Patrick O'Halloran and Bridget Martin

Patrick O'Halloran, also styled as Halloran, and numerous other derivative spellings, was born in Ireland about 1819. On 21 June 1849 in County Clare, his native place, Patrick was convicted of stealing two cows and sentenced to seven years transportation. Another Patrick Halloran was convicted of the same offence on the same day but he was around a decade younger. He was probably the Patrick Halloran that settled in the Huon area of Tasmania, although as discussed later there was another Patrick Halloran in Launceston in the 1860s. Both men were transported to Van Diemen's Land aboard the Rodney which sailed from Spike Island in the cove of Cork on 24 November 1852 with 342 convicts. It anchored in Hobart Town on the 12 February 1853 after a passage of 80 days with 3 convicts dying during the voyage.1

Upon arrival, for his convict conduct record, Patrick was described as a labourer; height 5'3"; aged 30; with a ruddy complexion; round head; dark brown hair; no whiskers; visage oval; forehead low; eyebrows small; eyes dark blue; nose sharp, and a medium sized mouth and chin. In the remarks section the scribe added, "short neck, stout made". He stated that he was married but widowed. He was relatively well-behaved after arrival and was assigned to the Circular Head area, probably in the employ of the Van Diemen's Land Company. He was put on one month probation on 12 March 1853, and provided with his ticket of leave on 27 November 1854. His Conditional Pardon was recommended on 5 December 1854 and approved on 13 November 1855.2

Patrick married Bridget Martin on 22 August 1857 in the Horton district in Van Diemen's Land.3 Bridget was born about 1837, the daughter of Michael Martin and his wife Anne Lyons.

The MARTIN family from Galway, sailed to Australia on the "CONWAY", leaving Ireland on July 12, 1855 and arriving in Hobart Town on Oct.14, 1855. The family were sent out on the application of Michael Lyons (Anne's brother) of Circular Head, and paid 132 pounds (22 pound/adult;11 pound/child). The family consisted of Michael (49) farm labourer; his wife Anne (41) general servant; Fanny (26) needlewoman; Patrick (19) farm labourer; Bridget (17) kitchenmaid; Michael (13) and Thomas (11). In the immigration records it notes that the parents had no education, Fanny and Bridget could read and write and Patrick could read - but it is noted on Bridget's wedding certificate and all birth records she signs her mark with an "X".4

Michael Lyons was the grandfather of Joseph Lyons, later Prime Minister of Australia. Patrick and Bridget O'Halloran had the following children that have been traced (surname spellings have been retained as they were registered).

  • Thomas Halleran (sic) was born on 10 June 1858 in the Horton district.5
  • Patrick O'Halloran was born about 1860, calculated from the age stated at his death. His birth does not appear to have been registered.
  • John Halloran was born on 11 December 1861 in the Horton district.6
  • Michael Hallaron was born on 23 September 1863 in the Horton district.7
  • Ann Halloran was born on 2 October 1867 in the Horton district.8
  • Bridget Hallaron was born on 2 November 1869 in the Horton district.9
  • Julia Hallaron was born on 17 August 1873 in the Horton district.10
  • Martin Halloran was born on 22 January 1876 in the Horton district.11
  • Edward Laurence Halloran was born on 15 February 1879 in the Horton district.12

Checking each birth registration would reveal the father's occupation at each event, and provide some insight into how Patrick supported his family.

There appears to have a been another individual with the name Patrick Halloran in the North of the island as he is reported on a number of occasions in the Launceston district as the cause of various incidents.13 There were certainly other individuals with the Halloran surname in the Circular Head area but that were not related. In October 1868 a Thomas Halloran was charged with an indecent assault that occurred at Black River.14 In stark contrast to those incidents in February 1872 Patrick Halloran was reported as providing a building for a temporary school in the area:

Another new school is to be opened at the upper part of the Duck River, about 15 miles from Stanley, under the charge of Miss Ann Gray. A site his not yet been chosen, in consequence of the difficulty of obtaining a central position, but the people settled there being very anxious to make a beginning have obtained the use of a cottage from Mr. Patrick Halloran, and the Board of Education has been applied to for assistance.15

By the 1880s the O'Halloran children started having families of their own. For some reason, during the 1800s most events were registered under the surname Halloran, but during the 1900s the surname reverted back to the Irish equivalent O'Halloran. Thomas Halloran married Mary Anne Medwin on 26 November 1884 in the Horton district.16 Mary Ann was born on 17 August 1861, the daughter of Mathias Medwin and Mary Dillon.17 Thomas and Mary Anne would have four children that have been traced.

