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The Irish National Invincibles ( ), usually known as "the Invincibles" were a radical splinter group of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, active in Dublin during the 1880s.

Murder in Phoenix Park

The group hatched a plan to kill the Permanent Under Secretary at the Irish Office Thomas Henry Burke. It was Chief Secretary for Ireland Lord Frederick Cavendish's misfortune that he was walking with Burke when the assassins struck in Phoenix Parkmarker, in Dublinmarker, at 17:30 Saturday, May 6, 1882, in what was to become known as the Phoenix Park Murders.
Grave of James Fitzharris (Skin the Goat)

The assassinations in the park were initiated by Joe Brady knifing Burke, followed in short order by Tim Kelly, who knifed Lord Frederick. Both men used surgical knives. The British press expressed the outrage felt by many and demanded that the "Phoenix Park Murderers" be brought to justice.

A large number of suspects were arrested. By playing off one suspect against another, Superintendent Mallon of "G" Division of the Dublin Metropolitan Police got several of them to reveal what they knew. The Invincibles' leader, James Carey, and Michael Kavanagh agreed to testify against the others. Joe Brady, Michael Fagan, Thomas Caffrey, Dan Curley and Tim Kelly were hanged by William Marwood in Kilmainham Gaolmarker in Dublinmarker between May 14 and June 4, 1883. Others were sentenced to serve long prison terms.


Carey was shot dead on board the 'Melrose Castle' off Cape Townmarker, South Africa, on July 29, 1883, by Donegalmarker man Patrick O Donnell, for giving evidence against his former comrades. O'Donnell was apprehended and escorted back to Londonmarker, where he was convicted of murder at the Old Baileymarker and hanged on December 17 1883.

In song

The Invincibles and Carey are mentioned in the folk song "Monto ":

When Carey told on Skin-the-goat,
O'Donnell caught him on the boat
He wished he'd never been afloat, the filthy skite.
Twasn't very sensible
To tell on the Invincibles
They stood up for their principles, day and night.

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