Ned Kelly, notorious bushranger from the 1870s, will finally be laid to rest alongside his family after 130 years. Kelly’s remains were found in an prisoner’s grave this past September in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that there is discord about the honor that will be paid to a thief like Kelly. "This is not a matter of paying homage. This is a matter of finding an appropriate and respectful resting place for the earthly remains of a deceased person," said Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark. Clark made the decision to return Kelly’s remains to his family.
"Our family, like every family, likes to be able to bury their own family members. Our aim is to give him a dignified funeral, like any family would," said Anthony Griffith’s, great-grandson of Kelly’s sister.
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Despite the time since Kelly’s now infamous activities, resentment still remains. Mick Kennedy, Mansfield policeman and great-grandson of Sergeant Michael Kennedy who was killed by Kelly in 1878, is not pleased with Clark’s decision.
"He was an outlaw, a thief and, unfortunately for my family, a murderer ...My great grandmother was a left a widow with six children and there was no public service for her,” said Kennedy.
In regards to the type of service that will be offered, Griffiths said “The family certainly would like to have a private family service ... but we recognise there is that level of public interest and there are a lot of the public that might like to say their farewells.”
Victoria Police said it was important to remember that Kelly's was an iconic Australian story, but that he was part of a network of robbers which terrorised Victoria's northeast in the 1870s and murdered three police officers.