John Halloran (24) married Elizabeth Caroline Horton (21) on 7 June 1886 at the residence of the Rev. G. Bohm, Stanley. The service was according to Roman Catholic rights. The witnesses were Michael Halloran and Etty Carroll.18 Elizabeth was born on 9 November 1864 in the Horton district, and baptised on 19 February 1865 in St. Paul's Church, Stanley, the daughter of Samuel Horton and Margaret Smedley.19 8 children have been traced.

Patrick Halloran married Selina Margaret Ollington on 20 April 1887 in the Stanley district.20 Selina (Celina) was born on 5 March 1863 in the Horton district, the daughter of Thomas Alfred Ollington and Sarah Marie Stearn.21 Patrick and Selina had eight children that have been traced.

While in the 1800s most events were registered at the district level, in most cases Horton, it is known that the Irish fraternity of the North-West Coast established a region of their very own which came to be known as Irishtown. In the 1900s we start seeing the registered events occurring there. Julia O'Halloran married Daniel Berechree on 24 December 1900 in Irishtown, Tasmania.22 Daniel was born on 11 July 1871 in the Horton district, the son of Francis Berechree and Mary Breheny.23


Irishtown was the scene of much festivity on Thursday last, when Miss Julia Halloran of this place was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Mr. Dan Berechree, of Flowerdale, Table Cape. The bride is everywhere popular, and will be much missed here from our numerous little social functions. That everyone wishes the young couple a happy and prosperous married life goes without saying. Miss B. Halloran was bridesmaid and Mr Michael Halloran best man, while the Rev Father Dwyer was officiating clergyman. Mr and Mrs Berechree left the same evening for their home at Flowerdale. The wedding presents were both numerous and costly.24

Julia and Daniel had nine children that have been traced. Apparently Julia's father Patrick was well known to his grand-children. Since his arrival in the 1850s he had established himself as the respected patriarch of a significant dynasty. Patrick O'Halloran died on 7 September 1904 in Irishtown, Tasmania.25 The following newspaper report is a unique and lively description of the man's legacy.

Passed Away.

