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Clontarf - Cities, Towns and Localities
In 1868, Henry James O’Farrell, also referred to as a ‘mad Fenian’ and ‘Irish fanatic’, attempted to assassinate Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, who happened to be the second son of Queen Victoria. He was attending a picnic at Clontarf in Middle Harbour - Port Jackson. O’Farrell was dealt with summarily, and hanged without ceremony at Darlinghurst Goal, three weeks later, despite Prince Alfred’s personal intercession on his behalf. It was well known that Queen Victoria did not like the Fenians and it was of great concern to the good citizens of Sydney that her son should be injured in their city.

One of the men who saved the Prince’s life by throwing himself between O’Farrell and the Prince was William Vial, Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge, who was the host of the picnic. Vial was given a claret jug of exquisite workmanship and a sum of money in recognition of his heroism.

Source: Central Sydney Area Health Service, Media Centre
- History of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Today under a huge tree near the park at the eastern end of Clontarf Beach and at the bottom of Holmes Ave, there is an unassuming faded plaque which reads:

‘This tree marks the spot where an attempt was made to assassinate H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh (son of Her Majesty Queen Victoria) while he was attending the picnic of the Sailors’ Home on March 12, 1868. This tablet replaces one erected in 1930 by the Manly Municipal Council in conjunction with the Manly Warringah and Pittwater Historical Society.’

Tucked on the northern side of Middle Harbour, with views south and west across to the Spit Bridge, Clontarf is mainly a residential area, with landscaped homes, bushland and properties either waterfront or with water views. It is believed that Clontarf is named after a suburb of Dublin, which was the original location for a battle in 1014, where the Irish managed to repel the invading Danish Vikings.

Clontarf Beach is a very family oriented beach with a protected swimming area. There is a playground with green sails to protect kids against the rain and sun. There is a shady flat park with views of the moored boats in the harbour.

Check out some of the listed travel guide attractions and visit the local tourist centre for additional information.

Information Centre

Manly Visitor Information Centre
Clontarf Reserve
On the waterfront, where you can swim in the seawater. There is a large play area with equipment for children under 12 years old.
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