Joseph Mary Plunkett

Joseph Mary Plunkett (Irish: Seosamh Máire Pluincéid, 21 November 1887 – 4 May 1916) was an Irish nationalist, poet, journalist, and a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Plunkett was born at 26 Upper Fitzwilliam Street in one of Dublin’s most affluent neighborhoods. Both his parents came from wealthy backgrounds,and his father, George Noble Plunkett, had been made a papal count.[3] Despite being born into a life of privilege, young Joe Plunkett did not have an easy childhood.
Plunkett contracted tuberculosis at a young age. This was to be a lifelong burden. His mother was unwilling to believe his health was as bad as it was. He spent part of his youth in the warmer climates of the Mediterranean and north Africa. He was educated at the Catholic University School (CUS) and by the Jesuits at Belvedere College in Dublin and later at Stonyhurst College, in Lancashire, where he acquired some military knowledge from the Officers’ Training Corps. Throughout his life, Joseph Plunkett took an active interest in Irish heritage and the Irish language, and also studied Esperanto. Plunkett was one of the founders of the Irish Esperanto League. He joined the Gaelic League and began studying with Thomas MacDonagh, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. The two were both poets with an interest in theater, and both were early members of the Irish Volunteers, joining their provisional committee. Plunkett’s interest in Irish nationalism spread throughout his family, notably to his younger brothers George and John, as well as his father, who allowed his property in Kimmage, south Dublin, to be used as a training camp for young men who wished to escape conscription in England during World War I. Men there were instead trained to fight for Ireland.
IRB involvement

Sometime in 1915 Joseph Plunkett joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and soon after was sent to Germany to meet with Roger Casement, who was negotiating with the German government on behalf of Ireland. Casement’s role as emissary was self-appointed, and, as he was not a member of the IRB, that organisation’s leadership wished to have one of their own contact Germany to negotiate German aid for an uprising the following year. He was seeking (but not limiting himself to) a shipment of arms. Casement, on the other hand, spent most of his energies recruiting Irish prisoners of war in Germany to form a brigade to fight instead for Ireland. Some nationalists in Ireland saw this as a fruitless endeavor, and preferred to seek weapons. Plunkett successfully got a promise of a German arms shipment to coincide with the rising.
The Easter Rising

Plunkett was one of the original members of the IRB Military Committee that was responsible for planning the Easter Rising,, and it was largely his plan that was followed. Shortly before the rising was to begin, Plunkett was hospitalized following a turn for the worse in his health. He had an operation on his neck glands days before Easter and had to struggle out of bed to take part in what was to follow. Still bandaged, he took his place in the General Post Office with several other of the rising’s leaders such as Patrick Pearse and Tom Clarke, though his health prevented him from being terribly active. His energetic aide de camp was Michael Collins.
Marriage and execution

Following the surrender Plunkett was held in Kilmainham jail, and faced a court martial. Seven hours before his execution by firing squad at the age of 28, he was married in the prison chapel to his sweetheart Grace Gifford, a Protestant convert to Catholicism, whose sister, Muriel, had years before also converted and married his best friend Thomas MacDonagh, who was also executed for his role in the Easter Rising.
Aftermath

His brothers George Oliver Plunkett and Jack Plunkett joined him in the Easter Rising and later became important IRA men. His father’s cousin, Horace Plunkett, was a Protestant and unionist who sought to reconcile unionists and nationalists. His home was burned down by the Anti-Treaty IRA during the Civil War.
The main railway station in Waterford City is named after him as is Joseph Plunkett tower in Ballymun. Plunkett barracks in the Curragh Camp, County Kildare is also named after him.
References

^ O’Neill, Marie (2000). Grace Gifford Plunkett and Irish freedom: tragic bride of 1916. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7165-2666-7.
^ “Review Of ‘All in the Blood’”. A&A Farmar Book Publishers. Retrieved 4 Nov 2010.
^ “[Count Plunkett] George Noble Plunkett”. Princess Grace Irish Library (Monaco). Retrieved 5 Nov 2010.
^ “A Short History of the Esperanto Movement in Ireland”
Source: Wikipedia

By Sol Mendoza:

Joseph Mary Plunkett working with his radio

By James Langton:

Count Plunkett and his wife with Grace Gifford

Count Plunkett and his wife with Grace Gifford. She married Joseph Mary               Plunkett in Kilmainham Jail Chapel hours before his execution. The song “Grace” by Jim McCann is a very moving tribute to this historical couple.

By James langton:

Grace Gifford This is the actual dress she wore at her marriage to Joe Plunkett in Kilmainham Jail just before his execution.

By James Langton:

A page from Joe Plunketts note book 1916, written at the height of battle. In it he explains how connolly was shot and how bad his wounds were.

New Zealanders at Trinity College Dublin Easter Week 1916

Your readers may be interested in research I am doing on the 5 New Zealand soldiers who assisted in the defence of Trinity College Dublin during Easter Week 1916.
The 5 New Zealanders are listed in the 1916 Rebellion Handbook published by the Irish Times soon after the Rising, but their involvement has never been widely acknowledged in subsequent publications. In most accounts of the Rising they are described as ‘Anzacs’ and are assumed to be Australians. The 1916 Rebellion Handbook lists only 1 Australian soldier who served in the Trinity College garrison.
The New Zealanders were Sergeant Frederick Nevin NZMC from Christchurch, Corporal Alexander Don NZFA from Dunedin, Corporal John Garland NZMC from Auckland, Lance Corporal Finlay McLeod NZE from Milton and Private Edward Waring NZR from Northland. All five men were in Dublin on Easter Monday when the shooting began and they were directed to Trinity College where the university staff and OTC cadets were defending the buildings against the rebels.
Don, McLeod and Waring had served on Gallipoli and were convalescing in Great Britain before rejoining their units on the Western Front. Nevin and Garland were medical orderlies from the New Zealand Hospital Ship Marama but their non-combatant status did not prevent them from picking up rifles with other Dominion troops to help defend the university. Garland had previously served in the New Zealand occupation of German Samoa in 1914. Letters by Garland, Don and McLeod were published in New Zealand newspapers soon after the Rising and these provide interesting eyewitness accounts of events.

 

The letters recount the initial shooting by the rebels was directed at unarmed British soldiers on the streets of Dublin. The slouch hats worn by the New Zealanders appeared to confuse the rebel marksmen and they managed to escape being hit. The letters describe the chaos on Dublin streets as the rebels rushed to occupy buildings, with civilians being hit in the crossfire. Garland claims he was shot at by Countess Markievicz as she sped past in a motorcar!  Don recounts how he saw the rebels barricading buildings and he observed James Connolly standing with arms folded on the steps of the GPO.
There were 14 Dominion soldiers in the Trinity College garrison by Monday evening. The other Dominion troops present were 6 South Africans and 2 Canadians. An Anzac sharpshooting squad was soon formed comprising the 5 New Zealanders and the 1 Australian present, Private Michael McHugh, 9th Battalion, AIF. All 5 New Zealanders must have been handy with a rifle as they were often called upon to counter rebel snipers. The university was reinforced on Tuesday by British troops and later that week it became the Headquarters of Brigadier General W.H.M. Lowe.
For 3 days the Anzac marksmen occupied the roofs of the university and exchanged shots with the rebels. They shot and killed Irish Volunteer Gerald Keogh as he cycling past the university early Tuesday morning with 2 other comrades. On Friday the Anzacs ventured from the university to clear nearby buildings, including the belfry of St Andrew’s Church and Westland Row Railway Station. Both Garland and McLeod claim that the Anzacs killed around 30 rebels, however this tally is suspect given the total rebel deaths for Easter Week is 64. It is probable in the smoke and haze the Anzacs misjudged how many rebels they accounted for.

 

Irish Commandant W.J. Brennan-Whitmore describes the compassion shown to him and other rebel prisoners by a cheerful ‘Australian sergeant’ from Trinity College. Frederick Nevin was the only Anzac sergeant at Trinity College so it must have been him who gave the prisoners a tin of biscuits and a jug of cold tea before they were marched off to imprisonment. Brennan-Whitmore also congratulated the Anzacs on the accuracy of their shooting.

 

Film footage of the Easter Rising on the Imperial War Museum website clearly shows Sergeant Nevin and Privates Waring and McHugh walking from the gates of Trinity College soon after the surrender carrying rifles and smoking cigarettes!

