Ned & Ettie, a love story

AN untold love story involving Ned Kelly will be revealed in an event being held at Eldorado in August.

It revolves around Ettie Hart, the younger sister of Kelly Gang member Steve Hart.

Hart was killed at the Glenrowan shootout in June 1880 along with Dan Kelly and Joe Byrne.

Ettie Hart was a beautiful girl of 19 when Ned Kelly, 25, was hanged in Melbourne.

She died in 1926 in Sydney’s Balmain hospital and took to her grave the untold love story.

But it was uncovered by her great-great-grandson Paul O’Keefe, who in 2010 found her scrapbook at the family home in Sydney.

The book, along with other items, had been put in a box and it turned out to be a treasure trove of information.

There were old photos, letters, obituary cards, newspaper clippings, a book by an Irish poet and a gold embossed scrap book on a red spine.

The inside of the book was clearly inscribed: “Ettie Hart, Three Mile Creek, Wangaratta”.

That was the address of the old family selection and the scrapbook contained sad, handwritten poems copied into it.

Many were about a secretive “lost love” and their relationship.

“It’s a part of the Kelly story that has never been touched really,” Mr O’Keefe said yesterday.

“The evidence I have is pretty strong to say the least.”

Mr O’Keefe is proud of his family’s history and was a researcher on Peter FitzSimons’ recent book Ned Kelly — The Story of Australia’s Most Notorious Legend.

Part of his research uncovered internal police correspondence indicating they believed Ettie was married to Ned.

Mr O’Keefe runs a lecturing business named Neducate, which has been successful.

He said the main objective is to cut through misconceptions and half-truths about the Kelly story.

He said his ancestor was a remarkable young woman and her story showed her intricate involvement with the Kelly Gang is amazing and fascinating.

Mr O’Keefe will outline the story in a lecture titled The girl who loved Ned Kelly at the Eldorado Hall at 6pm on August 8 with those attending able to make a donation on entry.

“It’s a fund-raiser for the Eldorado museum,” he said.

Eldorado resident Trent Cupid is a Ned Kelly enthusiast and organising arrangements for the lecture.