Auxiliary Division Royal Irish Constabulary Uniform and Equipment (ADRIC)

Auxiliary Division Royal Irish Constabulary Uniform and Equipment (ADRIC).

Part of the Irish Volunteers Comm Org collection.



Murder by the throat Edward J Bourke



Murder by the throat


Espionage, Assassination,
Collaboration and Execution during the
Irish War of Independence, 1916-1921

Edward J Bourke




Published March 2020


pending bookshop reopening and distribution

Retail price €20  inc post from 33 Rushbrook Dublin 15 D15HDE7

ISBN 978 09523027 4 2





Lloyd George boasted that he had “murder by the throat” in a London Guildhall speech on 10 November 1920.  He had flooded Ireland with troops, Black and Tans, Auxiliaries, secret service, touts and informers.  Eighteen months later after the Truce and Treaty the British left Ireland defeated by the counter espionage of the people in the shadows who exposed the undercover agents and frustrated their efforts. The whole country was permeated by agents ready to oppose the Dail and its army.  In response two hundred of these agents were killed in the course of eighteen months of the War. The book investigates the Irish War of Independence in the shadows, shedding light on espionage, cooperation and collaboration. Newly released material from the Military Archives

  • Reveals the names of 700 alleged enemy agents at the time of the Truce
  • Includes names of British secret service and two agents missed at the Standard Hotel on Bloody Sunday.
  • Crown Forces operated assassination gangs throughout the country to kill Republican activists and militants
  • IRA men were casual about security often with deadly consequences
  • IRA was infiltrated by traitors
  • Comrades refused to believe that they were at risk.
  • Famous names had dubious connections indicating they had a dual role.
  • Much more opposition to Republicans than popularly believed



MP McMahon Meelick IRA ,Information required

I was wondering if you could you help me find records relating to my grandfather’s cousin, MP McMahon. He was part of the Meelick IRA in the early 1900’s. See below a newspaper article from the Limerick Chronicle in 1921 re his funeral; it seems that it was very big but I can’t find any record of him online.


I do know that when my my Dad was a child, he was given a book by a friend to borrow and show to his father. The book, we think, had a photo of MP McMahon.  However my grandfather subsequently confiscated the book and our family have never seen it since.

My Dad and I wondered if the reason my grandfather confiscated the book was because he was a De Valera supporter and this MP McMahon may have been a Collins supporter, but this is just a theory.


All that my Dad and I know is that MP McMahon was born in 1901, from Ballynantymore, Limerick and died in 1921. However, in the census he is listed as Micheal S A McMahon, which is another thing we can’t understand.


Any information/assistance would be great. See the link below:



Many Thanks,


Deirdre McMahon

IRA Volunteer Bill Shanahan, Information required

I wonder if you could help me to get any further information that might be available with regard to the activities of my Uncle, Bill Shanahan who was a volunteer in Dublin in 1920/21.  I just recently found out that he was in the IRA and was arrested in May 1921 in Montague Street when on rebel activity with two other colleagues.  Found in possession of a fully loaded Smith & Wesson revolver together with two rounds of ammunition he was sentenced to eight years penal service in Mountjoy with three years suspended.  He went on hunger strike in November ’21 and was force fed until his release by the Free State government in January 1922.


William died in London in 1941 apparently as a result of being force fed whilst in jail but his death certificate does not provide confirmation of this.


I am attaching a few documents which might be of help in determining where I might get further information.


I expect that you get many requests in this regard but would appreciate very much any assistance you might be able to give me.




Con Shanahan


P.S. Another volunteer with the same name (William Shanahan) from Co Clare was murdered by the Black and Tans but this person was not related to my family.



Fianna Éireann

Today The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation marked the year of the foundation of

Fianna Éireann . The private ceremonies were held by the Battalion 

Fianna Éireann which has been incorporated in to the IVCO some time ago.


On Monday 16 August 1909, in the Camden Street hall, Hobson chaired a meeting ‘to form a National Boys’ Organisation to be managed by the boys themselves on national non-party lines’.20 Estimates suggest that between thirty and 100 boys, ‘mostly adventurers from the Coombe and neighbourhood’, turned up for this meeting to form what became known as Na Fianna Éireann.21 Markievicz and a few other adults were also in attendance. In his address, Hobson explained that the organisation would be run on a semi-military basis along the lines of the Boy Scouts’ movement founded in the previous year by Baden-Powell. In fact, it was one of the immediate objectives of this new group to counteract the influence in Ireland of Baden-Powell’s pro-British body.





For a full understanding please see


O’Donovan Rossa Commemoration Irish Volunteer Exhibition

On Saturday July 11, 2015,the Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation will be staging an Exhibition and display at Reenascreena Village, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork.

The exhibition will take place at the Reenascreena National School. The exhibition will be from 2 to 6 pm.

Admission is FREE ,all are welcome !!

Reenscreena is the birth place of O’Donovan Rossa and we are very happy to commemorate this great patriot in his own place.


German Mauser 1871 Infantry Gewehr from the Asgard

Pat O’Hagan pictured with one of the mausers from the Asgard that were landed at Howth in 1914. This and several other mausers from the Asgard will be on show in 2016 in the Ambassador Theatre,Dublin.


REVOLUTION 1916 The Exhibition Ambassador Theatre








Programme of 1916 Centenary Events


Revolution 1916 Éirí Amach Exhibition, from February 2016

Opening on Saturday 27 February 2016 for 33 weeks in The Ambassador Theatre, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

This is part of the Rotunda complex and the birthplace of Sinn Féin in 1905. It is where the men of 1916 signed up for the Irish Volunteers in 1913.



1916 rising exhibition




Posted on April 26, 2015 at 3:35 pm by


james Cassidy . He was from the bone in Belfast and is pictured in this photo .


Mary J Murphy

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 10:45 AM


Subject: Michael McHugh / Eva O’Flaherty

What a wonderful resource your site is James, and many thanks for sharing it

Two historical figures intrigue me, both from north Galway.

Eva O’Flaherty – apparently a great friend of Sean MacDermott, Dr Lynn,

Maire Comerford, Anita MacMahon & Darrell Figgis et al, who was in

Cumann na mBan in 1914 with Louise Gavan Duffy … I know too that

she was very involved in the prisoner’s fund (I don’t have the exact name of

the organisation but I think it was the one that Kathleen Clarke ran) – have

you ever come acrcoss her – Eva O’Flaherty – in your research ?

Michael J McHugh (possibly used the Irish version of his name) – T. Gay

was his commanding officer, he was also born in north Galway and from what

we know was very involved in printing and in Collins’ Intelligence network – have you ever

come across him either in your research ?

With many thanks for the moment,

MJ Murphy. .
Dorothy Berkeley



Richard Gough from Inchecore Dublin was a volunteer do have any details for me and is there a medal the family are due ?
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 2:53 PM
Subject: William Flynn

To whom it may concern,

I’m sorry to trouble you, but was wondering whether the organisation would be able to assist me. My Great-grandmother’s (Catherine Flynn) grandfather (William Flynn) was allegedly an Irish Volunteer, Cork brigade and signed up 1914. I was just wondering whether there were any more details available such as his birthdate, parents names and where in Cork he was from?

I would be much obliged if you could please give this some consideration and get back to me with any pertinent information.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to hearing from you.


Greetings from Tipperary,
I was at, and enjoyed, your wonderful display of items in Hayes Hotel, Thurles, last weekend.

I was speaking with one of you fine men while you were putting away the displays, as a few items had caught my attention. He asked that I email this email address with my questions, so here goes.

I saw on one of the tables a reference to the only Cumann na mBan woman to be killed by the Tans. I think the story was, they called for her brothers, they were not there, so they shot her instead. May I ask, what was the name of this lady, do you have any details on her story by any chance?

Also there was another leaflet or news item which referred to two pics of two boys, who were killed, was it in crossfire? I simply cannot recall any details, only that it was a document showing two pics, or two boys, who got killed. Any ideas what this was that I saw? What is the story here I wonder?

Well I really hope you can help me.
Thanks again for bringing your display to Thurles.
All the very best
Con McGrath


Raymond M. Keogh
Message The Gerald Keogh Identity Series (called after the Irish Volunteer) will appear on: from April 2015.

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 2:53 PM
Subject: William Flynn

To whom it may concern,

I’m sorry to trouble you, but was wondering whether the organisation would be able to assist me. My Great-grandmother’s (Catherine Flynn) grandfather (William Flynn) was allegedly an Irish Volunteer, Cork brigade and signed up 1914. I was just wondering whether there were any more details available such as his birthdate, parents names and where in Cork he was from?

