There are a number of articles in various local Australian newspapers about the life of Thomas O’Rourke. He was born in Paulstown on 8 September 1844 and emigrated to Australia with his mother, father and sister about December 1867. His three brothers had emigrated before the rest of the family. He lived until he was 95 years of age and died on 24 August 1940.
Some of the articles refer to his life before he moved to Australia. He talked about how he worked as a farm labourer in Paulstown and that the wage of the time was 4d (pence). The landowner that he worked for used to feed his workers and they were given “stir about” to eat. This was a dish of coarse meal that was well boiled and eaten with milk. They were given this three times a day and got potatoes now and then. O’Rourke only ate meat once in his life before moving to Australia, stating that “I only tasted meat on one occasion and that was when my father and I were in Paulstown one day – we had a chop between us”. 
O’Rourke even had links to people in Paulstown who were born in the late 1700s. He outlined in one interview that when he was a boy an 80 year old man used to visit their house and tell them “tales of the early days”.
 Author Unknown, Mr. T O’Rourke Celebrates 94th Birthday in The Longreach Leader, 10 September 1938, p.19; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011
 Author Unknown, Death of Mr. T O’Rourke at Longreach in Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, 26 August 1940, p.8; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011
 Author Unknown, Mr. Thomas O’Rourke Celebrated 95th Birthday in Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, 13 September 1939, p.9; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011