Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Truth of Dan Kellya[euro][TM]s Fate Stays a Mystery; Debate Rages over Whether Bushranger Neda[euro][TM]s Brother Spent His Final Days on the Skids in Ipswich

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Truth of Dan Kellya[euro][TM]s Fate Stays a Mystery; Debate Rages over Whether Bushranger Neda[euro][TM]s Brother Spent His Final Days on the Skids in Ipswich

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould joel.gould@qt.com.au

IT IS a debate that has been in play for 80 years.

When an Ipswich vagrant going by the name of James Ryan walked into the offices of The Truth newspaper in 1933 and said he was bushranger Dan Kelly it unleashed an enduring controversy.

Ryan is buried in the Ipswich General Cemetery and his links to Kelly are honoured at the site.

Before Ryanas claims, Dan Kelly was thought to have died in the Glenrowan hotel fire of 1880.

In 2005 Cairns author and historian Brian Stevenson debated Cr Paul Tully about the issue in Ipswich. Mr Stevenson does not believe Ryan was Kelly, while Cr Tully is open to the possibility that he was.

Mr Stevenson has listed the errors in Ryanas statements. In the 1933 Truth article, Ryan said his fatheras name was aOld Neda. Kellyas father was in fact John Kelly.

Ryan said his father was brought to Australia from Dublin in 1945 for poaching. John Kelly was brought to Australia in 1841 from Tipperary for the theft of two pigs.

Ryan said his motheras name was Kate. Kellyas motheras name was Ellen.

Stevenson lists other errors and told The QT that awe have on record a gentleman that doesnat know the name of his father, doesnat know the name of his mother and gets mixed up as to when they were in jail and when they dieda.

aHe says Constable Fitzpatrick was shot through the heart, but Constable Fitzpatrick lived a reasonably long life and died in 1924. There are inaccuracies all the way through it,a he said.

But Cr Tully said the shrewd Ryan had good reason to throw in some misleading titbits of information and that he might have been akeeping things up his sleeve just in case he was charged with murdera.

aHe believed when he went into the offices of The Truth that the statute of limitations prevented him being prosecuted after

50 years, but that is not true,a

he said.

aIf you were facing murder charges you might throw up a few furphies just in case the police had you extradited. Maybe he was changing some of the information so that if he was charged he could claim it was just a joke.

aYou talk to people who knew him like (local resident) John Harris and they swear that he was Dan Kelly. …

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