I would be much obliged if you could please give this some consideration and get back to me with any pertinent information.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to hearing from you.



I am wondering if you have contact details for someone within the “Third Tipperary Brigade Old IRA Commemoration Committee”.

I am trying to research my great grandfather Patrick Cleary. We believe he was involved in the Independence movement but in what capacity we do not know.

From his obituary in 1974:
“led the volunteer branch in Clerihan and was responsible for the training of several hundred men. His residence in Ardgeeha was subjected to a number of raids by Black and Tan forces and his house had been the venue for sittings of the Republican courts”

We do not know anything about what he did and would love to get answers to our questions.

Thank you,

Martin Phelan

Website https://
Message Hello

I was just wondering if you could possible help me in any way. My Great Grandfarther was a member of the Irish Volunteers and i was wondering how would i gop about finding out any more information about that and if their are any records or such. He was a member of North Kildare 2nd, his name Thomas Mullally, from Athgarvan, Kildare.

Many Thanks
Jerry O’Connell
Website https://
Message Trying to find out about medal awarded to my Father – Jeremiah O’Connell, Broadford, Co Limerick but living in Tarbert, Co Kerry when medal awarded. I think he was engineer in the West Limerick Brigade. My brother said that our Father told him that he was a judge of the court at time. Where can I find information about this
Eileen Markey
Website https://
Message Hello.
I’m looking for information on John Clarke, born 1896 Dromard, Dromore West, Co. Sligo. Joined the IRB in Boston, returned home to fight in 1921. Allegedly was imprisoned in Mountjoy in 1922 or 23. Would love to know if he was arrested at the same time as Tommy Goff, also of Sligo, who was shot by IFS April 23 1923.
Enclosed Pic of Christy Mackey, known in Rush Co Dublin as Kit. He was a member of old IRA North Dublin. His years 1899 to 1979. He remained single and lived with his brothers Paddy and Jim and sister Mary Jo who was Postmistress there for many years. They run a butchery in rush village but Kit or Christy had a greenhouse at the back of their house in the Mall. I did temporary relief at the post office in about 1971 and remained a visitor at Mackey’s for several years.
Mary Jo told me that Christy was on the run for a good while. I guess until things got resolved. During my time visiting Christy used have an outside concrete seat which he painted green, white and orange. i never thought to take a photo of it. This pic used hang over his bed. For a time one could get their portrait taken and later get a coloured one. before my last time, I asked Mary Jo if I could get a copy of it because I held a grea affection for him. John Buckley was reared at the Mall and got the dwelling house. I am telling you this in case this pic is not good enough. I found John Buckley to be very agreeable.
Yours sincerely, Ellen Hanna.

Irish Volunteers Organisation <>wrote:

Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 4:52 PM
Subject: A comment from Ellen Hanna

a form has been submitted on November 17, 2014, via: [IP]
Your default form
Your Name Ellen Hanna
Website https://
Message I have got a colour picture of Christopher Mackey, Rush, Co Dublin, in uniform wearing leather belt of republican army.
he is buried in Whitestown cemetery Rush Co Dublin 1979
Christy M 001 irish volunteer

Whois :
I’d love to know if anyone has any information or photos relating to Sean/Jack O’Leary, of the 1st Battalion in Tipperary. He was killed by Auxiliaries on March 27 1921, dying in a hospital in Nenagh. He had worked in a bank in Nenagh before going on the run but was originally from Killarney, and is mentioned in a couple of witness statements:

Subject: plunkett column

Message Body:
Can you please give me some information on plunkett column picture 1923 the lady sitting front left i belive to be my grand aunt maggie jordan dublin. Were can i get a better pic of the image.

Here is the photo of my great uncle Louis Ward of Killadiskert, outside Drumkerran Co. Leitrim
He had a brother, Patrick who joined the R.I.C. There most have been so animosity there.
A distant cousin took his gun, letter and medal from the family home which he kept and Louis’ immediate family, us, would like them back, do you have a museum or somewhere these could be displayed.
Looking forward to hearing anything from you.



Eileen Walsh Gough
Website https://
Message I am searching for information on my late father Michael J Walsh, Sheares Street, Kilmallock, Co.Limerick. Born 01/03/1899. My father belonged to the IRA in East Limerick. He passed away in 1971 when I was 18 years old & sadly I never got to speak with him about his involvement. My only information is an old diary where he mentions that he was arrested by the British 14/07/1920 & spent 12 months in Wandsworth Prison,London. He was rearrested by Irish Military 17/09/1922 & spent 14 months in Hare Park Prison in the Curragh. I also have a news paper cutting mentioning him attending the funeral of his brother Thomas. In the cutting it mentions that he was one of the most courageous & daring members of the IRA in East Limerick and participated in many operations against the enemy. I would be so gratef ul if you would let me know if there might be any other information availale on him. Many Thanks for your help. Kind Regards
Subject: 1961 citizen army And cumann na mban

Message Body:
Posted last year by paul dunne. Ormond hotel
dublin july 1961 reuinon does he hold a picture
of the reuinon. If so would it be possible if so too
see a copy. He also said that his grandfather lawlor
was givin a cert on that date would it be possible to see it also. Ive been trying to trace a picture of cumann na mban drumcondra branch for long time.

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (
From: Patricia Junold <>Subject: Dublin Volunteers

Message Body:
Wondering if you have information re. Michael McGee from Manor street Dublin7. who died from his injuries after taking part in the Drumcondra ambush Jan 1916 for which Frank Flood was hanged at Mountjoy Prison later that year

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (

sean ahern



i have a photo of my grandfather Mick Ahern, in Irish Volunteer uniform as first Captain of the Clonakilty Company and can forward it to you if you are interested.



Michael Mcbrien <>
Subject: info re great uncle

Message Body:
Looking for information great uncle Harold Mc Brien SLIGO / DROMAHAIR.LIVED IN BALLINTOGHER.

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (

Subject: Strangeways & Frongach 1916

Message Body:
A chairde,

I’m making a documentary about my grandaunt, a revolutionary in 1916, she helped prisoners of war escape from Strangeways following an encounter with Irish soldiers on a train bound for Frongach. I was wondering if you have any Gaelgóirs based in Northern England or Wales who could talk to me about this era.

Is mise le meas,
Emer Nic Aodháin

Irish Volunteers Stories

Message Body:
To whom it may concern,

I am an Irish playwright. I am writing a play in commemoration of the 1916 rising centenary and looking for some genuine, personal stories regarding IV’s involved either in Dublin or Galway. I have certain information on a relative of mine, however not enough to construct a truthful/sufficiently fictionalised piece.

I will be connecting the story with Irish WWI British soldiers. If you could point me in the direction of some personal war stories, to do with the somewhat unknown men on the ground, I would be much obliged. The stranger the stories and more intricate the familial relationships the better.

I realise I’m being rather vague, but I hope you see what I’m after. I would greatly appreciate your help.

All the best,

Henry Collie
Liam Healy <>
Subject: Patrick McHugh Munitions 1919 – 1923 I.R.A.

Message Body:
A Chara,
Would you have any information on Patrick McHugh, 33 Barrow Street, Ringsend Road, Dublin.
I am interested in contacting any of his family as my father worked with him during the War of Independence. Patrick names him in his list of Munitions Staff.
If there is a protocol regarding giving out personal information would you pass this note on to any of his family who might be kind enough to respond to me. Go raibh maith agat.
Liam Healy, Dublin


Subject: query re Seán Prendergast

Message Body:
I am trying to contact the family of Seán Prendergast O.C. C Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade. My father Christopher Healy was a member of this unit and worked full time in the Munitions Section as Official Carrier during the War of Independence. I have a copy of his pass for the 4 Courts Courts in 1922.
I am interested in finding any information in Seán’s papers about my father. I know his name from my father and also the names Joe Furlong and Dinny Holmes.
Tá súil agam go mbeidh tú in ann cabhair a thabairt dom.

Slán agus Beannacht,

Subject: Family Notes

Message Body:
Hi, I have some family notes that I would really like Liz Gillis, if possible to have a look at, one set some missing unfortunately was written by my grand uncle James Kelly Capt b COY 4th Nth Div and tells some of what happened in Co Louth involving Sean Macentee andSean MacDiarmada etc the other is a copy from his sister Bridget Kelly there is some material I seen previously re Grace gifford.