 

After the Rising the New Zealanders travelled back to England to rejoin their units. In August 1916 they were each sent a small silver cup commemorating their role in the defence of Trinity College. Edward Waring later served on the Western Front with the 6th Hauraki Company, Auckland Regiment and was invalided back to New Zealand in early 1918. He succumbed to influenza in November 1918 aged 26.

 

Frederick Nevin and John Garland rejoined the Hospital Ship Marama for a return sailing to New Zealand. Nevin was a machinist with the New Zealand Railways and he died in Christchurch in 1953 aged 58. John Garland was still living in Auckland in 1950.

 

Alexander Don served on the Western Front with the New Zealand Field Artillery and was ‘reduced to the ranks’ in 1917 for striking a superior officer!  He was selected for officer training in 1918 but the Armistice prevented this. He returned to New Zealand in 1919 and became a school master in Wellington. Don served in the Home Guard during the Second World War, dying in 1954 aged 57.

 

Finlay McLeod was gassed on the Western Front in 1917 and was invalided home to New Zealand.  He was still living in 1967 when he claimed his bronze commemorative Gallipoli Medallion and Gallipoli Veteran’s lapel badge from the New Zealand Government.

 

The New Zealanders Army Service files make no mention of their unofficial ‘Active Service’ in Dublin during the Easter Rising.   However, there is a letter on Waring’s file from his nephew on the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966 seeking confirmation from the Ministry of Defence that his uncle was in Ireland in 1916.  I  would be keen to hear from any of your readers who may have more information on these 5 New Zealanders.

 

 

Hugh Keane

Hamilton

New Zealand

 

 

 

October- Info Required IRA members

Hello,
My name is John Paul and am from Derry, Am looking to research Dick Mc Kee who was involved in the Irish Bulletin, a news-sheet produced by Dáil Éireann’s Department of Publicity, Dick McKee, the IRA Commandant of the Dublin Brigade. Am led to believe that i have a family connection with him and i was hoping you could point me in the right direction as to where i can research this further as am very interested in this, i’ve also been given a photo is which my grandad is supposed to be in, it shows the portobello army in 1922, any help our information on where i can research this further would be off great help

Thank you

John Paul

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Micheal douglas and willie douglas(his brother) in their na fianna uniforms (aged 12-13) also as young men in different uniforms. My granddad took part in the raid on Monks Bakery (kevin baryy) and I printed evidence of this. Would it be something that you would be interested in. My dad is still alive 80 years and he tells stories of how is dad was in Ballykinler interment camp how do we get info on this. Also we have a picture of my grandad in a parade of men carrying out a gun salute at a funeral. My grandad died in 1952 so it would be pre that era ?

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My brotherinlaw Kevin Barrett. nephew ofDick Barrett executed in 1922 lives inLondon

and has asked me to find,if possible living relatives of Liam Mellows .Kevin like myself is in his 80.s and though he has been to Mountjoy recently he has not been sccessful. He himself is from West Cork and believes Mellows also had connections there.
I would be most greatful if you could helpme or point me in the right direction,
Mise le meas Lucás O’Cuinneagáin Grange Cottage Holycross Co Tipp. 0504 43985

Hello,
I am trying to find out some info regarding my great grandfather, Dominick McSloy. I was recently given his service medal by my mother and I would like to have it mounted for display but I know nothing about him. I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me regarding this. I found him in the 1911 census living in ardboe, Co Tyrone aged 23 but i have nothing beyond that.
Thank you in advance for any info or

——————————————————————————————George George Gilmore.

George was my first cousin  once removed (My Dads first cousin)  my dad grew up with George in Howth, but then we moved to UK from Ireland, and although I met George a couple of times when on Holiday in Ireland, I was very young so didn’t get to know him very well..

My Grandson came across his name in history at school recently. and asked me about him,

What sort of man he was really, etc.  also could you tell me why his mother went to prison. She was my Great Aunt, Frances Gilmore (Nee Angus ) known as Fanny.

Where can I get any of his poems, and find the play he wrote for his fiancé Cora Hughes? Also I believe he was something of an artist. are any of his paintings still around anywhere.

I would love as much information about him as is possible.

Regards,

Heather Graham (Mrs)

PS, I’d love some photo’s of George as I don’t remember really what he looked like  with being so young myself.

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Is there anyway of tracing details on volunteers?

I have just been given my grandfathers black and tan medal and wanted to know if there were any details on him. His name is Patrick Byrne,Doolistown,trim,co meath.

I hope you may be able to help

Regards Sean

—————————————————————————————————————————————-Could you  please tell me if Seán Hales married and to whom did he marry, and where is he burried.
Thanking you for any information yiu can give us.
Mervyn Hales.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–delighted to hear about this new book and looking forward to reading it soon…would anyone have any information on Martin Jennings (my Fathers uncle) who was attached to Tara Street Fire Station around 1920,  would be great to hear about him, maybe a photo ?   thank you….

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I’m interested in finding out more about item no3 (the FS soldiers killed by a mine near Macroom, Co Cork) as Capt Dan O’Brien was a GrandUncle of mine (his sister would have been my paternal grandmother) and was also from Macroom.     Incidentally, both my grandfather and late father were dentists in the Army as well.

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My father William Keane and his brother Sean were active serving members of E Company 6th Batt. old IRA.
I would love to see any pics or information you have about the period.
Recently I got a copy of my fathers old IRA pension application form and it makes interesting reading ,also have some pics of the company .

regds,    Brendan Keane.

I wish to know what information you would have for my Grandfather Peter Joseph Doran who was in “Second Batalion” Ref. S.P.9191/A623 also U/3883
Bset regards. Tony

——————————————————————————————-I have found out that St Michael’s Cemetery is in Cashel Road, Tipperary Town.
I have also found out that Patrick Hackett is buried in Drangan.
I believe there is a plaque on the ground in memorial to Hackett/Fleming/Clancy
but does anyone know where it is please?
Presumably in the Drangan area?
Any info greatly appreciated

—————————————————————————————————————————————I’m looking for details of John Scanlan, Garraunboy, Killaloe, Co. Clare who was on hunger strike in Wormwood Scrubbs in 1920.
Any info. greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-My father’s cousins John and James Kelly were both IRA in East Cork during the War of Independence but took opposing sides in the Civil War, John for the Free State and James for the IRA. James left Ireland for the USA after the Civil War and never returned. In the 1970’s his descendants tried to get in touch with my father to no avail. Haven’t a clue who they were or where they are in the USA.  Would like to get in touch if there is anyone out there related to me.

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Edward Daly

Article courtesy of the Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives

Portrait of Edward Daly by Seán O’Sullivan RHA

Capuchin Artwork Collection
Oil on Canvas; 61 cm x 51 cm
Signed


Seán O’Sullivan (1906-1964) was an Irish painter and print maker who composed work featuring Éamon de Valera, Douglas Hyde, WB Yeats, and James Joyce. He also designed the cover for ‘The Capuchin Annual’. He began exhibiting at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 1926, at the age of 20, contributing an average of six paintings a year until his death. Most of his works were portraits interspersed with landscape painting of the West of Ireland. In 1928 he became the youngest ever associate member of the RHA, and in 1931 was elected an academician. During his distinguished career as portraitist, O’Sullivan drew or painted portraits of many of the leading political and cultural figures in Ireland including Maude Gonne, Brendan Behan, James Larkin, Alice Milligan, Bulmer Hobson, Sir Chester Beatty and Ernie O’Malley. Many of his works are held in public collections of Irish Art in the National Gallery of Ireland, Hugh Lane Gallery, Limerick Art Gallery, University College Dublin and others. This portrait shows the 1916 Rising leader, Edward ‘Ned’ Daly (1891-1916), and was part of a much larger collection of artwork held by ‘The Capuchin Annual’ Office which was located on Capel Street. Daly was commandant of Dublin’s 1st battalion during the Rising. His battalion, stationed in the Four Courts and areas to the west and north of Dublin city centre, saw the most intense fighting during Easter Week. Daly was youngest of the leaders executed in the aftermath of the insurrection.

Ernest Blythe

Ernest Blythe (Irish: Earnán de Blaghd; 13 April 1889 – 23 February 1975) was an Irish politician.
Ernest Blythe was born to a Presbyterian and Unionist family near Lisburn, County Antrim in 1889, the son of a farmer, and was educated locally. At the age of fifteen he started working as a clerk in the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.
Blythe joined the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He also joined the Gaelic League, where his Irish teacher was Sinéad Flanagan, the future wife of Éamon de Valera.