It seems only justice to the memory of one of the sturdiest of our coastal pioneers that this short sketch should be penned. Recently at Irishtown, Circular Head, there passed away Patrick O'Halloran, sen., aged 85, with whom the name of the settlement has been a synonymous term for 50 years past. The silver-headed veteran with his beaming smile and hearty hand-grip would bestow the same genuine "caed mille failthe" ' on the humblest of Nature's gentlemen as he would on the highest dignitary in the land, albeit the last-named might be dressed in broadcloth and have his capacious vest half-belted with a massive gold chain ? a chain calculated to render terror-stricken any approach to familiarity on the part of the ordinary common horde. But to the honest soul of the good old Irishman these things were as more tinsel? he had learned that? ' Rags is but a cotton roll Jest fur wrappin' up a soul, An' a soul is worth a true - Hale an hearty howdy'e do!' As for he himself, he had done his best, he had no cause to remember an action that would make him ashamed to look his fellow-man in the face ; like so many hundreds of others he had sought out the primeval forests, and had hewed his way to comfort through dense scrub and through gum-trees, 4ft and 5ft through, and with no sudden freak of fortune to assist him either. Has the highest dignitary in the land done more than this? The 'ould man' (as everyone affectionately called him), had won his way to independence, and appreciating this fact took care to meet everyone, if possible, on at least, equal terms. The most genuine kind of Irish hospitality was meted out to all and sundry, so long as the host did not find a guest unworthy ; then he would hit out straight from the shoulder, whether the culprit were aristocrat or beggar ; in unmistakable, unflinching terms he let the party have his full opinion. The patriarch for years had constituted himself a sort of honorary godfather to all the young folk of the neighborhood. None so proud as he when 'his boys' won a cricket match, none so disappointed as he when they happened to lose ; rarely did he forget a birthday of the still younger generation, if he did no toddler was so timid as not to contrive to give him a reminder, with the result mutually satisfactory to both parties. No better testimony to the character of him and his good partner could probably be educed than the fact that all his children still reside at Irishtown? all with the exception of one married daughter, whose home is only a few hours journey further along the coast seems somehow a long way off to the others on such affectionate terms do the family live with one another. His friends will miss the cheary voice, more especially those whose hair has turned or is turning grey since they first met him ?even then a veteran. Most of all will the good old times be missed when our late friend was in storytelling vim. Many a time the writer has sat a delighted listener, for Mr O'Halloran was a rare reconteur. Irish legends with his own adaptations, originals, or semi-originals of his own fertile imagination. Often he would ingeniously work himself in as the hero of the piece to the mystification of the stranger and to the amusement of the locals. It was the acme of enjoyment to listen to him on a winter's night, with the rain pattering down on the iron roof, the wind whistling through the big apple tree overhanging the room, ever and anon, perhaps, a big tree falling with a cannon-like report, a glorious log fire in the massive fireplace, a couple of travellers in easy chairs and a group or two of the young folk of the neighborhood ostensibly engaged in playing crib at the long table, but really more interested in the story telling, like the good lady of the home herself, who though pretending to read a magazine, would every now and then send a quick glance at one of other of the travellers to see how they were enjoying the entertainment, though, like the card players, she had heard the same tale many times before ; but in truth one could not help oneself, for these yarns seemed better each time they were told. Seated in a favorite chair, dressed in his usual neglige attire: a happy smile playing over and lighting up every feature, this typical Irishman, for one of his years, displayed an unusual amount of vitality, and presently after repeating the 'fairies' pass word,' a string of, to us, unintelligible Gaelic a yard long, he would proceed to illustrate the 'fairies' dance' by a practical example which would bring down the home. Those were happy days, and there are hundreds of casual visitors now scattered throughout the length and breadth of this land who will readily recognise this picture, whilst no reminder is necessary to cause those amongst whom he has lived and died to keep the good old times in their minds' eye, and these will doubtless recount the many doings of our lamented friend at a generation yet unborn. With the same spirit of indomitable spirit that he first hoed in his grain and potatoes amongst the fallen logs and ringed trees on his farm, so he left us, for before, his decease he repeatedly stated that he was quite ready to go ; he had had his fair share of the pleasure of this world, and could not complain if the Almighty's will was that he should depart. It is with feelings of true devoutness that hundreds of friends join the bereaved in an earnest 'Requiecat in pace !26

Selina Margaret O'Halloran, nee Ollington, died on 17 October 1905 in Irishtown, Tasmania.27


An old and respected resident of Irish Town, in the person of Mrs Patrick O'Halloran, passed away on Tuesday af noon, after a. short but very painful illness. Mrs O'Halloran was taken ill on the previous Tuesday, and up till that date was in her usual health, so her death was painfully sudden. Drs. Muir, of Wynyard, and Gregg, of Stanley^ performed an operation on the deceas ed a few days ago, but without any good result, and gradually sinking, she passed away as stated. The deceased had been -a resident of Irish Town for a great number of years, and was well spoken of by all with whom she came into contact. A widower and seven children, the eldest of whom is about seventeen, are left to mourn their loss.28

Martin O'Halloran married Daisy Maud Young on 5 September 1906 in Irishtown, Tasmania.29 Daisy was the daughter of Benjamin Young as reported in their marriage notification.

O'HALLORAN—YOUNG.— On September 5, at the residence of the bride's mother, 'Westview,' Irishtown, by Rev G; W. Ratten, rector of Stanley, Martin, second youngest son of the late P. O' Halloran, Irishtown, to (Daisy) Maud, only surviving daughter of the late Benjamin Young, of Latrobe, late of Bleadon West, on Super-Mare, Somersetshire, England.30

Edward Laurence O'Halloran, the youngest of Patrick and Bridget's children, married Ann Bridget Carroll on 1 July 1913 in Stanley, Tasmania.31 Ann was born on 20 March 1891 in Stanley, Tasmania, the daughter of Dennis Patrick Carroll and Ann Ennis.32 Edward and Ann had four children that have been traced.