Subject: Photographs for Book

Message Body:
Dear Sir/Ms
My name is Brendan Murphy and I am self publishing a book on County Kerry, Ireland. The book will feature interesting people, places and events in Co. Kerry.
I am doing a feature on Thomas Ashe and the O’Rahilly and I saw your photographs on your website.
I would like permission to use the photographs of Thomas Ashe and the O’ Rahilly in my book. On the page the photo appears your name will be acknowledged as photographer and at the back of the book web site info etc will be given.
Any help or photos appreciated.
Slan go Foill

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (

Subject: war of independance

Message Body:
hi, i am looking fo information regarding my grandfather.i know he was a member of the old ira,as when he passed away in febuary 1971, there was a tricolor on his coffin also my mother told me that the defence forces wanted to send a firing party for his funeral but my grandmother would not accept this as she said it would be too far as i know he was based in liverpool at the time and he did recieve an old ira pension. i would be so grateful if you cuold help me find out more information about him .his name was james murphy from new ross co wexfod. yours sincerly anthony murphy

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Davina Watson <>
Subject: 7th Battalion Cumann Na Mban

Message Body:
Hi, would you be able to help me? I’m trying to find details on Cumann Na Mban, 7th Battalion, Ballingarry Branch. In particular, I am trying to trace a member called Annie Norris. She later married a man called Thomas Berry. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Jerry O’Connell
Website https://
Message Trying to find out about medal awarded to my Father – Jeremiah O’Connell, Broadford, Co Limerick but living in Tarbert, Co Kerry when medal awarded. I think he was engineer in the West Limerick Brigade. My brother said that our Father told him that he was a judge of the court at time. Where can I find information about this
fred molloy
Website https://none
Message my father in law served with Sean Tracey and Dan Breen he is mentioned in Breen’s book My fight for Irish freedom chapter 4 I am looking for any further confirmation as to his service, he was born 25th Aug 1895 in Doon Co Limerick. any information would be gratefully received as I am trying to complete a family biography. thank you.
Subject: photographer

Message Body:
enjoying your articles and photographs.
my great grandfather was in skibereen from 1911, and was then in curragh camp taking photos.. don’t have much information, just saw some photos he took of rebels with weapons and ammunition in the curragh.
was wondering if you came across any of his images, i think there are a lot donated to collins’ barracks, or if you knew any information. charles donnelly swift


brian donnelly swift

Paul Cunningham <>Subject: Records

Message Body:
Hi, a question on memebers of the old IRA,
I was wonder where i could find information about my grandfather who was part of Donegal South Brigade, fourth battalion.


alwena jones <>
Subject: seamus kavanagh

Message Body:
I believe that my nans dad was seamus Kavanagh.
Lily or Elizabeth was born in 1917 (we don`t know her name) What my nan told me when I was 14 yrs old. Her dad was in a line to be shot, then a person from the other side who knew him, decided to give him a chance and let him `run`.
He had a family, but I don`t think we were from that 2nd family from what I have read. I have seen the son (Dundalk museum) in a photo and he is the image of my nan.
Subject: Thomas Canty (or Casty)

Message Body:

I’m looking for any information you might have on a volunteer listed as Thomas Canty or Casty. It’s my belief that this is in fact my great grandfather Thomas Heeley.

What do I know?: I know that he was garrisoned at Marrowbone Lane Distillery and that there is also very little information relating to him. I have read through the records submitted by some of the combatants at Marrowbone Land Distillery and the South Dublin Union to the Bureau of Irish Military History and there is no mention of him either. There is also no mention of him being at Frongoch or even on the Dublin Census of 1911 although there is a Canty family living at 28.1 Marrowbone Lane at the time of the Rising. The only Thomas Cantys I can find on the 1911 census are living in Kerry or Cork. It would strike me as being strange for a Kerry/Cork volunteer to come to Dublin to partake in the rising, but be stationed at an outpost. It is however possible that one of these country Cantys might have been related to the said Canty family on Marrowbone Lane at the time, but I find it unlikely. There also seems to be considerable doubt over the correct surname for this volunteer.

Why?: It’s my belief that this Thomas Canty or Casty was in fact my great grandfather Thomas Heeley who lived at 99.1 Cork Street at the time, which is/was only a 5 minute walk from the voluteer garrison. His Father and step brothers and sister were English born and his Irish born brother (James) was a chauffeur for British generals on the Somme at the time of the Rising. I believe that he used a variation or pseudonym of his Irish born mother’s surname (Cantwell) in order to protect the family name Heeley. I also think he got away before the official surrender of the volunteers of Marrowbone Lane as it has been recorded that Con Colbert stated that anyone not in uniform should try and escape. Eventually Ceantt on hearing this stopped it, but some of the combatants had already got away.
It’s my belief that this Thomas Canty or Casty was in fact my great grandfather Thomas Heeley who lived at 99.1 Cork Street at the time, which is/was only a 5 minute walk from the voluteer garrison. His Father and step brothers and sister were English born and his Irish born brother was a chauffeur for British generals on the Somme at the time of the Rising. I believe that he used a variation or pseudonym in order to protect the family name. I also think he got away before the official surrender of the volunteers of
Marrowbone Lane as it has been recorded that Con Colbert stated that anyone not in uniform should try and escape.
Eventually Ceantt on hearing this stopped it, but some of the combatants had already got away.

I’d also like to note that Thomas and his brother James were Irish-born as was there mother and felt closer to her than their English-born father. There was a massive divide in the family due to father (Robert), the step-brothers and sister being English. The step-brothers and sisters actually moved back to England at some stage between the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

Any insight or info you can give me on this Thomas Canty or Casty would be much appreciated.

Subject: james sniper cassidy

Message Body:
im trying to find information or any old photographs of my grandfather james sniper cassidy who originated from the bone in belfast. the only information i have been able to obtain is from the book NORTHERN COMMAND, i would be very gratefull if you could help. Thank You

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Subject: John McDonnell Photograph

Message Body:
With regard to the above post has the person used the 1901/1911 census records. If they would like some assistance in a non professional capacity I have a fairly good grasp of Irish Geneological resourses and would try to assist if possible. You are welcome to pass on my email address to the person should you wish to.
Kind Regards John Kelly
Robert Dooley <>
Subject: Mount Street Survivors Photograph

Message Body:

I am of the understanding that my Great Grandfather William Ronan is in this photo hosted on your website.
But I am unsure which person is him.
I would be obliged if you could identify him and if you happened to have any other photos containing him?

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (
Paul Tassie <>Subject: Sean O’Sullivan – Cork Volunteers

Message Body:
Hi There,
your site contains a photograph – Cork Volunteers. I would like , if possible, to get a copy of the photo with Sean O’ Sullivan seated with a group of other Cork Volunteers. He is my Grandmothers Brother…….
Eileen Walsh Gough
Website https://
Message I am searching for information on my late father Michael J Walsh, Sheares Street, Kilmallock, Co.Limerick. Born 01/03/1899. My father belonged to the IRA in East Limerick. He passed away in 1971 when I was 18 years old & sadly I never got to speak with him about his involvement. My only information is an old diary where he mentions that he was arrested by the British 14/07/1920 & spent 12 months in Wandsworth Prison,London. He was rearrested by Irish Military 17/09/1922 & spent 14 months in Hare Park Prison in the Curragh. I also have a news paper cutting mentioning him attending the funeral of his brother Thomas. In the cutting it mentions that he was one of the most courageous & daring members of the IRA in East Limerick and participated in many operations against the enemy. I would be so gratef ul if you would let me know if there might be any other information availale on him. Many Thanks for your help. Kind Regards
Hope you are well!

I’m currently researching a short script on the 1916 Pirate Radio Broadcast and am just wondering if you would know if any of the original pirates still have any relatives around that I could contact, mainly Fergus O’Kelly, Liam Breen, Arthur Shields, Joseph Mary Plunkett, Tom Weafer, The O’Rahilly or John O’Connor?

Kind regards,

Jonathan Farrelly
Development Officer


Would you have any idea where I could get information on the 5th Batalion Engineers (Old IRA). My
father was a member during the War of Independence and the Civil War.

Yours sincerely
John Dowling

. In research I found that my father’s cousin Seán McGrath was fatally shot in Ballyconnell in Feb. 1923. He had written in Irish to my father in Jan. ’23 and described the law-lesness in Ballyconnell.This incident was widely reported in Nat. Newspapers and provincial. The Minister made several statements in the Dáil about the incident;and it was debated on the 8th.+9th. of TD’s. It was sent from Belfast to the ‘Daily Express’ paper in London. Seán was only 23 years.He and my father were both Irish teachers both having attended Coláiste Chonnacht, Tourmakeady. My father in 1908 and Seán in c. 1918 (2 terms).This incident was described as ‘The Tragedies of Ballyconnell’.


