Most people think of Australia's convict past as decidedly English. Anne McMahon tells the story of the Irish prisoners roped into the British transportation scheme. Poverty, civil unrest and overcrowded prisons in Ireland from 1823 to 1837 led to thousands of men being sentenced to transportation to Australia. They were confined mainly to hulks moored in Cork Harbour and at Kinstown near Dublin. Violence, illness and meagre rations were the norm. Anne McMahon's vivid descriptions of what it was really like to endure transportation-squalid living conditions and long sea voyages-reveals the Irish convict experience.
Anne McMahon is already admired for her last book bringing new light to convict transportation to Van Diemen's Land. She is a graduate of the University of Tasmania and the ANU. Her thirty year academic career was at the University of Canberra.