Stories and People

Daniel MULLANE (2)

Daniel Mullane
by Dawn May

Daniel Mullane was born in Sunhill Killorglin, County Kerry in Ireland in 1830 to his parents. Mary (nee Slattery) and Timothy Mullane who were married in 1823. Daniel was an only child from what the records show. He was only 20 years old during the potato famine and obviously starving as many, many people were. We have been unable to trace any information on his parents since Daniel’s birth and we can only assume they had passed away already or were in a workhouse but there are no records to confirm this.

In 1850 Daniel was caught trying to steal a cow and running it through the town in Kerry and was seen by two Constables and apprehended. This was published in two local newspapers, Kerry Evening Post and the Killarney News so we know these facts to be true.

He was sentenced to 10 years in the Court of Petty Sessions in Kerry and of this I am certain as I was moved to tears when I actually held the court proceedings book in my hands in the Archives in the Dublin Library in Ireland. Daniel was to be transported to Western Australia as a convict but firstly had to be held in the Spike Island Prison in Queenstown now known as Cobh for 2½ years before being transported to Fremantle aboard the convict ship the “Phoebe Dunbar” in 1853. I also had the privilege to visit the Spike Island Prison in 2019 and saw and heard about the horrendous conditions that this brave young man of only 20 years had to endure for simply being hungry.

The Cork Curator asked me to put Daniel’s story in writing and send it to her and his story would be on display in the Spike Island Museum for all to see. I was very proud indeed and of course I sent her a document which she was very pleased with, and she will inform me when it’s actually on display.

Daniel reached Perth and served his 10 year sentence and very early on in his ticket of leave he married Ellen Ricketts from England and they had 6 children. Unfortunately, there are no known photographs of Daniel but he is described as a slight, 5’5” man with brown hair, fair skin and green eyes.

Daniel’s health and mental state were of course affected by his torrid past and he died aged 50 years as a pauper in the Mount Eliza Hospital in Perth for ex-convicts, hence him being buried in a pauper’s grave in East Perth Cemeteries. I was shown the paupers’ area when I visited the Cemeteries and there was one lonely tree in the middle of the grassy area which in my own mind I call ‘Daniel’s tree’.

We are very, very proud and thankful for this very brave young man from Ireland who endured such as sad and hard life and if it wasn’t for him being here then none of our Mullane family would be here at all. My mother was a Mullane before she was married.

RIP our beloved great, great grandfather Daniel Mullane.

Submitted by Dawn MAY August 2022

Brought to you by:

National Trust of Western Australia


Friends of the Battye Library (Inc)

  • East Perth Cemeteries

    Bronte St
    East Perth WA 6004

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