An Irish American group has erected two headstones in a New York cemetery to honor two Irish freedom fighters who escaped imprisonment in Australia on board the Catalpa, in 1876. 

Michael Harrington and Thomas Hassett were members of the nationalist group the Fenian Brotherhood and took part in a failed uprising against British rule in Ireland in 1865. 

Both men were sent to Australia for penal servitude for the role they played in the rebellion and were subsequently part of a daring plan to escape in 1876. 

New York journalist John Devoy was the mastermind behind the escape and raised funds to purchase the Catalpa from Irish American donations.

The Catalpa then sailed from Massachusetts to Australia and picked up Harrington, Hassett, and four other prisoners who had successfully managed to escape Fremantle Prison in Western Australia. 

Colonial authorities gave chase, but the Catalpa escaped and the six men successfully made their way to freedom in the United States, becoming known as the "Catalpa Six". 

The Fenian Memorial Committee of America, a group founded to commemorate Fenians and Irish revolutionaries buried in the US, had previously erected headstones to honor the other four Catalpa escapees - James McNally Wilson in Rhode Island, Michael Hogan in Chicago, and Robert Cranston and Thomas Darragh in Philadelphia. 

However, Harrington and Hassett remained in unmarked graves in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York. 

The Fenian Memorial Committee unveiled two new headstones for the men at a ceremony at the cemetery on Saturday, October 15. 

The ceremony was followed by a fundraiser at the Bantry Bay pub in Long Island City, featuring an address by University of Limerick lecturer Ruan O'Donnell and music by Sean Maloney, Gary Gormley, and Rory Murphy.