Bridget O'Halloran, nee Martin, the wife of Patrick O'Halloran Snr. died on 29 May 1914 in Flowerdale, Tasmania.33

At 2 o'clock on Friday morning an old resident of Irish Town, Mrs O'Halloran, sen., passed away at her residence. Mrs O'Halloran was well known, and was by her genial manner a general favorite. Deceased had been ailing for some time, and her death came as a great shock. She retired as usual on Wednesday night, and on Thursday morning took a serious turn, causing her relatives and friends grave anxiety. Deceased, who was 78 years of age, was born in the County of Galway, in Ireland, and has been in the Circular Head district about sixty years. She leaves a grown up family of five sons and two daughters, for whom the deepest sympathy is felt. The funeral took place on Saturday, in the Roman Catholic cemetery, Rev. Father McNally conducting the service. The pall-bearers were Messrs. H. G. Spicer and H. F. Ford, of Stanley, and Messrs. W. J. Reid and Robt. Kay of Irish Town. The cortege was the largest ever seen in this district, showing the respect in which the deceased lady was held.34

Mary Anne O'Halloran, nee Medwin, the wife of Thomas O'Halloran, died on 22 February 1920 in Irishtown, Tasmania.35


At midnight on Saturday there passed away, after a long and painful illness, Mrs. Thos. O'Halloran, sen. The deceased lady was a very old resident of the district, and was very highly respected by all. Her many kindly acts endeared her to all who knew her. She leaves a husband, three sons, and three daughters to mourn their loss. One son and one daughter are married. Although the deceased lady had been seriously ill for nearly three gears, her indomitable will had prevented her taking to her bed until a week ago.36

John O'Halloran may be the individual of that name who died on 17 September 1923 in Wynyard.37 No associated death notice has been found to confirm the suggestion. What is verifiable from newspaper reports is the death of Patrick and Bridget's daughter Bridget O'Halloran who never married on 24 January 1925 in Flowerdale, Tasmania.38

O'HALLORAN.-On January 24th, at the residence of her sister, Mrs. D. Berechree, Flowerdale, Bridget, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick O'Halloran, Irishtown; aged 54 years. 39

Michael O'Halloran, from later representations, married Ellen Harvey, but the event has not been located as yet. Ellen Harvey was born on 10 November 1865 in the Horton district, the daughter of Cornelius Harvey and Bridget Moran.40 Michael and Ellen had three children. Michael O'Halloran died on 10 December 1932 in Irishtown, Tasmania.

Mr. Michael O'Halloran,

The death occurred at his residence. Irishtown, on Saturday afternoon, of Michael O'Halloran, an old resident of the district. Mr. O'Halloran was born at Irishtown 69 years ago, and was the fourth son of the late Mr. and Patrick O 'Halloran, pioneers of Irish town. He had been in failing health for the past year or so. Throughout his life Mr. O'Halloran's straightforward and honorable character and his faithfulness in friendship endeared him to all with whom he came into contact.

In his early days he was a prominent cricketer, and was recognised as the fastest bowler who had ever played in Circular Head. For many years he captained the Irishtown cricket team, which was then well known for its invincibility among Tasmanian country clubs, and his never-failing good temper was a big factor in the team's success. He is survived by four brothers-Messrs. Patrick, Thomas, Edward and Mr. Martin O'Halloran (Irish town)-and Mrs. Dan. Berechree, of Boat Harbor, is a sister. Mr. O'Halloran married Miss Ellen Harvey, who survives him, and he leaves a family of three-Mrs. E. Dabner, Miss Lila O'Halloran-and Mr. Con. O'Halloran (Irishtown).

There was a large attendance at the funeral, which took place yesterday afternoon. The cortege left the house, and after a service at the Catholic Church proceeded to the Irishtown cemetery. Rev. Father Cullen officiated, and paid a tribute to deceased's character.