In 1909 Blythe became a junior news reporter with the North Down Herald.
Blythe soon became involved in the activities of the Irish Volunteers. This led to years of arrests, imprisonment, and hunger strikes. He spent the Easter Rising of 1916 in prison. In the general election of 1918 Blythe was elected as a Teachta Dála (TD) for North Monaghan. From then until 1922 he served as Minister for Trade and Commerce. Blythe was a strong supporter of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and in 1923 he became Minister for Finance in W. T. Cosgrave’s first government.
He married Anne McHugh in 1919.
Blythe was committed to keeping a balanced budget at all costs, which was not at all easy. The Irish Civil War had placed an enormous strain on the nascent Free State, with public spending almost doubling in the previous twelve months. As a result, Blythe was confronted with a projected budget of more than £8 million for the coming year when the national debt already stood at £6 million. He did however fund the Ardnacrusha or Shannon Scheme. But there was widespread criticism when he reduced old-age pensions from 10 shillings (50p) to 9 shillings (45p) a week. Blythe also served as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and Vice-President of the Executive Council. In the 1933 general election Blythe lost his seat.
Blythe was a senior figure in the Blueshirts and his support for the fascist leader Eoin O’Duffy as leader of that organisation (and of the Fine Gael party) left him a marginal figure, once Fine Gael rid itself of O’Duffy.
In January 1934 he was elected to fill a vancany in the Senate created by the death of Ellen Cuffe, Countess of Desart. He served in the Senate until the institution was abolished in 1936. He then retired from politics.
Throughout his life he was committed to the revival of the Irish language. He encouraged Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards to found an Irish language theatre in Galway.
Between 1941 and 1967 he served as managing director of the Abbey Theatre. It was said that he rejected many good plays in favour of those which were more financially rewarding and ran the theatre into the ground as a creative force. In 1957 he published an autobiographical account of his life until 1913.
Ernest Blythe died in Dublin on 23 February 1975, aged 85.

Source: Wikipedia

Photo: James Langton

Above: The grave of Ernest Blythe,Glasnevin,Dublin.

IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE EXHIBITION/ DISPLAY Dublin

IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE EXHIBITION/ DISPLAY

Dublin

The Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation http://irishvolunteers.org/is happy to announce an exhibition, and display on Saturday October 27, 2012.
The event will take place at the Teachers Club,36 Parnell square,opposite the Garden of Remembrance.The Teachers Club is centrally located and the train and bus stations are within reach.
The event is open to the public.
The event opens on saturday morning at 11. am and ends at 6:00 pm.

Above photo,   The Fianna Convention of 1912,100 years anniversary. The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will mark the centenary on October 27,2012.

Entry 5 euro per person.Family 10 euro.Members FREE .(Please bring your membership cards).
Special group rates available. Phone John: (086) 395-6642 .
An exhibition of Irish Volunteer items from 1913 to 1923 will be exhibited ,
ON DISPLAY WILL BE MEDALS,UNIFORMS ,DOCUMENTS AND MANY MORE ITEMS FROM THE PERIOD and we will have members on hand to answer any questions from the general public. Members wishing to help on the day , we require 10/12 members , please contact Brian on brianmardyke@hotmail.com

Las Fallon will give a talk on his new book
DUBLIN FIRE BRIGADE and the IRISH REVOLUTION

We request all members to attend.

A General meeting of Irish Volunteers members will take place the next day,Sunday, October 28,It will be in Dublin city centre, precise time and location will be announced soon.

Please address all enquiries to info@irishvolunteers.org or see http://irishvolunteers.org/2012/09/irish-war-of-independence-exhibition-display-dublin-october-272012/.

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry
Kevin Gerard Barry
Born 20 January 1902
8 Fleet Street, Dublin
Died 1 November 1920 (aged 18)
at Mountjoy Jail, Dublin
Nationality Irish
Other names Caoimhín de Barra (Irish)
Occupation Medical Student
Known for Executed IRA volunteer : One of The Forgotten Ten
Kevin Gerard Barry (Irish: Caoimhín de Barra ) (20 January 1902 – 1 November 1920) was the first Irish republican to be executed by the British since the leaders of the Easter Rising.[ Barry was sentenced to death for his part in an IRA operation which resulted in the deaths of three British soldiers.
Barry’s death is considered a watershed moment in the Irish conflict. His execution outraged public opinion in Ireland and throughout the world, because of his youth. The timing of his death was also crucial, in that his hanging came only days after the death on hunger strike of Terence MacSwiney – the republican Lord Mayor of Cork – and brought public opinion to fever-pitch. His treatment and death attracted great international attention and attempts were made by U.S., British, and Vatican officials to secure a reprieve. His execution and MacSwiney’s death precipitated a dramatic escalation in violence as the Irish War of Independence entered its most bloody phase.
Because of his refusal to inform on his comrades while under torture, Kevin Barry was to become one of the most celebrated of republican martyrs.A ballad bearing his name, relating the story of his execution, is popular to this day.
Early life

Kevin Barry was born on 20 January 1902, at 8 Fleet Street Dublin. The son of Thomas and Mary (née Dowling) Barry, he was the fourth of seven children, two boys and five sisters. He was baptised in St. Andrews Church, Westland Row. Thomas Barry Snr. worked on the family farm at Tombeagh, Hacketstown, County Carlow, and ran a dairy business from Fleet Street. Thomas died in 1908 at the age of 56.
His mother came from Drumguin, also in County Carlow, and on the death of her husband, moved the family to Tombeagh. As a child Kevin liked country life, and went to the national school in Rathvilly. On returning to Dublin, he attended St. Mary’s College, Rathmines, until the school closed in the summer of 1916.
When he was thirteen, he attended a commemoration for the Manchester Martyrs. The three men, members of the Fenian Brotherhood, were hanged in England in 1867, and whose cry of “God Save Ireland”, had a strong effect on him. Afterwards he wished to join Constance Markievicz’s Fianna na hEireann, but was dissuaded by his family.
[edit]Belvedere College

From St. Mary’s College he then transferred to Belvedere College, where he was a member of the championship Junior Rugby Cup team, and earned a place on the senior team. In 1918 he became secretary of the school hurling club which had just been formed, and was one of their most enthusiastic players.
Belevedere College, where Kevin Barry attended school. To mark the anniversary of his execution, Belvedere College Museum mounted a special exhibition of Kevin Barry memorabilia.
Father Thomas Counihan, S.J., his science and mathematics teacher, said of him: “He was a dour kind of lad. But once he got down to something he went straight ahead… There was no waving of flags with him, but he was sincere and intense.”
Notwithstanding his many activities, he did not neglect his studies. He won a merit-based scholarship given annually by Dublin Corporation, which allowed him to become a student of medicine at UCD.
[edit]Medical student

He entered University College Dublin in 1919. A fellow student described him then as “open-handed, open-hearted and generous to a fault and first in every manly exercise.”[5] Much like other students, he liked to go dancing and to the theatre, and was popular, making friends easily. His closest friend at college was Gerry MacAleer, from Dungannon, whom he had first met in Belvedere. Other friends included Frank Flood, Tom Kissane and Mick Robinson, who, unknown to many in the college, were, along with Barry, IRA volunteers.
Volunteer activities

In October 1917, during his second year at Belvedere College, aged 15, he joined the IRA.Assigned originally to ‘C’ Company 1st Battalion, based on the north side of Dublin, he later transferred to the newly formed ‘H’ Company, under the command of Capt. Seamus Kavanagh.
Wall plaque marking the site in 1919, where the Active Service Unit of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army was founded. The building is in Great Denmark Street, Dublin
His first job as a member of the IRA was delivering mobilisation orders around the city. Along with other volunteers he trained in a number of locations in Dublin, including the building at 44 Parnell Square, the present day headquarters of Sinn Féin, now named Kevin Barry Hall. The IRA held Field exercises during this period which were conducted in north county Dublin and in areas such as Finglas.
The following year, at the age of 16, he was introduced by Seán O’Neill and Bob O’Flanagan to the Clarke Luby Club of the IRB, which had been reorganised.
He took part in a number of IRA operations in the years leading up to his capture. He was part of the unit which raided the Shamrock Works for weapons destined to be handed over to the R.I.C. He also took part in the raid on Mark’s of Capel Street, looking for ammunition and explosives. On 1 June 1920, under Vice-Commandant Peadar Clancy, he played a notable part in the seizing of the King’s Inn, capturing the garrison’s arms. The haul included 25 rifles, two light machine guns and large quantities of ammunition. The 25 British soldiers captured during the attack were released as the volunteers withdrew. In recognition of his dedication to duty he was promoted to Section Commander.
Ambush

