“If anybody steals a horse, blame it on the Kelly’s. If anybody breaks the law, blame it on the Kelly’s.
Anyone does something new, or does what you would like to do, cause if the troopers don’t know who, blame it on the Kelly’s.”
The ruined home of infamous and controversial Tipperary / Australian bushranger Ned (Edward) Kelly, containing two rooms, has been sold at auction to a private buyer in Australia.
The property, situated at Beveride some 60km north of Melbourne in rural Australia and which today is little more than a stone and wood ruin was built by the late outlaw’s Co Tipperary born father, John ‘Red’ Kelly in 1859 and occupied by his family until 1864.
The property sold for €445,000 (Aus$640,000) at auction just last weekend to a nearby family who fell passionately in love with the irreplaceable ruin and its immediate surroundings and look forward to the day when it can be refurbished. The National Trust of Australia has pledged to help the new owners maintain the heritage-listed ruin, which has not been occupied since the Kelly’s moved out in 1864.
The single storey cottage was originally built by Ned Kelly’s father using materials he scavenged from the surrounding bushland and was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 1992, offering the building and site the equivalent of an Irish Preservation Order.
In 2013 over 40 members of the Kelly clan, including a number of the outlaw’s immediate descendants, gathered in Moyglass, here in Co Tipperary which had long been identified as the true John ‘Red’ Kelly ancestral home, prior to his being transported as a convict to Tasmania in 1841, at the age of 22 years; his crime the stealing of two pigs in nearby Ballysheehan, Co Tipperary.
His son Ned Kelly was hanged for murder on November 11th 1880 at the age of 25 years, some 133 years ago at Melbourne jail. Three years ago, in 2011, Ned’s remains were exhumed by a special licence granted to his living relatives and he was identified using DNA analysis, after which his remains were returned to his family. A statement later from the Kelly family said that they wanted his burial to be in keeping with the bushranger’s last wish before his execution in 1880; that he then be buried in consecrated ground with only his family in attendance in order to ensure a private, respectful and dignified funeral.
In a statement, the family have detailed Ned Kelly’s third letter to the Governor, written the day before his execution, pleading for the release of his mother Ellen from prison. It also tells of Ned’s last meeting with his mother prior to his own execution. “Mind you die like a Kelly, Ned,” she had warned her first-born son and third born child.
The location of Ned Kelly’s skull is still today shrouded in mystery, having been stolen from an Old Melbourne Gaol display case in 1978.