Joe Monaghan
Heather Graham <>
Subject: George Gilmore

Message Body:
I have regularly read Irish Volunteers, which is extremely interesting. but NOTHING is ever mentioned about my cousin, (My dads first cousin they grew up together in Howth) George Gilmore. yet he was very involved in the troubles in Dublin and I think Cork, and the Spanish Civil War.
Could you please tell me why he is never mentioned. and I would love to know what he was like as a person other than just the political person a lot is written about.
I remember meeting him a couple of times when I was very young, and visiting his very odd cottage in Howth. Also why his mother my Great Aunt went to prison. I have never been able to find the reason for her imprisonment. Please Please please give me some answers.
I look forward to hearing from someone.soon

Heather Graham,

Subject: Looking for a relative who survived

Message Body:

Just found out that my grandfather George Victory and a great-uncle Michael Bridgeman were Irish Volunteers. I have been told that Michael was in Frongoch and was wondering do you have a list or do you know where I might get a list of volunteers who survived.

Many thanks

Jackie Minnock

elizabeth fannon <>
Subject: irish volunteer 1912

Message Body:
my father Michael mc Donald r i p was a volunteer in the I R A in belturbet co cavan in 1912 , he had some bravery medals now lost would love to get some informatin on his time in the I R A, he also got a pension .How do i go about getting infor mation on him. All help much appreciated.
Elizabeth Fannon

Frank Lupton <>
Subject: information on a volunteer

Message Body:
i’m trying to find information on my father in law Richard Cullen ( Dick) born 1904 Glen of Imaal co.wicklow died january 8th 1968 charlie Haughey put an obituary notice in the Irish Press on the 19th january 1968 stating he was in the Rathmines Brigrade under cathal Brugha and i’ve believe he was interned and shared a cell for some time with Sean T O’Kelly if you can help i’d very much appreciate it,thank you very much

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Subject: Michael mc Donald

Message Body:
My father was a volunteer in the I R A in belturbet co cavan he had some medals and received a pension he lived in Gortaquill and his parents were Patrick mc Donald and Mary Ellen. How can i get information on him.All help appreciated

Treasa van Ommen Kloeke- <>
Subject: Arklow Volunteers

Message Body:
Thank you for this. My uncle, Tom O’Toole, pretty sure, is my late Dad’s eldest brother who got out to the U.S. (had to?). Years later I met his son Tom and his son also Tom, in Calif.
History moves on…
My maternal grandmother was Aine (Annie) Heron who was active in Cumann na mBan in Dublin. I have her membership pin…the rifle. There is a report in the Official History files of the gun transport system (baby prams, under the baby!) and when she sat as a justice in the Rathmines/Pembroke area with Aine Ceannt. You are doing a good job. If we do not know where we came from we cannot know where we are going -as they say…

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (
Michael Roe <>
Subject: Irish Volunteer

Message Body:
I searching for information on my great uncle Michael Roe who lived in Dalkey and received a volunteer medal. He fled Ireland after the Irish Civil War because he was a nationalist, He lived in Canada but never spoke of his war experience. Family info is he was with the Dublin Brigade.

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Irish (

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have just this am come across a newspaper cutting showing the daughter of Arthur Griffith RIP whom I understand died in 2006.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this email to a member of the Mrs. Ita Gray’s (Nee Griffith) family so that I can arrange to send them this cutting if they wish me to do so.

I would appreciate a confirmation that you have the contact details for the Griffith family.

Many thanksin advance for this assistance,

Fr. Eamon, sscc
—————————————————————————————Sean Lea <>
Subject: My Grandfather Harry (Henry Michael) Lea

Message Body:
To whom it may concern

Dear Sir
I have a Certificate from the 5th Battalion Engineers Dublin Brigade stating
This is to Certify that Harry Lea served in the War of Independence against the British Forces.
I am trying to gather more information about my Grandfather’s role in the 1916 Uprising (he was born in 1903) and the subsequent Civil War.
Kindest Regards Sean Lea
Vanessa Gildea <>
Subject: information

Message Body:
Dear Sir / Madam,

I am working on a documentary about 1916 and am trying to source some images of volunteers who took part in The Rising. Can you help or point me in the right direction, many thanks, the IVs I’m looking for images of from in or around 1916 and preferably in uniform are:
John Flynn – Bolands Garrison
Sean Nunan – GPO Garrison (have found some of him in america with De Valera but not in uniform)
John McGallogly – GPO & Kimmage
Tom Devine – GPO Garrison​
Liam Saurin – GPO, Metropole Hotel outpost
Joseph Reynolds – Four Courts Garrison
James / Seamus Grace – Bolands Mill (Northumberland Road)
any help in this regard would be most gratefully appreciated.
All the best, Vanessa

Michael J.Cummings <>
Subject: Volunteers that emigrated to U. S.

Message Body:
I am interested in any information you may have regarding any Irish Volunteers that emigrated to America and/or joined activism in organizations there. I am hoping to write a series of commentary on men and women who did that.
I include my resume. Any information that you may have to share particularly in what I refer to as the American Shamrock …Boston, NY, Philadelphia and Chicago would enable me to hopefully tell their story during the centennial. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael J. Cummings, a native of Springfield, Mass., is a graduate of St. Anselm’s College (B. A., 1968) and New York University (M. P. A., 1970). A former member of the National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference (1996-2013), the Ancient Order Hibernians National Board (2001-2008), and the National Executive of the Irish Northern Aid Committee (1988-1996), he served six National AOH Presidents , 5 IAUC National Presidents and two National Chairman of INA primarily in public relations capacities. He is the only person to serve on the national policymaking bodies of all three major Irish American organizations. He also served on the Commission on Peace and Justice of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Cummings has appeared on American, English and Irish television and radio and his commentary and letters and those of the Presidents have appeared in major American, Irish-American, and Catholic print media. He is a frequent columnist for the weekly IRISH ECHO newspaper. He has been married to Nuala Hogan, a nurse and native of Ireland, for 41 years and resides in Albany, New York . They are the parents of five children and two grandchildren.

To contact Mr. Cummings for speaking engagements or for an opinion piece, please call via e-mail at

Assumpta Burke <>
Subject: Westport Fianna Eireann

Message Body:
Trying to put together some information on my Grand Father John Tom Walsh, I know he was a volunteer and also a member of Fianna Eireann, would you have any reference to him in your records, Thanking you

Information Required October 2014

I have a gran uncle michael obrien born in killeigh tullamore in 1902 approx. Michael and several siblings disappeared after 1911 census
My grandfather Mathew stayed in killeigh. He was interred in the curragh in 1921
I would like to make contact with ellen obrien to discuss further
Also, how or where do I find records of mathew brien in the curragh. He wrote a letter to his mother from rath camp telling her not to fret and to send him razors!
Orla Mulligan
PS I have shared ellen photo on facebook in the hope someone might recognise the people or the place
Michael Holland

Dear ‘admin’,
i’ve just stumbled across the very interesting photo of British troops in Amiens Street station’ posted on your site.
I’m surprised that there is no other information about the scene.
While not an expert on the time, I have a few observations that might help someone reserching that photo.
1. There is a band playing, facing the platform, and a guard of honour in two ranks, presenting arms, at right angles to the band and the platform. The guard of honour may be of as few as 10 men.
2. In the background, facing away and presumably facing in the direction of the exit from the platform area, is what looks like an artillery gun crew towing either a gun limber or a gun covered with a platform in some way.
3. On the left in the middle ground are some civilians, one of whom appears to have his hat held over his chest.
4. In the left foreground is a group of army officers, clearly identifiable by their uniforms, boots, swagger sticks etc. They appear to be facing a train, and some of them are clearly saluting. 5. While most of these officers are wearing khaki shirts, more or less in the centre of the photo two are wearing white collars and the one closest to the train seems to be wearing his medals (or just showing a lot of medal ribbons). He is also wearing a sword.
I would interpret him as a more senior officer and the other are his staff and more junior officers. At least one of these officers seems to have a black armband on.
6. There is a mixed group of civilians in working mens clothing, at least one officer and perhaps some other ranks right beside the train.
If my understanding of the scene is correct
Michael Holland

I attended the excellent display in Cork on Saturday and spoke o one of the organizers and they suggested I make contact with yourselves.

I’m trying to establish if my Grandfather was a member of the IRA Volunteers during the War of Independence/Civil War period.

His name is unusual

Ned of Edmund Guinevan or as per the 1911 Census Ginivan/Ginevan.

He cam from Castletownroche / Shanballymore area of North Cork.

His daughter, my Aunt is convinced he was involved as he was an excellent historian and Irish Language enthusiast, very much a self educated man.