The pall-bearers were Messrs. Martin Fahey, Fergus Medwin, T. Spinks and Cr. B. Young, The carriers were Messrs. C., H., E., T., I,., H., Fred and Frank O'Halloran and J. and B. Harvey, (nephews).41

Julia Berechree, nee O'Halloran, died on 26 September 1933 in Flowerdale, Tasmania.42

Mrs. D. Berechree,

Thu funeral of the late Mrs. Julia Berechree, wife of Mr. D. Berechree, a well-known resident of the Flowerdale district, took place at the new public cemetery at Wynyard on Thursday. Mrs. Berechree, who was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Patrick O'Halloran, was a native of Irishtown, and marrying Mr. Berechree 32 years ago, went to live in the Wynyard district. Practically the whole of their married life was spent in that district. Of a lovable and charitable disposition, she became well known and respected, a fact which was borne out by the large number who attended to pay their last respects. She had been in ill-health for a considerable time, and gradually becoming worse, died on Tuesday night Tho cortege moved from her late home, "Raheen" Flowerdale. Among those present were residents of Circular Head, Burnie, Ulverstone and all parts of the Table Cape district. A service at St. Brigid's Catholic Church was officiated over by Rev. Father D. Murphy, and as the casket was borne from the church a hymn was sung by the Convent school choir. At the grave- side Father Murphy was assisted by Rev. Father Cullen, of Stanley.

The chief mourners were the husband, Mr. Dan. Berechree; sous, Messrs. John, William and Peter Berechree; daughters, Misses Mollie, Biddy, Sheila and Frances Berechree; brothers, Messrs. T., P., M. and E. O'Halloran ; sisters- in-law, Mrs. W. Bramich and Mrs. Scruby, and other relatives. The car- riers were four nephews, Messrs. Pat- rick, Basil, Ernest and Con. O'Hal- loran; and Messrs. F. M. Medwin, H. J. Jones, A, Mayne and W. Walsh were the pall bearers. Among the many floral tributes were wreaths from the Boat Harbor Football and Hockey Clubs.43

Thomas Halloran died on 18 February 1935 in Irishtown,Tasmania.

Late Mr. Thomas O'Halloran

One of the Circular Head district's oldest pioneers in Mr. Thomas O'Halloran, died on Monday evening, at Irish town. The funeral on Wednesday afternoon was one of the largest at Irish town for some time. The chief mourners were sons Lemuel, Thomas and Leton (N. Zealand); daughters, Mary, Vera and Catherine; and brothers, Patrick, Edward and Martin O'Halloran. The carriers were Messrs. Martin and Watson Medwin, Con and Len O'Halloran; and the pall-bearers, Messrs. J. K. Carroll, D. Berechree, Alf and Thomas Spinks. Father G. Cullen officiated at the Catholic Church and graveside.44

Martin O'Halloran died on 25 November 1942 in Irishtown, Tasmania.45


After a long illness, Mr. Martin O'Halloran died on Wednesday morning at his home at Irishtown. A son of Mr. Patrick O'Halloran, one of the pioneers of Irishtown, he was born 66 years ago. He took a keen interest in local affairs, and until recently was Warden of the Municipality of Circular Head, representing Horton Ward since the redistribution of the wards. From 1911 till 1917 he was a member of the Smithton Harbor Trust. He married Miss Daisy Young, a sister of Cr. Ben Young, by whom he is survived. The funeral will take place to-day at Irishtown.46

Patrick O'Halloran Jnr. died on 8 June 1944 in Scotchtown, Tasmania.


