ISBN: 978-0-6489488-0-3; 2020, pbk
When gold was discovered in Victoria, a young Irishman, Martin Loughlin, and his cousin, Patrick, joined the thousands of diggers heading to Ballarat to make their fortune. Martin possessed a golden touch as he successfully built a portfolio of mines. Not all were without controversy - his purchase of the Mt Egerton mine led to one of the most famous court cases of the era. His growing wealth enabled him to indulge his keen interest in racehorses. Starting his track career in Ballarat, he later entered his racehorses in Warrnambool and Melbourne with considerable success, winning many major trophies and becoming one of only a few owners able to return a profit from this passion. By the time of his untimely death in 1894, he had become one of the richest men in Victoria.
His nephew, Thomas O’Loughlin, who inherited the fortune, became one of the most generous Catholic benefactors of the early 20th century - starting with building a new church in Kilkenny in memory of his late uncle. His largesse was spread around many Catholic institutions in Australia, particularly in his home towns of Ballarat and later Melbourne. Thomas became a great supporter of Archbishop Mannix during the conscription controversies that beset Australia and the Catholic Church during World War I.