I checked the Military Archives but I did not come across his name.

Would appreciate your help.


John Crowley

Hello I am wondering if you have any photos or information on the Volunteers in county Galway. My grandfather Patrick Joseph Hughes from Ballinamore Bridge near Ballinasloe was involved in the movement and was awarded a medal from the War of Independence. He was buried with military honours but Im not sure what his role or rank was exactly. I would love to find out more about him or the movement in Co. Galway. Many Thanks.
Edel Hughes.
Hello. I’m looking to find which battalions of the Dublin Brigade Old IRA represented which areas in the city. Both my grandparent’s families on my dad’s side were old IRA (Dunne and Downey). They lived in and around Erne St., Macken St., Pearse St,. and Westland Row. Any help appreciated. Le meas, Dave

Hi there,

I am trying to get any information which you may have on my great grandmother Mary Allen who was married to my great grandfather Edward Allen.
I am trying to compile my family tree for my children & am not sure what age Mary was when she was a member of the Irish Citizens Army. I am the granddaughter of her daughter Carmel.
Any information you could give would be greatly appreciated.


Tara O’Connor

Could you fill me in about my dads first cousin George Gilmore. I would love to know what he was like as a person, other than the political person quite a lot is written about him.

I remember meeting him a couple of times when I was very young, and although my dad grew up with him in Howth, my dad didn’t really mention him as he didn’t agree with Georges politics.

I remember going to visit him in his odd little cottage in Howth. So please help me with something about him. even if it includes something of his politics etc.

Also does anyone know why his mother my Great Aunt Fanny was sent to prison for a time, this is something I have struggled to find out without any success.

Please help.


Heather Graham

Worthing,West Sussex,UK

Hello I am trying to do some research on my Grand Father Patrick Joseph Doyle. He lived at 23 Esmonde Street for a number of years and I know he was active in the war of independence we have his medal issues in the 1930s. Any information would be helpful I am sure he would have known James Gleeson
Sean Doyle
Hi, i am writing to you again, i have get some more information since i last wrote to you, it is concerning my father Laurence /Lar / La /Larry Doyle, i will give you a brief catch up as it was some time ago since i wrote to you, daddy was born in 1900 in Charlotte st Dublin, his parents Thomas and Catherine Doyle nee Kenny, they came from Shilleagh in Wicklow, they owned a provision shop in 9 Lower Camden St Dublin and 86 Rathmines from 1888 to 1898, they went bankrupt i believe, after daddy was born i am not sure where they went, they moved at some stage to Wicklow i believe then to Newbridge then to Naas where granny opened tearooms on the Canal, daddy married for the first time in 1925 he lived with his wife Kathleen Tighe in New Roe Naas, they had 2 sons William Thomas born 1926 and Thomas Leo 1927, his wife died September 1927, the new information i have is a Larry Doyle living in Newbridge which i am nearly sure is him, i have a copy of LEWIS GUN SECTION, and Larry Doyle is on it, this is the number 18193,Main St Newbridge 445yy, not sure if the 5 is that or an s, post Naas, single, that would fit with daddy being single and 22 in 1922, please i cannot confirm this i need your help to do this, all that daddy told me was all to do with Naas Newbridge and the Curragh, time is running out for my sister she is not well i am hoping for her this will be sorted soon, thank you very much, i really look forward to hearing back from you, sincerely Trena
I have been trying to find more information on my father’s grandparents Dan McCarthy originally of Knockeen, Castleisland Co. Kerry, and Nora McCarthy (nee Quinn) of Divis St. Belfast.

Dan was arrested in Milltown in Kerry in early 1918, as part of the ‘German Plot’, and sent to Crumlin Road Gaol along with other Sinn Fein members including Austin Stack, Ernest Blyth, Fionnan Lynch, Sean Doran and others. While in Crumlin Road, he took part in the famous revolt of Christmas 1918/19 where the prisoners took over the republican wing of the gaol. Here he also met my great grandmother, who was a local girl and member of the Cumann na mBann who used to visit the prison and transport various goods in and out for the prisoners. Nora was also a notorious potin maker. Nora managed to organise Dan’s exit from the prison somehow, and he settled in Belfast for the rest of his life after marrying Nora.
They both regularly took part in Republican commemorations in Belfast and were members of the National Graves Association. I have some interesting photographs and newspaper clippings of some of these commemorations I would be delighted to share with your site. One in particular of a veteran’s march in Belfast in the 1950s with Dan carrying the Tricolour which I am sure was taken on the same day as a similar photo in your photo gallery.

As far as Nora and Dan’s story goes, that is nearly all the information I have. I would be very eager to learn more as to when Dan might have joined the volunteers, if he was involved any further in the struggle in Kerry, if Nora is on the roll of the CnmB etc. They both received Black and Tan medals complete with ‘comrac’ bar so I am assuming that this means that they both would have been eligible for pensions and that there are records available of this. Dan passed away in 1968, Nora in 1971. Nora also received a survivors medal.
The most interesting part of Dan’s story is that I discovered that an autograph book belonging to him sold at an auction in Dublin in 2011 (see link below). This autograph book was compiled around the time of the prison revolt and contains autographs of the other prisoners, including sketches, poems etc. I am presuming that this book would have been confiscated from him in the gaol, as nobody in the family even knew it existed until it turned up in a google search last year. I would love to locate this book if even to have a look at it. Any help finding it would be hugely appreciated.

Slán, Adam O’Leary.

Adam O’Leary
Two historical figures intrigue me, both from north Galway.

Eva O’Flaherty – apparently a great friend of Sean MacDermott, Dr Lynn,

Maire Comerford, Anita MacMahon & Darrell Figgis et al, who was in

Cumann na mBan in 1914 with Louise Gavan Duffy … I know too that

she was very involved in the prisoner’s fund (I don’t have the exact name of

the organisation but I think it was the one that Kathleen Clarke ran) – have

you ever come acrcoss her – Eva O’Flaherty – in your research ?

Michael J McHugh (possibly used the Irish version of his name) – T. Gay

was his commanding officer, he was also born in north Galway and from what

we know was very involved in printing and in Collins’ Intelligence network – have you ever

come across him either in your research ?

With many thanks for the moment,

MJ Murphy. .

Dorothy Berkeley

Website https://
Message Richard Gough from Inchecore Dublin was a volunteer do have any details for me and is there a medal the family are due ?
In 1915 Three companies of Irish Volunteers were established in the southwest corner of Co. Limerick (my local district) by an Antrim man
His name was Ernest Blythe and as a Gaelic scholar, he had fairly good command of teanga na nGael and often used the Irish version
of his name, Ernám de Blaghd. His Irish teacher was Sinnéad Flanagan, future wife of Éanonn de Valera.

One of the Volunteer Companies he founded was in Tournafulla and the #s 1 and 2 men in that unit were the Sheehan brothers, Dave and Batt.
The Sheehans’ uncle Michael who had immigrated to California and was twice elected Sheriff of Sanmateo County. In Feb., 1921, Sheriff
Sheehan made a trip to Ireland, took with him 2 Thompson machine guns and a quantity of ammo for the Cork City IRA Brigade.

I should also mention that the Captain of the Tournafulla IRA Company was U.S.-born Tommy Leahy. In the spring of 1921 he was captured
by B&Ts, taken to Brosna (Kerry), sent to England, tried and was sentenced to be hanged. Leahy feigned illness, taken to the prison
hospital and his execution was postponed …and he survived until July and was saved by the Truce.
Seán Mac Curtáin
I’m sorry to trouble you, but was wondering whether the organisation would be able to assist me. My Great-grandmother’s (Catherine Flynn) grandfather (William Flynn) was allegedly an Irish Volunteer, Cork brigade and signed up 1914. I was just wondering whether there were any more details available such as his birthdate, parents names and where in Cork he was from?

I would be much obliged if you could please give this some consideration and get back to me with any pertinent information.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to hearing from you.


hi I’m looking for information on ballykinlar great-grandfather was charles mcgauley and he was a prisoner there.I know he got nicknamed cookhouse mcgauley in there.any information would be great.

Hi there,

I was just wondering if you could point me in the right direction to get information on my great grandmother Mary Ann (Molly) Devereaux also known as Mrs. Allen.

She fought in the college of Surgeons I believe.

Many thanks,

Tara O’Connor

Irish Volunteers Wynn’s Hotel Dublin Exhibition and Display September 28,2013

Irish Volunteers Wynn’s Hotel Dublin Exhibition and Display September 28,2013

We will be hosting an exhibition and display commemorating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Irish Volunteers. The Irish Volunteers were instrumental in the rebellion of 1916 and in the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921. We invite all people from Ireland and overseas to attend, whether you have a direct connection or simply have an interest in this pivotal moment in Irish history.