The sudden death on Thursday, June 8, of Mr. Patrick O'Halloran, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Bernard Thorp, Scotchtown, has removed one of Irishtown's oldest pioneers. He was 84. Possessing a charming personality, he was highly respected. He had been an employee of the council for many years, Requiem Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Lynch at St. Joseph's Church last Saturday morning. The funeral left the church during the afternoon. The large gathering was a fitting tribute to his popularity. Pall-bearers were Messrs. V. Berechree. J. K. Carroll, Pat. Fahey, W. Ollington, W. Poke and B. Young, and the carriers, all nephews, were Messrs. Thomas, Con., Edward and Frank O'Halloran and E. and W. Ling. The late Mr. O'Halloran leaves a family of five sons, Paddy, Vern, Claude, Basil and Michael (N.Z.) and two daughters, Mesdames W. M'Gee (Queenstown) and Bernard Thorp (Scotchtown). Another son. Em., pre deceased his father. Mr. Tas. O'Halloran is a brother.47

Elizabeth Caroline O'Halloran, nee Horton, the wife of John O'Halloran, died on 29 September 1947 in Irishtown.


Mrs Elizabeth Caroline O'Halloran relict of the late Mr Jack O'Halloran died at Irishtown in her 83rd year. She was particularly well known in the district where she was held in high regard. She was a daughter of the late Samuel and Margaret Horton and was born at Forest. Six sons and two daughters survive. They are Messrs H. P. Frank, Carl, Leonard, Frederick and Daniel O'Halloran, and Mesdames G. A. and T. B. Kay.

Messrs George (Forest) and John Horton (Boat Harbor) are surviving brothers, and Mrs T. Kenny (Forth) a surviving sister. Deceased brothers and sisters are Messrs James, William, Samuel, Fred and Harry Horton, and Mesdames Bucknell, K. O'Connor, J. Buckingham and J. Healey. Many attended the funeral at Irishtown. Rev. T. Cloudsdale officiated at the graveside and the Church of England. Carriers were Messrs. Ken, Roy and Fred. O'Halloran and Keith Ulric and Tommy Kav. Pallbearers were Messrs. Phil., Arthur and Charles Horton, R. J. Cotton, J. K. Carroll and P. Fahey. Among the wreaths were those from the Irishtown Recreation Ground and Sports Committee, Football Club, State School and Church of England, and the Burnie office of the Woolgrowers' Agency.48

Ellen O'Halloran, nee Harvey, the wife of Michael O'Halloran died in September 1953:

Mrs E. O'Halloran

The death of Mrs. Ellen O'Halloran removed from the Irishtown district the last link with a highly respected pioneering family. Mrs. O'Halloran was formerly Miss Ellen Harvey. Three brothers, Con, Thomas and James, predeceased her some years ago, and the late Mrs. Robert Kay was her sister. Other members of her family migrated to Victoria, where they are still engaged in dairying.

The funeral of Mrs. O'Halloran, who was the widow of Mr. Michael O'Halloran, followed a service at the Catholic Church conducted by the Rev. P. Hanlon.

Six nephews were carriers- Messrs. Joseph, Bernard and Lawrence Harvey, Leonard, Roy and Lawrence O'Halloran. Pallbearers were Messrs. E. Hanlon, J. K. Carroll, E. O'Halloran and P. Kay.49

Daniel Berechree, the husband of Julia O'Halloran, died on 22 February 1954.

Potato-digging feat recalled
The "Wild Irishman" writes:

Only recently I interviewed Mr. Dan Berechree, who died on Monday, with a view to getting a story from him about his feat of digging 87 bags (between 11 and 12 to the ton) of potatoes in a day, which is still an Australian and probably a world record.

He told me he "was in good trim" at the time, because he was digging an average of 50 bags a day without overdoing himself. The record was established at Thunder's Flats in a ten-hour working day. Although there have been many attempts on the record since it was established 50 years ago, it has not been bettered.

The 87 bags would mean in those days about 7 1/2 tons. Using to-day's smaller bags, the quantity would be about 110 bags - so you can imagine what a feat it was.

As a young man Mr. Berechree worked hard on road jobs for 5/ a day when there was no potato-digging. And he used often to have to dig potatoes for 4/ a ton.

He made good use of the money he worked so hard to earn, and in the end owned one of the most beautiful farms on the N.W. Coast, at Flowerdale. He and his wife were noted for their hospitality.

The late Mr. Berechree was looking forward very much to seeing the Queen. But, as in all things, "Man proposes, God disposes'', and he passed away the day before her arrival.50

The deaths of John, Ann, Bridget and Edward O'Halloran have not been located as yet.