Kalangan Road Galong NSW

A Mission of the Redemptorists

Ned Ryan

Edward (Ned) Ryan was born in County Tipperary 1786, the son of John Ryan, a farmer. His mother was Anastasia Hennessy. In 1810 Ned married Ellen Nagle. The couple had three children: Anastasia, Thomas and John the youngest born in 1815.

Early in 1816 he was sentenced to death for his part in an act of violent protest against harsh economic conditions. For him and twelve companions the death sentence was commuted to a 14 year prison term in Australia. He was lucky enough to be placed in the service of James Meehan upon his arrival in Australia. Meehan was an outstanding example of a convict who made good in Australia.

In 1825 Ned received his Ticket of Leave and had almost full freedom although he was not at liberty to leave the Colony. This original certificate is admiringly displayed at St Clement’s.

Ned Ryan triumphed against the odds. At one stage his gazetted squattage added up to more than 200,000 acres. However gruff his exterior, his heart of gold was poorly hidden. There were people in Galong who lived on his bounty for thirty years. It was Ned who made the two acres of land available as a burial ground. Ned died in 1871.

Ned was a farmer without a farm. He urgently needed a living space of his own. He could either obtain a free grant from the government; purchase land at five shillings an acre or by squatting. He tried all three. The legend that grew up around his name stemmed from his success as a squatter. His Galong establishment was 25 kms beyond the plough mark at Mount Browning, which meant he was living clearly beyond the limits laid down by the law.