Wynn’s Hotel Dublin,
35 39 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin City, Co. Dublin
28 September 2013, 11:00 – 17:00

Brian Crowley


IRA Hunger Strikers -Wormwood scrubs

By John O’Driscoll:



wormwoods scrubs


 I added Prison numbers

to the names I had on record.

There were about 20 other internees in Cornwallis Infirmary which really              was a Workhouse..

The other Infirmary Hospitals used were Marylebonr -Ladbroke Grove ,
St James’ Wandsworth, St Mary’s Highgate,Metropolitan Hospital.
More Internees wer discharged direct without medical attention in the
clothes they came in and without rail passes etc.,
(courtesey Cork Archives)
wormswoods scrubs IRA
IRA Hungerstrikers
(courtesey Cork Archives)
P1470183 (2)
P1470184 (2)
wormwoodscrubs govt report

Information Required IRA members April 16,2013.

Would you please be able to tell me if it is possible to get a copy of the cert for the Oglaig na hEireann that was issued to my grandfarther Joseph Sartini
John Curley
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-My grandfather, David Francis Ryder, was in the Mayo Flying Column. If there are any events involving this group, would you please have them contact me. David Jacob
New Jersey
john. I am looking for details on Moran possibly from prospect who took part in tne hunger strike in wormwood scrubs in 1920. He is my grand uncle.
trying to get any information on my grand uncle Patrick English killed in civil war on 6 or 8 July 1922 outside Mary Willies pub Urlingford .Where would I go to get information civil war?I think his name is on headstone above P Mac Inglir not sure dont know his irish name
I am still trying to seek info about my Uncle,born 1898 James McGovern, Irish Volunteer and IRB member. He was from Fermanagh/ Cavan district near Ballyconnell in Co Cavan. May have been student at at St Patricks College, Drumcondra before becoming involved I have photograph of him in uniform head- up only
F McCann
Could you tell me anything about my first cousin once removed (My dads first cousin) George Gilmore. I met him a couple of times when I was very young, but don’t know much about him, I would love someone to tell me all about him,

I notice in your list of names he’s not mentioned, why is this?

I look forward to hearing from someone that knew him as to what sort of man he was. and where I could buy some of his poems, writtings ,and paintings, and I beleive he wrote plays, but I can’t find any of these anywhere.

Please help me.

Conor kelleher Dear sir or madam
I am looking for some information for my mother n law regarding her father his name was John o Mahoney from Pearce rd ballyphehane cork city. His daughter Margaret is my mother n law she has told me he was a volunteer back in the old days and I was wondering if you had any pictures or anything with his name on it that I cd show to her. His nick name was drummer Mahoney if it helps. She is 72 years old now I just thought I try do something nice for her, regards Conor
Peter Hi
I am writing a paper for Skerries Historical Society on the Skerries Fire Brigade and wondered if Las Fallon could help me with any information on same.
Perhaps you might pass this on to him
Kind Regards
Peter Mc Nally
Robin P Ward Hi,
I am the gggranddau. of Thomas P Masterson, early Fenian active in NYC 1867 to his death. His name is in early Fenian articles, books, etc. Hung around with John Savage, O’Rossa, Thomas Luby, Dennis Phealan etc. Can anyone rec. a source where I might find a record of his death in NYC. He was a shoemaker as well as Recording.Sec. Irish Revolutionary Bro.hood. Please help. Thanks
Graham Hopkins Email Website Message To whom it may concern,

I happened across your website while looking for information on my great grandfather Joseph Hyland and to my surprise came across your picture of “Vol Joe Hyland. Joe was Collins’ personal driver, he also drove the squad on their missions to eliminate agents etc” Joe hyland is my great grandfather and i would like to find out some more information about him. Could you please help me
Margaret Kidney
I also am interested in finding out further information on no 3 , where the soldiers were killed by a mine at .Carrigaphooka bridge near Macroom. Captain Dan O’Brien was my father’s brother.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Thomas P Masterson was expelled from the UK/Ireland in late 1867 after about five months in prison, (after the March “Uprising”) though it looks like he was never actually convicted of “Fenianism” or anything else. He arrived in NYC 4 Dec 1867 and took the IRB oath from James Stephens (I think, don’t have my files in front of me.) He was given a letter of recommendation from Daniel Phelan (sp?) and jumped right back back into the movement.

If you have any info. Re his background I would appreciate it if you could either pass it on or point me in the right direction. His father’s name ( we think it is Luke) is the ultimate goal in my research, as it would consolidate research from multiple Masterson family members still trying to figure out all the connections.

I’ve got lots more info on him as well as the IRB members in the 1870-95 timeframe.


Robin P Ward
My Father has a book titled “Dan Breen, my fight for Irish Freedom” long out of print, which was left to him by his father Tommy “Maut” Thompson of Hedleys Bridge, Knocknakoshel, Co Kerry. He had known Dan Breen and corresponded with him until his death in 1966. It was a very detailed summary of his pre civil war exploits and many of the men with whom he fought. I’ll give it another quick read and see what I can find for you as it was very detailed. As a member of the No 2 Kerry Brigade under Humphrey Murphy, My Grandfather took part in the Ballyseedy Trap Mine which killed several Free State Army Officers. Wanted, he went on the run and left Ireland with his pal Taddy O’Connor for Canada in 23′. He went back in 1930 so that he could come back to the US legally. Great stuff isn’t it! Check back in a week or so and I’ll hopefully have some information for you.


I’m currently searching for information and sources for Bloody Sunday 1920.
I noticed a very helpful article on your website about Bloody Sunday, which had an emphasis on the shootings that took place early in the morning, I wonder if you could recommend any sources for such details? I’m eager to find any information, so if you could point me towards useful sources I would greatly appreciate it. Kerrie Costelloe
Can you help me with any information on Charles J Daly Cork No. 1 Brigade 2nd battalion. His date of birth, etc. I believe he resided in the South Douglas Road. Noel O’ Keeffe ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Looking for my father history he was in old I R A howth also in pipe band around 2016/17 joseph Lawlor any news out there. Kathleen McCarthy.
Iam seeking information on regards to my relatives in mayo.they would be the sammon/salmons from around murrisk i believe.i am also seeking info on my cousins the mcgreals.both families participated in the ambsh at carrowkennedys in 1921. james patrick salmon
Hi there patrick. I am researching my ancestors time in the I.R.A and National Army, my great grandfather’s family (o’sullivans) were quite actively involved in both the ira and national army and I am aware that we had a relative in ontario canada. Could you tell me if we possibly have a link. Do you know where abouts in Ireland your family are from? Thanks and hope to hear from you soon. kim sullivan
My grandfather was Thomas Kavanagh from Killiney Co. Dublin.
I’m not sure if he was in the Volunteers or another group, but he was heavily involved against the black and tans and maybe the ‘civil war’. The family don’t know much or don’t say. Do you have any records. He died in about 1954. John Dunne
My grand uncle Philip Foley from Kilcurrane, Kenmare, Co. Kerry was in the IRA. He was wanted and escaped from Jail and got to NYC where he lived until he died of cancer in 1966. Are there any records on the volunteers? I am curious what more I can learn about him. Dr. Mary Foley Mc Inerney
If possible I wish to contact James Langton or someone who could aid me in identifying the year a certificate was issued to the me, there is one on Edward Bennets page that my granddad has, his is numbered 112 the number is not scanned in on Mr Bennets. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Kind Regards
Janice Nolan
Dear Sir
My name is Michael O’ Sullivan and I am currently completing a postgraduate course. I am writing my dissertation on commemorative practice in the Pearse Street Area. I would like to inquire if you have any commemorative booklets, photographs etc from any commemorative events that you organised since your foundation. Anything associated with the 1966 commemoration of the 1916 Rising would be particularly useful. If any of your members would be open to the idea of me interviewing them about said commemorative practices I would greatly appreciate if you would ask them on my behalf. Could you please contact me at your earliest convenience at the above email address. Yours Sincerly Michael O’ Sullivan
My Great-Grandfather was part of the first Fianna Eireann Ard Fheis, Mansion House 1910. I was wondering if you would have any information on him? His name is John Clarke. In the photo he is 2 places to the right of Countess Markievicz. John Clarke.
But your email notice has prompted me to ask if there exists any nominal rolls of members of the Irish Volunteers in the period 1910 – 1916.

My understanding is that my late father, John McCullagh of Caum, Killanardrish but then residing and working in Cork City, was one of those members of the IV who responded to John Redmond’s exhortations and joined the British Army to “fight for small nations” and served with the RAMC at a field hospital in Salonica.

