On September 18, 1867, a very elaborate and historically significant rescue attempt took place on the streets of Manchester, England.
For on this date Colonel Richard Burke and a party of sixteen hand picked men (including one James Cahill of Lawrence) rescued Colonel Thomas Kelly and Captain Timothy Deacy, the number one and number two men in the Fenian Movement.
Deacy, like Cahill, was a Lawrencian and a member of Division 8, AOH. During the rescue, Sgt. Charles Brett, a British police veteran of twenty-five years was accidently shot and killed.
On October 28, 1867, William Phillip Allen, Michael Larkin, and Michael O'Brien, after a lengthly trial, were convicted of the "murder" of Sgt. Brett.
Within the walls of the New Bailey prison on November 23, 1867, Allen, Larkin and O"Brien were publicly hanged and their bodies buried in quick lime in unconsecrated ground within the jail.
Almost overnight, "funeral processions" were being planned in commemoration of the "Manchester Martyrs" as the three are now known.
On December 8, 1867, some thirty funeral processions took place throughout Ireland. In Dublin, over 100,000 persons turned out to take part. Every mourner wore a black and a green armband.
Four days after the Dublin procession, the Crown issue a proclamation declaring such processions and the wearing of the green illegal. On December 14, several leaders of the Dublin procession were arrested and charged with sedition and treason.
The trial began on February 10, 1868 and was watched closely by all the people of Ireland. While the jury was out deliberating the verdict, the courthouse was surrounded by thousands of Irishmen who began to sing the now immortal, "Wearing of the Green".
The jury feared for their lives as the noise outside the courtside grew louder. Silence descended upon the multitude outside as the jury foreman read the verdict...NOT GUILTY.
The impetus given the "Wearing of the Green" during the funeral procession is the main reason the "Wearing of the Green" became a St. Patrick's Day tradition all over the world.
Wearing of the Green
LyricsWearing of the Green

Oh Paddy dear and did you hear the news that's going around?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground
No more St. Patrick's Day we'll keep, his colours can't be seen
For there's a cruel law against wearing of the green
I met with Nappertandy and he took me by the hand
And he said "How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?"
She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen
They're hanging men and women for the wearing of the green

And if the colour we must wear is England's cruel red
Let it remind us of the blood that Ireland has shed
Then take the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod
And never fear, 'twill take root there, tho' underfoot 'tis trod
When laws can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow
And when the leaves in summertime, their colour dare not show
Then I will change the colour that I wear in my caubeen
But 'till that day, please God I'll stay a-wearing of the green