On the morning of 20 September 1920, Kevin Barry went to Mass, and received Holy Communion; he then joined a party of IRA volunteers on Bolton Street in Dublin. Their orders were to ambush a British army truck as it picked up a delivery of bread from the bakery, and capture their weapons. The ambush was scheduled for 11:00 A.M., which gave him enough time to take part in the operation and return to class in time for an examination he had at 2:00 P.M. The truck arrived late, and was under the command of Sergeant Banks.
Armed with a .38 Mauser Parabellum, Barry and members of C Company were to surround the truck, disarm the soldiers, take the weapons, and escape. He covered the back of the truck, and when challenged, the five soldiers complied with the order to lay down their weapons. A shot was then fired; Terry Golway, author of For the Cause of Liberty, suggests it was possibly a warning shot from an uncovered soldier in the front. Barry and the rest of the ambush party then opened fire. His gun jammed twice, and he dived for cover under the truck. His comrades fled, and he was left behind. He was then spotted, and arrested by the soldiers.
One of the soldiers, Private Harold Washington, had been shot dead. Two others, Private Marshall Whitehead and Thomas Humphries were both badly wounded. Both later died of their wounds.
The British Army released the following statement on Monday afternoon:
This morning a party of one N.C.O. and six men of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment were fired on by a body of civilians outside a bakery in Church Street, Dublin. One soldier was killed and four were wounded. A piquet of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the vicinity, hearing the shots, hurried to their comrades’ assistance, and succeeded in arresting one of the aggressors. No arms or equipment were lost by the soldiers.
Much was made of Barry’s age by the Irish newspapers, but the British military were to point out that the three soldiers who had been killed were “much the same age as Barry.” On 20 October, Major Reginald Ingram Marians OBE, Head of the Press Section of the General Staff, informed Basil Clarke, Head of Publicity, that Washington was “only 19 and that the other soldiers were of similar ages.” General Macready, was well aware of the “propaganda value of the soldier’s ages.” General Macready informed General Sir Henry Wilson on the day that sentence was pronounced “of the three men who were killed by him (Barry) and his friends two were 19 and one 20 — official age so probably they were younger… so if you want propaganda there you are.” It was later reported that one of the infantrymen was as young as 15 years old.
On this period M.A. Doherty was to write:
from the British point of view, therefore, the Anglo-Irish propaganda war was probably unwinable. Nationalist Ireland had decided that men like Kevin Barry fought to free their country, while British soldiers—young or not—sought to withhold that freedom. In these circumstances, to label Barry a murderer was merely to add insult to injury. The contrasting failure of British propaganda is graphically demonstrated by the simple fact that even in British newspapers Private’s Whitehead, Washington and Humphries remained faceless names and numbers, for whom no songs were written.”
Capture and torture

Sinn Féin Headquarters in Dublin is named after Kevin Barry.
Kevin Barry was placed in the back of the lorry with the body of Private Harold Washington, and was subjected to some abuse by Private Washington’s comrades. He was transported then to the North Dublin Union.
On arrival at the barracks he was taken under military police escort to the defaulters’ room where he was searched and handcuffed. A short while later, three sergeants of the Lancashire Fusiliers and two officers began the interrogation. He gave his name and an address of 58 South Circular Road, Dublin (in reality his uncle’s address), and his occupation as a medical student, but refused to answer any other questions. The officers continued to demand the names of all involved in the ambush.
At this time a publicity campaign was mounted by Sinn Féin. Barry received orders on 28 October from his brigade commander, Richard McKee, “to make a sworn affidavit concerning his torture in the North Dublin Union.” Arrangements were made to deliver this through Barry’s sister, Kathy, to Desmond Fitzgerald, director of publicity for Sinn Féin, “with the object of having it published in the World press, and particularly in the English papers, on Saturday 30th October.”
The affidavit, drawn up in Mountjoy Prison days before his execution, describes his treatment when the question of names was repeated:
He tried to persuade me to give the names, and I persisted in refusing. He then sent the sergeant out of the room for a bayonet. When it was brought in the sergeant was ordered by the same officer to point the bayonet at my stomach. . . The sergeant then said that he would run the bayonet into me if I did not tell. . . The same officer then said to me that if I persisted in my attitude he would turn me out to the men in the barrack square, and he supposed I knew what that meant with the men in their present temper. I said nothing. He ordered the sergeants to put me face down on the floor and twist my arm. . . When I lay on the floor, one of the sergeants knelt on my back, the other two placed one foot each on my back and left shoulder, and the man who knelt on me twisted my right arm, holding it by the wrist with one hand, while he held my hair with the other to pull back my head. The arm was twisted from the elbow joint. This continued, to the best of my judgment, for five minutes. It was very painful. . . I still persisted in refusing to answer these questions. . . A civilian came in and repeated the questions, with the same result. He informed me that if I gave all the information I knew I could get off.
On 28 October, the Irish Bulletin, a news-sheet produced by Dáil Éireann’s Department of Publicity,[12] published Barry’s statement alleging torture, which had been organised by Dick McKee, the IRA Commandant of the Dublin Brigade. The headline of the paper read: English Military Government Torture a Prisoner of War and are about to Hang him. The Irish Bulletin claimed that Barry was a prisoner of war, suggesting a conflict of principles was at the heart of the conflict. The English did not recognise a war existed and treated all killings by the IRA as murder; the Irish republicans claimed that they were at war and it was being fought between two opposing nations and therefore demanded prisoner of war status. John Ainsworth has pointed out though that Barry had been captured by the British not as a uniformed soldier but disguised as a civilian and in possession of flat-nosed ammunition in his pistol, in breach of the Hague Convention.[14] Erskine Childers addressed this question of political status in a letter to the press on 29 October, which was published the day after Barry’s execution.
This lad Barry was doing precisely what Englishmen would be doing under the same circumstances and with the same bitter and intolerable provocation — the suppression by military force of their country’s liberty. To hang him for murder is an insulting outrage, and it is more: it is an abuse of power: an unworthy act of vengeance. contrasting ill with the forbearance and humanity invariably shown by the Irish Volunteers towards the prisoners captured by them when they have been successful in encounters similar to this one. These guerrilla combats with soldiers and constables—both classes do the same work with the same weapons; the work of military repression — are typical episodes in Ireland. Murder of individual constables, miscalled ‘police,’ have been comparatively rare. The Government figure is 38, and it will not, to my knowledge, bear examination. I charge against the British Government 80 murders by soldiers and constables: murders of unarmed people, and for the most part wholly innocent people, including old men, women and boys. To hang Barry is to push to its logical extreme the hypocritical pretense that the national movement in Ireland unflinchingly supported by the great mass of the Irish people, is the squalid conspiracy of a ‘murder gang.’ That is false; it is a natural uprising: a collision between two Governments, one resting on consent, the other on force. The Irish are struggling against overwhelming odds to defend their own elected institutions against extinction.
In a letter addressed to ‘the civilised nations of the world,’ by Arthur Griffith — then acting President of the Republic wrote:
Under similar circumstances a body of Irish Volunteers captured on June 1 of the present year a party of 25 English military who were on duty at the King’s Inns, Dublin. Having disarmed the party the Volunteers immediately released their prisoners. This was in strict accordance with the conduct of the Volunteers in all such encounters. Hundreds of members of the armed forces have been from time to time captured by the Volunteers and in no case was any prisoner maltreated even though Volunteers had been killed and wounded in the fighting, as in the case of Cloyne, Co. Cork, when, after a conflict in which one Volunteer was killed and two wounded, the whole of the opposing forces were captured, disarmed, and set at liberty.
John Ainsworth alleges that “Griffith was deliberately using examples relating to IRA engagements with British military forces rather than the police, for he knew that engagements involving the police in particular were usually of an uncivilized nature, characterized by violence and brutality, albeit on both sides by this stage.”
Trial

The War Office ordered that Kevin Barry be tried by court-martial under the ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act,’ which had received Royal Assent on 9 August 1920. General Sir Nevil Macready, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Ireland then nominated a court of nine officers under a Brigadier-General Onslow.