I wonder if it is possible to establish his service record with the Volunteers? Any information, suggestions or leads you can give me will be appreciated.

John F. McCullagh
Skillman, New Jersey
I’m looking to find graves of volunteers in galway city with a view to cleaning and maintaining them.Do you know how i would find out about getting any info?Thanks, pete coyne.
A chaiade,:
Go raibh míle maith agaibh as an bhfáisnéis thabhachtach seo.
Tógadh in Iarthar Luinnighe mé agus bhí aithe agam ar bheirt dheartáreacha a bhi ins na Volunters.
The Sheehan brothers Dave and Batt were the # 1 and #2 men in the Tournafulla Volunteer Company,
which was organized by a Presbyterian Ulsterman and Gaeilgeoir, Ernest Blythe.
Their O/C Tommy Leahy was born in the U.S. and raised in Tournafula. In the spring on 1921, he was captured with a rifle in his
possession, taken to England and sentenced to hang. But the Truce in July saved Leahy from his would-be executioner.
The previous February an uncle of the Sheehan brothers visited his old homestead in Garravane townland while vacationing
from his job as SHERIFF of San Mateo County Calif. Soon after Sheriff Mike Sheehan arrived in Cobh,
v he presented the Cork City Brigade with a Thompson machine gun
Resistance to British occupation was probably fiercer in Cork that in any of OUR 32 COUNTIES. At least 10 Cork I.R.A. Volunteers
were executed, including TOM MULCAHY, who was one of the four young patriots to face firing squads in Cork on 28th April, 1921.
Volunteer Muhcahy was only 18 years and 4 months when he paid the ultimate price for the freedom of Ireland,
an tír uile agus gach roinn di. None of these noble patriots died to uphold Partition.
Stephen Ehrling , Recently, I came upon my Uncle Thomas Clarke’s obituary when he died Sep 7th, 1959 in New York, USA. Besides the normal obituary placed the the family, their was a second immediately following the family ad. In part it read as follows:
Clarke, Thomas Sean. Oglaigh na h-Eireann regrets to announce the death of it’s member. Thomas Clark. Native of County cavan and a member of B Company, 4th Battalian, 3rd Northern Brigade IRA…….
It was signed by James McNamara, Pres. and Thomas Rochford, Secy.
I’ve been trying to obtain to obtain information regarding his military tenure and the two individuals who signed this obituary to no avail. CAn you provide me any information or point me in the right direction.

Thanking you in advance, Stephen Ehrling

I’m doing research for the 1913 Irish volunteer relating to an An Post.

We’re desperately looking to locate an accurate / impressive photograph that depicts the foundation of the 1913 Irish volunteers from 1913. Something that may also be licensed for reproduction. We don’t have a working historian on the project so our knowledge is a little troublesome.

Would anyone know if such a photo could exist or what the nearest iconic photograph during that year would be.

I’m aware that photography was in it’s infancy during this period so if anyone could talk to me about such high expectation, that would also great! The more info the better. Tim
any information on Capt Michael Danford shot 1922 thank you,,,Patrick J. Danford
wondered if anybody heard of Thomas O’Reilly, ( my great grandfather), he served with 1st and 5th batallion carlow brigade
noel mc evoy
Looking for information on my family. My family Horgan had several brothers who might have been volunteers in Limerick please email. Some of their name Ned Horgan,Luke Horgan Michael Horgan And Patrick Horgan.,,,michael horgan
Dear Sirs, On the road through Knockalougha nr Knocknagoshel co Kerry, there is a monument to a fallen volunteer. I have viewed it on google maps, but am unable to zoom in close enough to read the inscriptions. I have been unable to find any records of the monument online. Do you know where I might look for information, or might you have any information concerning this monument?
Kindest Regards Paula Turner
Hello, I’m trying to find out about my grandad Joseph McDonnell who fought with the ira i believe around 1920’s or earlier. I am told he was involved by my family but he wasn’t one to talk about it and I was to young to listen. He never received a pension because of some reason not known, but he was given a military funeral on his passing.
He was from kincon in co mayo and was born in 1898. I am wondering is there anyway I can find out more information on him or if this is a common problem . Paul ruddy
Brian Carroll ,,, My late father, William Carroll [1901-1980] joined the Boys Section, ICA in April 1917. Is there any record confirming his service and the types of activities in which he was engaged? Thank you.”
Kieron Heath ,,,Message my mother was born in Castlefield, Dundrum opposite what is now the Dundrum House Hotel. My mum’s name was Sarah Mary Ryan, daughter of John Ryan and Jane Ryan (nee Carew) from Bishopswood. My mum’s uncle, Michael Ryan, was killed during the war of 1919-1921. I am trying to find out exactly what happened to my great uncle -Michael. I would be grateful for any help you can provide.
This an identical uniform of my great grand father William dillon of Belfast n Ireland he was 18 years old his wife was Sarah Thomson if any one knows more of him please contact me. Thanks for this ray of family hope. Barbara jean burger .
Hi there,
I am trying to find out more about my grandfather who was a volunteer. I know very little of his history as he died before I was born and he only had four daughters who where never informed of his story. He was an Ennis man, and was interned but I dont know when or where. His name was Michael (miko) Scallan. Im not sure where to start so any help from yourselves would be great.
Thank you in advance
Hi I am looking for information on my grandfather Hugh (Goff) Kelleher from the Townland of Gurranacoppal, (right near the Bell pub.) Clondrohid near Macroom. He was born in 1897 and was from a farming family his father was Daniel Kelleher and he had an uncle Michael Kelleher who was blind. His sister was Julia Kelleher. I do know from my uncle that he shot an English Sargeant (my uncle did tell me the shot man’s name but I cannot remember it.) Can anyone tell me which division would cover Macroom and Clondrahid. I remember my grandad talking about the Black and Tans burning houses in the area. If anyone could provide me with more information about the volunteers and their activities in this area, I would be very grateful. Johanna Kelleher
Stephen McSweeney ,,,,Message hello , i am looking for information about my great grandfather. my father recently said he had the military salute performed by Tom Barry at his funeral. is there a reference list i could see % see if it gives refernce to his being a volunteer? he lived in the Macroom area.
thanks for reading
chris wilson ,, Message i wonder could you please help. I am looking for information on a great great uncle of mine Peader Clancy. he was murdered in Dublin castle along with Dick Mckee and Connor Clunes. I hope you help.
I am seeking info on Old IRA Belfast, especially “A” Company 3rd Battalion. I have just acquired records from PRONI on an arrest of my grandfather Eneas McGibbon along with a Peter Cosgrove, 5 July 1922. Unfortunate for Eneas but fortunate for his daughter and grandchildren is that he was raided by the RIC and his pocket book identified him as IRA Belfast “A” Company 3rd Battalion. This was a gift to us who suspected Eneas was a fighter for the Republic but until this month no one knew definitively! I have been researching his life for 6 years. I have several arrest records for him, all having to do with fighting for Irish Independence. His was born in Mayfair St Belfast and lived at Parkview St. Are their lists of any kind for the old IRA? I have not seen one photo of his company. Does any one have knowledge of when this company would have been formed? What Division (if any) would A Company 3rd Battalion be a part of ? Any info is greatly appreciated! Catherine B
Hi, I am trying to find information about my grandfather, Edward O’reilly, we have a cert which tells us he was with “H Company 1st batallion Dublin Brigade” the dates on the cert are 1917-1923. Along the side of the cert it tells us of events he was involved in. “the customs house” “capel street” “Kings inn” and the attempted escape of Kevin Barry, The names signed on the cert are, Seamus Kavanagh,, Thomas Byrne, Patrick Holahan and Oscar Traynor. thanks for your help..Noel Mc Evoy
Am doing some research regarding my paternal grandfather, Thomas A. O’Connor, born April 1900 Dublin, died April 1949, Brooklyn, NY. He served as an IRA section commander of Company B, 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade (1916-1923).. Would like to learn of his actions, and/or any awards/medals he earned to educate myself and my son. My father (born 1941) was to receive his father’s IRA medals upon his dad’s death, but the medals were sadly lost. It would be great to find these for him before he passes someday.
Warm regards,
Rory O’Connor
Maribeth Nolan ,,, Message I am trying to find documentation for my grandfather, John J. Nolan, who we have always believed was involved in the war for independence. He was an Irish tenor who performed via the Walter McNally Opera comapny. He was called Shaun O’Farrell. Can you direct me to any resources I might be able to check?
Thank you,
Maribeth Nolan
John Kelleher ,, I am looking for biographical information regarding Tom Kelleher, his date of birth, parents’ names, and place of birth. Can you direct me to a resource for this information? Thank you.
Olivia Elayne Murray ,, I’m trying to find ancestors of Hurley’ involved in the 1916 Uprising from Cork’ thank you s very much’ O.E.Murray’ from Vancouver Canada
Joe Burns ,, Seeking information on Jack McCavanagh or McKavanagh from Lurgan Co Armagh. Have medal but no information.
I am researching my uncle’s Thomas Fyans’ activities whilst he was in Old IRA in D Company of the 1st battalion, Dublin Brigade from 1917, with active service from
1919 onwards. Later, according he was a member of the Criminal Investigations Department in Oriel House. Can you advise addresses to write to or websites to investigate? regards M P Byrne
kevin nyhan ,, Im looking for info on my grandfather who I believe worked for the british forces in ireland in the 1920s as a book keeper in Mallow ,where might i find any records
John Dowling ,,,,, Information on 5th Battalion Engineers Dublin Brigade Old IRA
Steve Ehrling ,, My uncle was Thomas J (Sean) Clarke, He died in New York on Sept 27th, 1959. Recently I became aware that he was a member of B Company, 4th Battalton, 3rd Northern Brigade of the IRA. Family folklore has stated that he spent time in prison during the Irish Rebellion before coming to New York 1925. Can you provide any info on my uncle or point me in the right direction.
I am the great nephew of Charlie Hurley and will arrive in Ireland this week. I want to locate the Roadside memorial at Ballymurphy indicating the location where Charlie Hurley, Brigade O.C. was shot dead. Is there any chance to get a location (GPS)? I am also trying to get the location of the memorial featured here memorializing the Crossbarry Ambush. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Greg Storch .
Sue Hi, I’m a senior student in Australia and I have a research assignment on the Irish conflicts and it’s difficult because I am the only student who chose this topic. Could anyone please recommend and historians who have opinions on The Anglo-Irish Treaty and Civil War? I need historian opinions to prove/support my hypothesis so any historians thanks. I already have Robert Kee down so any other would be extremely helpful!
Sean Hegarty ,, Hi Might be able to advise
A relative off mind Sean Hegarty was in the GPO in the 1916 rebellion.He raised the flag on the GPO.He is buried in the republican plot in Glasnevin.Died in 1933 was on hunger strick in 1922.Is there any where I could contact to see what medels he received,can you still claim medels or even a cert to confirm he got them..
Port I believe my grt grandfather was a soldier – married in Dublin in 1894 and was listed as a “soldier” – family think he was in the black and tans – unfortunately I dont have a dob for him – only that when he married he was “full age” – I also believe that he was born in England – would I have any way of checking if he did serve? thank you.

