing green uniforms) under Colonel John O’Neill at the Battle of Ridgeway, near Niagara, Canada West, on June 2, 1866. In reality, the Fenians had their own green flags but wore a very mixed bag of Union and Confederate uniforms (if they still had them, or parts of them left over from the Civil War), or civilian garb, with strips of green as arm or hat bands to distinguish themselves. (library and archives Canada, c-18737) – Wikipedia