On 20 October, at 10 o’clock, the nine officers of the court — ranging in rank from Brigadier to Lieutenant — took their places at an elevated table. At 10.25, Kevin Barry was brought into the room by a military escort. Then Seán Ó hUadhaigh sought a short adjournment to consult his client. The court granted this request. After the short adjournment Barry announced “As a soldier of the Irish Republic, I refuse to recognise the court.” Brigadier Onslow explained the prisoner’s “perilous situation” and that he was being tried on a capital charge. He did not reply. Seán Ó hUadhaigh then rose to tell the court that since his client did not recognise the authority of the court he himself could take no further part in the proceedings.
He was charged on three counts of the murder of Private Marshall Whitehead. One of the bullets taken from Whitehead’s body was of .45 calibre, while all witnesses stated that Barry was armed with a .38 Mauser Parabellum. The Judge Advocate General informed the court that the Crown had only to prove that the accused was one of the party that killed three British soldiers, and every member of the party was technically guilty of murder.
In accordance with military procedure the verdict was not announced in court. He was returned to Mountjoy, and at about 8 o’clock that night, the district court-martial officer entered his cell and read out the sentence: death by hanging. The public learned on 28 October that the date of execution had been fixed for 1 November.
Execution

Kevin Barry spent the last day of his life preparing for death. His ordeal focussed world attention on Ireland. According to Sean Cronin, author of Kevin Barry, he hoped for a firing squad rather than the gallows, due to the fact that he had been condemned by a military court. A friend who visited him in Mountjoy prison after he received confirmation of the death sentence, said:
He is meeting death as he met life with courage but with nothing of the braggart. He does not believe that he is doing anything wonderfully heroic. Again and again he has begged that no fuss be made about him.
He reported Barry as saying “It is nothing, to give one’s life for Ireland. I’m not the first and maybe I won’t be the last. What’s my life compared with the cause?”
He joked about his death with his sister Kathy. “Well, they are not going to let me like a soldier fall… But I must say they are going to hang me like a gentleman.” This was, according to Cronin, a reference to George Bernard Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple, the last play Kevin and his sister had seen together.
On 31 October, he was allowed three visits of three people each, the last of which was taken by his mother, brother and sisters. In addition to the two Auxiliaries with him, there were five or six warders in the boardroom. As his family were leaving, they met Canon John Waters, on the way in, who said, “This boy does not seem to realise he is going to die in the morning.” Mrs Barry asked him what he meant. He said: “He is so gay and light-hearted all the time. If he fully realised it, he would be overwhelmed.” Mrs Barry replied, “Canon Waters, I know you are not a Republican. But is it impossible for you to understand that my son is actually proud to die for the Republic?” Canon Waters became somewhat flustered as they parted. The Barry family recorded that they were upset by this encounter because they considered the chief chaplain “the nearest thing to a friend that Kevin would see before his death, and he seemed so alien.”
Plaque placed by the Irish Government on the graves of the Volunteers
Kevin Barry was hanged on 1 November, after hearing two Masses in his cell. Father Waters, who walked with him to the scaffold, wrote to Barry’s mother later, “You are the mother, my dear Mrs. Barry, of one of the bravest and best boys I have ever known. His death was one of the most holy, and your dear boy is waiting for you now, beyond the reach of sorrow or trial.”
Dublin Corporation met on the Monday, and passed a vote of sympathy with the Barry family, and adjourned the meeting as a mark of respect. The Chief Secretary’s office in Dublin Castle, on the Monday night, released the following communiqué:
The sentence of death by hanging passed by court-martial upon Kevin Barry, or Berry, medical student, aged 18½ years, for the murder of Private Whitehead in Dublin on September 20, was duly executed this morning at Mountjoy Prison, Dublin. At a military court of inquiry, held subsequently in lieu of an inquest, medical evidence was given to the effect that death was instantaneous. The court found that the sentence had been carried out in accordance with law.
The body of Kevin Barry was buried at 1.30 p.m, in a plot near the women’s prison. His comrade and fellow-student Frank Flood was buried alongside him four months later. A plain cross marked their graves and those of Patrick Moran, Thomas Whelan, Thomas Traynor, Patrick Doyle, Thomas Bryan, Bernard Ryan, Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher who were also hanged in the same prison for their part in the War of Independence before the Treaty of July 1921. They became known in republican circles as The Forgotten Ten.
On 14 October 2001, the remains of Kevin Barry and these nine other volunteers were given a state funeral and moved from Mountjoy Prison to be re-interred at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

On 14 October 2001 the remains of Kevin Barry and nine other volunteers from the War of Independence were given a state funeral and moved from Mountjoy Prison to be re-interred at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Barry’s grave is the first on the left.
The only full-length biography of Kevin Barry was written by his nephew, the journalist Donal O’Donovan, and published in 1989 as Kevin Barry and his Time.
Kevin Barry is remembered in a well-known song about his imprisonment and execution, written shortly after his death and still sung today. The tune to “Kevin Barry” was taken from the sea-shanty “Rolling Home”
World famous artists such as Leonard Cohen and Paul Robeson have covered the song.
Barry’s execution also inspired Thomas MacGreevy’s surrealist poem “Homage to Hieronymus Bosch”. MacGreevy had unsuccessfully petitioned the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, John Henry Bernard, to make representations on Barry’s behalf.
A commemorative stamp was issued by An Post to mark the 50th anniversary of Barry’s death in 1970.
The University College Dublin branch of Fianna Fáil is named the Kevin Barry Cumann in his honour.Also a GAA club was named after him in county Tyrone called Derrylaughan Kevin Barry’s in the parish of clonoe.
In 1934 a large stained glass window commemorating Barry was unveiled in Earlsfort Terrace, then the principal campus of University College Dublin. It was designed by Richard King of the Harry Clarke Studio. In 2007 UCD completed its relocation to the Belfield campus some four miles away and a fund was collected by graduates to defray the cost (estimated at close to €250,000) of restoring and moving the window to this new location.
A grandnephew is the Irish historian Eunan O’Halpin.

By James langton:

Kevin Barry in Volunteer uniform

Kevin Barry

By James Langton:

young Kevin Barry

By James Langton:

Another rare one of Kevin Barry

British Forces, RIC, Auxilaries ,Black & Tans. Photo Files

2nd Lieutenant Green of the Staffordshire Regiment. Was at the Battle of Mount Street Bridge.

By Mike Vearnals:

A photo taken in Macroom in May 1921. Black & Tans.A photo taken in Macroom in May 1921. The reverse of the photo reads: 20:5:21 To my dearest Mother and all at home From your true and ever loving Son With fondest love and wishes yours for ever Harry ” A few of the Black and Tans”

By James Langton:

Auxilaries
Black and Tans inspection
Black and Tans

By James Langton:

By James langton:

At the gates of the Castle

By James langton:

Two British Soldiers on duty. I think this is at the back of the Castle, maybe the Ship Street entrance. By the way lads, you know the famous pic of Dev captured 1916 with hands behind his back and a soldier either side of him? Well I’ll have the names of those two soldiers soon for ya, for those interested. For the record, I think naming people in, and discussing the photos is very important. Like headstones, behind each one is a story. James

By P O Neill:

British Army Cooks

By James langton:

An armoured car in Dublin, c1921
At the rear of the Castle. WOI
By James langton: British Troops mann the rooftops in Dublin. I sure this is the Four Courts folks

By James Langton:

A very rare one of Hamer Greenwood inspecting guns.

By James Langton:

Auxies with a prisoner at Richmond Barrack

By Terry Fagan:

1922. Member of the British Army waiting outside City Hall Dublin to see the remains of Michael Collins.

By James Langton:

black & Tans at work

By James langton:

photograph of General Lowe, who took Pearse’s surrender in 1916

By James Langton:

1920, Dublin. British Troops guarding the Hibernian Bank on the corner of O’Connell Street and Abby Street during the War of Independents

By James langton:

This is General Percival of the Essex Regiment. This is the man who burnt down the family home of Michael Collins. He is also the same General Percival who surrendered his army to the Japs in Singapore during WWII. In later years he sent a request to meet Ernie O’Malley and Tom Barry for lunch and coffee. O’Malley accepted but later turned it down when Barry informed him that the only way he wanted to ever see him would be down the barell of a gun. Good man Tom.
Lord French
Lord French and General McCreedy
Maxwell
The 20th Lancashire Foot leaves Dublin Castle 1922
British soldiers in Ireland
Captain A. Dickson. He commanded the firing squads at Kilmainham Jail
Rare one of Maxwell

By Mike Vearnals:

From Dublin to Hollywood Did you know that one of the British officers who took the surrender of Padraig Pearse went on to become a famous Hollywood actor, who numbered among his five wives the even more famous Hedy Lamarr? Maj John Lowe is present in one of the most famous and commonly reproduced photographs taken during the Rising – the moment of Pearse’s surrender as captured on Saturday April 29th. The picture shows Commander of Dublin Forces in Ireland, Brig Gen WHM Lowe, (Maj Lowe’s father) facing a clearly un-humbled Pearse, who is offering his surrender. On Pearse’s right is Elizabeth O’Farrell (a nurse with Cumann na mBan), who carried the subsequent surrender dispatches to rebel commandants. On the left of the photo, to Brig Gen Lowe’s right, is his aide-de-camp and son, Maj John Lowe. Pearse subsequently surrendered unconditionally, and Maj Lowe escorted him to Kilmainham Jail. John Lowe’s army service didn’t end in Ireland;

By Terry Fagan:

1920, Ireland. An RIC officer inspects members of the Auxiliary’s a special force of volunteer British ex-servicemen sent to Ireland to backup the RIC during the war of independents.

