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Byrne, Joseph (Joe) (1856–1880)

Very little is known regarding the past life of Joseph [Joe] Byrne, except that for several years his mother has resided near a gorge known as "Rats' Castle," some miles from Beechworth, and that a younger brother named Patrick, and several of his sisters have lived in the same locality with her. Patsey Byrne works as a labourer for the surrounding farmers, and also breaks in horses, while his sisters are nearly all kept at home. Joe was always a wanderer, continually associating with horse and cattle duffers, and was on particularly friendly terms with the "Greta mob." Byrne has been identified with gangs of horse and cattle stealers since boyhood, and has been convicted and served several years in gaol. He is fully 6ft. high, rather well built, has mild grey eyes, brown bushy whiskers, and a very light moustache. There was nothing in his appearance to indicate that he possessed criminal proclivities, nor was there even so much in Ned Kelly's face as one would expect from what is known of his career; but both Dan Kelly and Steve Hart had most repulsive features and a cruel look about the eyes and mouth, even when in their happiest moods.

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'Byrne, Joseph (Joe) (1856–1880)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 September 2020.

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