By Terry Fagan:

R. I. C. Armoured cars under inspection. Location and year unknown.

By James langton:

Two British officers surnamed Lawson and Adams with Brigadier General H. R. Cumming in Kenmare County Kerry shortly before their deaths at the hands of the IRA in 1921
Great shot her of an RIC Officer in the Pheonix Park
Aerial snap of a Tan checkpoint outside City Hall on Dame Street. Note one looking up and spotting the photographer.
A tan scuffle on the street

By Terry Fagan:

By James langton:

British soldiers on Butt Bridge

By James Langton:

Another search at City Hall. Note the lane where the tram is positioned. Those buildings are now gone and a square there now. This was the lane that Dick McKee and the boys were brought down and into a door at the very end where the plaque is today.
Tans outside Hynes pub on the corner of Railway Street and Gloucester Place after the shooting British spy Shankers Ryan by members of Collin’s squad for his betrayal of McKee and Clancy. I interviewed witnesses to the shooting.. Terry Fagan.

By James langton:

The Lancers 1916 in Dublin

By James langton:

Heading for a raid

Information Required Irish Volunteers 1916 etc

Hi.. My grandfather Robert (Bobby) Grace, Logan St., Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny was a member of the old IRA. My mother has his two medals. Would you have any information on him? Thanks

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I would, however, like to find out more about the use of radio or wireless in the Rising of 1916 and later.  I write for an Amateur Radio magazine on the subject of history but can’t find any information on the subject past the fact that Michael Collins moved Volunteers into a Bakery that was next to the Marconi Wireless School next door.  The effort was made, from what I hear, to protect the wireless operators who were sending traffic out to IRA supporters via wireless in Morse Code.  Would like to hear more about this subject but can’t make Limerick any time soon.

Luck to you all and success to your exhibit and lectures.  Up the Rebels.

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Do you have any more information on John ‘Dad’ Murray?

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ANY INFORMATION ON MY UNCLE /NAMESAKE INJURED /WOUNDED IN MOURNE ABBEY AMBUSH CAPTURED AND DIED AFEW DAYS LATER IN VICTORIA BARRACKS CORK  -Michael looney

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87w2z
My grandfather of the same name was as far as i know a scout for Tom Barry.I would love any info about him please. Richard Bradfield.

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My grandfather Joseph Roche was in F Coy 1916. He was in Bolands Mill and served time in Kilmainham . His brother Eamomn (Edward) Roche aslo served though not sure what Coy he was in ..maybe F coy also…though family hsotory says he was in Smithfild in 1916. Joseph would have been 15 and his brother Eamomn 17 in 1916.
Any information would be appreciated

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I found an old tape recording and my grandfather speaks of Bloody sunday 1920. He lived in lower mount street and he speaks of a “Billy” who was sent to Wormwood Scrubs after the attacks on number 22 Lr Mount street and he was to be hung . 3 days before the hanging he was reprieved by Arthur Griffiths and returned to Mount Street. would you have anything on this or could you advise.
Regards for now

John Kenny

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Thanks to the help of some members of this forum and others, I have been able to discover quite a bit about Robert “Bobbie” Bonfield, at the time of his death on 29/03/1923 he was the O/C of G Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Dublin Brigade.

I am looking for information on the activities of G Company both during the War of Independence and later in the Civil War. Did the formations stay much the same after the ‘Split’? Would he have been in G Company prior to the Civil War or was there much reorganisation of the units?

In particular I am looking for descriptions of any actions that G Company were involved in.

Bonfield was arrested on 07th March 1923 by a Lieut. Bolger after his house at 103 Moyne Road, Ranelagh was raided and a veritable arsenal (including a Lewis Gun and three revolvers) were siezed. He was taken to Portobello Barracks from where he subsequently escaped a couple of nights later.

He went to the house of schoolmates of his, Brendan and Kevin Mangan, at Albany Terrace, Ranelagh and had a wash and some food before going on the run. A ‘servant girl’ who had helped give him the meal probably reported him to the authorities. The following night the Mangan’s house was raided by ” a group of men in plain clothes accompanied by a man in the uniform of an Army Lieutenant” who were looking for Bonfield.

Brendan Mangan was taken to the back garden and interrogated. His parents attempted to intervene and when his mother asked why he was not arrested and charged in the ‘proper way’, the chilling reply was “We are out to execute, not make arrests”.

Mangan’s excuses were believed and the group left, which was rather lucky as Bonfield had hidden arms under the floor of the Mangans henhouse and Brendan was aware of this. The Mangans kept the guns hidden for many years and later when the family moved house Brendan transferred the guns to the henhouse at their new address. It was only years later when there was an amnesty that his brother Kevin handed in the guns.

On the 29th of March 1923, about 2 weeks later, Bonfield was lifted by Cosgraves bodyguard which included Joe McGrath, John O’Reilly (who was either a Col., a Cmmdt., or a Superintendent) and an unnamed guard. Two of these men took him to Clondalkin and shot him.

I would like to identify Lieut. Bolger who was probably based in Portobello Barracks and also Col/Cmmdt/Supt O’Reilly. Any help would be most appreciated.

BLOODY SUNDAY” Dublin ,November 21, 1920

Bloody Sunday was one of the most significant events to take place during the Irish War of Independence,, which followed the formation of a unilaterally declared Irish Republic,and its parliament, Dail Eireann. The army of the republic, the Irish Republican Army waged a guerrilla war against the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), its auxiliary organisations and the British Army,, who were tasked with suppressing the Irish liberation movement. Some members of the GAA which owned Croke Park were confirmed Nationalists, but others were not.

In response to IRA actions, the British Government formed paramilitary forces to augment the RIC, the “Black & Tans” (a nickname possibly arising from their mixture of uniforms), and the Auxiliary Division (generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies). The behaviour of both groups immediately became controversial (one major critic was King GeorgeV) for their brutality and violence, not just towards IRA suspects and prisoners but towards Irish people in general. In Dublin, the war largely took the form of assassinations and reprisals on either side.

The events on the morning of 21 November were an effort by the IRA in Dublin, under Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy to wipe out the British intelligence organisation in the city.

Since 1919, Irish Finance Minister, head of the secretive Irish Republican Brotherhood and IRA Chief of Intelligence Michael Collins had operated a clandestine squad of IRA members in Dublin (a.k.a. “The Twelve Apostles”), which was used to assassinate RIC and British Intelligence officers. By late 1920, British Intelligence in Dublin, including what was known as the “Cairo Gang” (the nickname came from their patronage of the Cairo Cafe on Grafton Street and from their service in British military intelligence in Egypt and Palestine during the first world war),eighteen high-ranking British Intelligence officers, had established an extensive network of spies and informers around the city. Mulcahy, the IRA Chief of Staff, described it as, “a very dangerous and cleverly placed spy organisation”.

In November 1920, Collins ordered the assassination of British agents around the city, judging that if they did not do this, the IRA’s organisation in the capital would be in grave danger. The IRA was also of the opinion that a coordinated policy of assassination of leading republicans was being implemented by members of the security services. Dick McKee was put in charge of planning the operation. The addresses of the British agents were discovered from a variety of sources, including sympathetic housemaids, careless talk from some of the British, and an IRA informant in the RIC (Sergeant Mannix) based in Donnybrook barracks. On November 20, the assassination teams, which included the Squad and members of the IRA’s Dublin Brigade, were briefed on their targets, who included 20 agents at eight different locations in Dublin.Collins’s plan had been to kill over 50 British intelligence officers and informers, but the list was reduced to 35 on the insistence of Cathal Brugha, the Irish Minister for Defence, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence against some of those named.

Early on the morning of 21 November, the IRA teams mounted the operation. Most of the killings occurred within a small middle-class area of south inner-city Dublin, with the exception of one shooting at the Gresham Hotel on o’Connell street. At 28 Upper Pembroke Street, four agents were killed. At 22 Lower Mount Street, one British officer was killed and another narrowly escaped. The building was surrounded by Auxiliaries, alerted by the firing, and in the ensuing gun fight two Auxiliaries were killed and one IRA man, Frank Teeling, was wounded and captured. Future Irish Taoiseach,Sean lemass was involved in the killing of a Captain Bagely, also on Mount Street, while in two further incidents on the same street three more British agents were killed. Only a few streets away, further shootings took place on Baggot Street, Fitzwilliam street, Morehampton Road and Earlsfort Terrace.

In all, 13 people were killed and 6 wounded, including suspected agents and those with no connection to politics, and two Auxilaries. Four of the British casualties were military intelligence officers and another four were Secret Service or Mi5 agents. Only one Squad member was captured, Frank Teeling, and he managed to quickly escape from gaol.One more IRA man was slightly wounded in the hand. However, out of the 35 people on Collins’ hit list, only about a third had been killed. IRA man and future Irish politician, Todd Andrews recalled later, “the fact is that the majority of the IRA raids were abortive. The men sought were not in their digs or in several cases, the men looking for them bungled their jobs”.Nevertheless the action terrified and crippled British intelligence in Ireland, causing many other agents and informers to flee for Dublin Castle, and caused consternation in the British administration.

Collins justified the killings in this way:

My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin.

Below is an article by Irish Volunteer member Chris Keane,
http://irishvolunteers.org/2012/02/bloody-sunday-dublin-november-21-1920/

Information required on IRA Members

James McGovern
Trying to trace involvement of James McGovern (Co Fermanagh ), student at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and member of IRB, was very quiet about his past and also very proud of his yellow/black pin and ribbon. I believe he ceased his teacher training and became involved militarly. I think he may have met up with Sergeant Patrick Reilly,RIC who ironically was from his next-door parish in Co Fermanagh. I think their paths may have crossed at the “springing” of Dan Breen and he knew Tom Barry well, I think. but I don’t want to appear to be name-dropping. He finally ended back in Co Fermanagh working as a labourer. Was there a West Cavan Brigade? I came across an exer book recording treasurer’s expenditure in his writing, but it was all very mundane stuff – about groceries bought etc I have his photograph (head only) on a memoriam card in this he is wearing a uniform.
Ref: James McGovern, Aghandisert, Derrylin, Enniskillen, co Fermanagh would have been his home address. No-one living there now (1/4 mile from Fermanagh/Cavan) border. So when partition came it was a very, very bitter pill to swallow at the time. Residents went to bed Irish and woke up British citizens. I remember my mother used to cry about it. I used to know which side of the civil war certain pubs in Ballyconnell were by the hostelries my Uncle James used to visit. I owe it to him to find out what I can so that if necessary I can separate fact from fiction. I think a Hugh McDonald from Belturbet area may have been a volunteer friend of his. They used to have to use “safe houses” and dodge “curfew police” when coming home to see their families. Partition left them “on the run” and forgotten.

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James Hannan was born in Belfast around 1875.

Below is an entry in the 1911 census showing that he lived in Bombay Street Belfast, near the Falls Road…

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Antrim/Falls/Bombay_Street/172594/

I have attached two pdf documents from the Irish Times archive, showing a incident in Belfast in which he prevented the police from entering a Sinn Fein meeting. He was subsequently imprisoned for this offence.

My grandfather died in Belfast in 1951, so I never knew him (I was born in 1960).

My father let me know that my grandfather was an agent of Michael Collins and lived in Liverpool around 1920 under the assumed name of “Fox”.

He was sent by Michael Collins to Liverpool mainly to get guns for the IRA back in Ireland.

Prior to this he was in prison with Thomas Ashe and was force fed after being involved in the hunger strike around 1917.

The details above are also documented in a book by “Uinseann Mc Eoin”, “The IRA in the Twilight Years”. My father Pat Hannan contributed to this book and there is a chapter in the book dedicated to his account.

I also have attached a image from Padraig O’Ruairc’s book “Revolution” .
This is a photo of released IRA prisoners in Liverpool in 1922 (page 196) .
The man I have circled is the image of my father, so it may be my grandfather.
I am not sure if it is possible to find out who is in the photo?

Liverpool IRA

If you have any advice please let me know.

Thanks again for your help.
Seamus Hannan

Robert “Bobbie” Bonfield
I am looking for information about a distant relative of mine Robert “Bobbie” Bonfield (sometimes incorrectly spelt as Bondfield) who was a member of Na Fianna and graduated to the IRA in 1918 when he would have been about 15 or 16.

Bobbie took the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War and was killed by Free State forces in March 1923.

I can find information about his death, but nothing about his activities in Na Fianna or afterwards in the IRA – would your researches have thrown up his name at all?

Bobbie lived at the family home at 103 Moyne Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 if that helps you narrow things down. He was a classmate of CS “Todd” Andrews and may have joined the Volunteers with him as Andrews joined at the same age.

At the time of his death he was a 20 year old dental student in the third year of his studies at UCD.

Any scraps of information that you can give me would be most appreciated

The Diggers and the IRA, by Kerry Casey

G’day. I am doing a Masters in English at the Australian defence force Academy but my subject is History – or perhaps I should say: historical. It is a story that has never been told. It is about a number of Australian soldiers in World War 1 who went on leave to Ireland and did not return – some not for some time, others never. Australian soldiers who, after fighting alongside the British in the Middle East and Europe, found themselves in Ireland fighting with the Irish Republican Army against Britain.

My original Proposal was to write a biography of my one of my grandfathers, Australian born of Irish parents, Cornelius Patrick Casey, AKA No 20 Corporal Patrick Cornelius Casey, Military Medal, 13th Battalion. His experience provided me with the template to read the 5,865 service records in NAA series B2455: Irish born men and women who enlisted in the AIF.

At the outbreak war, Australia is commonly described as more unified than at any time in our history as men clamoured to enlist for King and Country, to fight for freedom or just to get a gun and have a go. Yet 1 in 4 of those Australians was of Irish descent.

On 30 September 1914, just 12 days after Britain had promised Home Rule to Ireland once the war was over, Cornelius Patrick Casey enlisted at Randwick
Racecourse. On page two of the Attestation Papers every soldier signed on joining
the AIF there is the OATH TO BE TAKEN BY PERSONS BEING ENLISTED
I … swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord the King in the Australian Imperial Force … and that I will resist His Majesty’s enemies and cause His Majesty’s peace to be kept and maintained;

Underneath, on Con’s, is the signature CP Casey but the “C” stands apart like an afterthought or a later addition in a different hand, a sign that Con may not have been so loyal to the King. There were 90 Irish born men who, for a variety of reasons, recanted their aliases. Con never did.

So why did a “native born” Australian invert his Christian names? An explanation might be inferred from an observation made by John Lucy of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, one of the first NCOs to be promoted to the officer class in the British Army, that in the officers’ mess “after dinner, the water was removed from the table, lest anyone pass his glass over it during the loyal toast, signifying that the toast was ‘to the king across the water.’” Also, when Ireland erupted into Civil War after the creation of the Free State in 1922, there were two main sticking points; one of which was signing the Oath of Loyalty to the King. Was Con’s alias the act of a subject person, a way of lying to maintain his honesty?

After enlistment, Con’s story is classic Digger. He landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 where he was twice wounded, he refused the offer of repatriation and, under Lieutenant Harry Murray (who would became Australia’s most decorated soldier), was in the very last unit of the Evacuation. A Diehard.

Subsequent to his wounds on Gallipoli, Con retrained as a stretcher bearer and in the next year on the Western Front was twice Mentioned in Dispatches and twice nominated for the Distinguished Conduct Medal before being awarded the Military Medal for the Battle of Messines in June 1917. During that time, he saw action at Pozieres, Mouquet Farm, through the Somme Winter, at Stormy Trench and at Bullecourt. He had lost part of a finger and part of his eyesight, had toes amputated from trench foot, his lungs and heart damaged from gas and his back wrecked through carrying men through Somme mud. He had also been twice promoted so that by August 1917 he was a Corporal and head of the 4th Brigade stretcher bearers. Then, on 12 August 1917, Con went on leave to Ireland

There, according to Colonel John Williams, CO APC London, there were “no food, lighting, or drink restrictions, and a soldier could have a much better time than he could have in any town in England. (It was, [he added]) a perfect haven for absentees and deserters.” Con stayed mostly at the family farm in Glenanaar in East Limerick. His uncle Patrick, the head of the house, was a Sergeant in the Irish Volunteers and his aunts were active in the women’s paramilitary, known as the Cumann na mBan. Ireland at the time was recovering from the shock of Easter 1916 and the executions and mass deportations that followed it and fighting, as were Australians at home, against Conscription.

Con was not the only Digger overstaying his leave. In 1918, at the request of the British Army in Ireland, Colonel Williams travelled throughout the country conducting a study on the feasibility of setting up APC posts in Ireland. In his report of 18 April 1918, RE VISIT OF A.P.M., A.I.F DEPOTS IN U.K. TO IRELAND, Williams concluded that, although, as the British had insisted, there were many Diggers AWL in Ireland who were actively assisted by the local people and Sinn Fein, there was no way his men could have the cultural sensitivity to operate in such a volatile situation. Whilst he talked about what the Irish were doing for the Diggers, he at no time assayed what the Australians were doing for them – the assumption being, I suppose, that they were drifters, deserters, deadbeats and cowards.

Not all Irish Diggers returned to Australia. One, Tipperary born, 2417 James Gorman of the 55th Battalion AIF went AWL when discharged from Camberwell Hospital in England on 30th October 1917. He became Lieutenant in his home town, Hollyford Company of the South Tipperary Brigade of the IRA and was active up until the Truce training Volunteers, assisting in the Knocklong Rescue and taking leading parts in barracks attacks at Hollyford, Cappawhite and Rearcross and in the Thomastown Ambush. Soldier, publican, poet, adventurer, dancer and musician, Jim was described by both Ernie O’Malley and Dan Breen and in numerous Witness Statements collected in BMH Dublin as iconic Digger: sunbrowned, with lined and leathery skin, a laconic sense of humour, cool under pressure, full of initiative and a crack shot. In 1924, after the Civil War in which he did not participate, Jim emigrated to the USA where his 3 sons served in the Army in WW2, one paying the ultimate price.

Gorman was one 64 Irish born men discharged for DESERTION when the AIF was clearing the books on 1 April 1920 (is that date meaningful?). 168 others were Discharged when demobilised in England. A large number, like my grandfather, had extended periods AWL in Ireland but returned to Australia. Dublin born 818 Driver John O’Neill was discharged in Australia in December 1919 then returned to Ireland where, as his service record states, he was “killed in an ambush on 6 March 1921.” Tipperary born 22529 Gunner Michael McGrath 23 Howitzer Bde was a casualty of the Civil War. He was discharged in England and re-emerges as a Lieutenant in the Clonmel Company on the Republican side. He died in custody after capture by Free State Army in May1923.

Just as the reputation for larrikinism and indiscipline out of the line is entrenched as a defining part of the Digger myth, so was it a characteristic of the Irish born Digger but perhaps even moreso suggesting that the red tabbed staff officers may have been just a little too British for them. There are countless incidences of AWL and insubordination. A couple of anecdotes:
• 3761 Pte Philip Bolger 29 Battalion was court martialled for “Using disloyal words regarding the soverign”
• 3409 Patrick Joseph Golden 9/31 Bn was Court Martialled for insubordinate language & threatening violence upon 2nd Lieut Strachan “You are only a Scotch bastard and require fucking, and I will do it (for you).”
• 34 Private William RYAN of the 8 Bde MGCo at COI 6/11/16 On October 5th 1916 had to explain an injury he received while on leave at the family home in Waterford. “One day I was talking to my father, I believe it was the 8th of October 1916, about the Sinn Fein movement and was excited. It was just after dinner and we were still sitting at table. I had a knife in my hand. To emphasise what I was saying, I brought my hand holding the knife down with a bang on the table and in so doing, struck my other hand which was resting on the table with the knife, cutting it severely.

At his Court Martial at AIF Headquarters in Horseferry Road, London 11 November 1919, Con did not speak in his defence. There were two Statements of Mitigation. One, from his Battalion CO now OIC Repatriation, Major General J.M.A Durrant, stated
… during his service with the unit his conduct was exemplary. He was distinguished for courage and his fearless example; a splendid leader and one of the bravest men I have seen in action.
The other after detailing his record of service added that
… suffering from a grievance which he does not choose to disclose, he went AWL and thus spoiled one of the finest records of any soldier who ever left Australia.

Con was held prisoner at Lewes Detention Barracks, reduced to the rank of Private and his sentence was twice reduced – from 12 months to 6 then till date of embarkation.

Con’s silence at his Court martial is emblematic of the silence that has enshrouded this issue for almost a century. The Irish in their recounts of the War of Independence were careful not to name anyone who returned to England or any of the Commonwealth countries for fear of the reach of the tentacles of Empire. For those, like my grandfather, who returned to Australia, it meant living a double life and never telling the story of their days in Ireland and this was easily masked under the common reticence to talk about the war. It was a confirmation of another duality: their identities as both Australian and Irish. A duality that would not be celebrated till after their deaths when Australia would finally acknowledge what it had always tried, in wilful ignorance of human nature, to suppress, that human beings can not be forced to forget who they are, that ours is a multicultural society and our cultural richness lies in our diversity and in the diversity of stories that flow from this.

In this Introduction to the magnificent history of Australia in WW1, the official historian Charles Bean, while trying to explain the extraordinary response to the outbreak of war, states that
few Australians … were fully acquainted with the philosophy underlying the Prussian attitude. But its visible results were well known to them all.… they had read of the unconscionable principles of the military bureaucracy of Prussia, and their instinct for freedom revolted against its pompous hectoring, its cynical intrigue, its tyrannous oppressions in time of peace, its ugly menace in times of war. They therefore exalted the struggle into one which should “save the world for democracy,” establish the sanctity of treaties, and, if possible, inaugurate a reign of justice and rid the world of the whole system of war .
Substitute “few” with “Irish” and “Prussia” with British and the attitude underlying the decision of those Australian soldiers of Irish descent who felt it more important to fight for the freedom of their ancestral homeland than to continue with the British Army show how central was their action to the belief systems developing in the antipodes. These men have been forgotten by history. How many of them there were and from which of the allied countries they came is still unknown. Now that they are dead, their stories can at last be told.

IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE EXHIBITION DISPLAY & LECTURE Limerick city

IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE EXHIBITION DISPLAY & LECTURE
The Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation is happy to announce an exhibition, lecture and display over 2 days on Saturday and Sunday, March 3rd and 4th, 2012.
The event opens each morning at 10:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm.
The event will take place at the Best Western Perys Hotel (Formerly Glentworth Hotel), Glentworth Street, Limerick City. http://www.perys.ie/ Tel (+353) 61 413822
The Hotel is centrally located and the train and bus stations are only 500 yards away. Parking is available.

The Glenwoth Hotel 1919-1922
An exhibition of Irish Volunteer items from 1913 to 1923 will be on display and we will have members on hand to answer any questions from the general public.
The lecture will be given by well known historian & author Tom Toomey, author of the excellent book “The War of Independence in Limerick 1912-1921”.
Entry will be 5 euro per person and 10 euro per family.
Special group rates available. Phone John: (086) 395-6642 or Garry (086) 873-1497.
Please address all enquiries to info@irishvolunteers.org or see http://irishvolunteers.org/exhibitions-commemorations/ for details.

George Gilmore, officer in the South Dublin Brigade, Dublin No 2 brigade,Information Required

In currently writing the biography of George Gilmore who until July 1922 was an officer in the South Dublin Brigade, I have recently received about 100 pages from the National Library of Ireland, providing revealing information about the Dublin No 2 Brigade, confirming what he said that after Blessington when the South Dublin was extinguished, he was picked up by the Dublin No 2 Brigade, covering the same area. As O/C of Battalion 1, in December 1922 Gilmore was in charge of five companies that covered the area that stretched from Ailesbury Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin City to Monkstown in South Dublin County and inland to Glencree in the Wicklow Mountains; this included Foxrock, Stillorgan and Blackrock. Almost nothing has been published about this brigade that was commanded by Lorcan O’Briain (may be a pseudonym) until April 1924 except what I just attained from the NL .In addition, some info has come through regarding Neil (Plunkett) O’Boyle of Donegal, O/C of Battalion 3 of the Dublin No. 2 who led the Plunkett column from Nov. 1922 to May 14, 1923 when he was captured and killed in Co. Wicklow by Free State troops, after the cease fire. Although my subject is George Gilmore of Battalion 1, I would appreciate any information concerning the Dublin No 2 brigade. Gilmore reported to the Vice O/C of the brigade on December 25, 1922 that Capt. Foley was O/C of his C Company and P. Little, O/C of D Company. Thank you.

Rosalie Popick