Irish War of Independece 1916 Irish Volunteers Uniform

By James langton:

I held a piece of history in my hands this evening in the home of my very good friend Las Fallon. A friend of his named Daniel Fitzpatrick, of the Dublin Fire Brigade dropped by with the tunic worn by his grandfather Denis Fitzpatrick in 1916. Denis was born 17th of April 1900. Four Courts Garrison 1916. Member of ‘B’ Company, 1st Battalion Dublin Brigade IRA. Took part in reorganisation of Company after the Rising. Transferred as Captain, ‘E’ Company, 3rd Battalion, Scottish Brigade IRA, March 1919 to February1920, in charge of collecting arms and explosives in Stirlingshire. April 1920, returned to ‘B’ Company Dublin Brigade. Attached ‘B’ Company and Active Service Unit (ASU), Dublin Brigade. After Truce, he was commissioned in Free State Army. Resigned from Free State Army and returned to Irish Republican Army prior to attack on the Four Courts 1922. Took part in actions at Fowler’s Hall, Barry’s Hotel, and Dorset Street. Shot and seriously wounded. Served as Intelligence Officer and was involved in plan to tunnell into Mountjoy to free Republican prisoner’s. Captured and interned at Hare Park Camp, Curragh. Joined Dublin Fire Brigade 3rd March 1932. p103, Dublin Fire Brigade and the Irish Revolution by Las Fallon.



Twice a hero by Phil Tomkins

Twice a hero by Phil Tomkins

A soldiers story written by a soldier.

The true story of hardship and horror in the blood and mud as seen through the eyes of a teenage volunteer and his comrades in the forgotten conflicts of Salonika and Palestine,during the great war,fighting for the freedoms of small nations and in particular,during the Great War,fighting for the freedom of small nations and in particular for Home Rule in Ireland.Then testing his extraordinary courage in the Irish War of Independence,which ended 700 years of bloody struggle and helped establish a nation.
Phil Tomkins.
The Book is dedicated to my maternal Grandmother Mrs Annie (Nan) Hewitt(nee Adamson),men and women of the Athlone Brigade,Irish Republican Army and the many brave Irishmen of Kitcheners army who served in the Great War,who gave their lives in the mistaken belief that their sacrifice would lead to an Independent Ireland.
Phil Tomkins.
This is a very good book, it covers the life of George Adamson,his joining the Irish division in 1915,to his induction to the Leinster Regiment and the serice of these units in Salonika and Macedonia, 1916-1917.The campaigns are covered in detail up to George’s discharge from the British Army after 4 years and thirty eight days,,he was awarded the DCM.
On his return to Ireland he joined the Athlone Brigade IRA,because of his military past he was promoted to Vice O/C of the brigade.
The book is very well researched and there are very interesting details regarding service in the British army in ww1 and also good detail on the Athlone Brigade in the the Irish War of Independence.
It is the story of one Irishmans short life,but what an eventful life he had,and he ultimately gave his life for Ireland.

James Gleeson

By Eamon Murphy:

James Gleeson was born in Tipperary in 1890 but moved to Gorey, Co. Wexford after he left school to trade as a saddler and harness maker.
In 1910 he joined the Gorey branch of Sinn Fein (which had been formed in 1907) and he was a very active and prominent member of the organization during this period. The chairman of Sinn Fein at this time was Sean Etchingham who was also a member of the local I.R.B., an organization which James joined in 1911.

James joined the Irish Volunteers at a meeting in the old Gorey town hall on 6th January, 1914. Patrick Pearse and Michael Judge of the ‘Provisional Committee’ of the Volunteers were speakers at this historic event. James was part of a group of sixty men who joined up on that day. James and about twenty other members opted to remain with MacNeill’s Irish Volunteers following the split with Redmond in September of that year. *(The local group of Redmond’s National Volunteers did not last long after the split)
In 1915 James Gleeson was part of the official procession for the funeral of celebrated Fenian leader Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in Dublin, where he marched with the small but significant Gorey division of the Irish Volunteers.

In the Easter Rising of 1916, Gleeson and five other Gorey Volunteers (Joe Funge, Sean O’Byrne, Sean Etchingham, Eddie MacDonagh and Sean Doyle) cycled to Enniscorthy on the Tuesday of Easter week (April 25th), armed only with a few guns and a handful of ammunition. James and another local man, Joe Funge, were instructed to cycle back to Gorey on the Thursday, to do some scouting and intelligence work on the whereabouts of local police and any advancing soldiers. Between Thursday and Saturday they sent several important dispatches back to headquarters in Enniscorthy.
On the Sunday morning (April 30th) they witnessed two local men, Seamus Doyle from Gorey and Sean Etchingham from Courtown, pass through the town coming from Enniscorthy in a military escort on their way to Dublin to personally receive the surrender order from Patrick Pearse. As James was still in Gorey upon confirmation of the surrender he evaded capture.

James was very active in the reorganization of Sinn Fein in the town in the immediate aftermath of 1916. He joined Fianna Fail in 1927 and remained a prominent local member of the political party for many years. James also served on the Gorey Town Council (Town Commissioners) where he diligently represented the people of Gorey. He worked tirelessly for the people of Gorey through his political work and also through the many charities he was involved in. He remained a saddler and harness maker for many years in no. 8 Lower Esmonde Street, Gorey and today his family still live in the house from where he plied his trade. It is regarded as one of the most historic houses in the ever changing market town and it still has the old style half-door at the front of the house. The Gleeson home is very popular with tourists who visit the town.

James Gleeson lived a long and eventful life and died at the age of 87 in his beloved adopted town of Gorey in 1977 is buried in St. Michaels Cemetery in Gorey.

By Eamon Murphy


James Gleeson Witness Statement BMH

Sean O’Byren Witness Statement BMH

Robert Kinsella Witness Statement BMH

Wexford County Council Oral History Podcasts – Kathleen Gleeson

Michael Fitzpatricks’s History of Gorey Volume 6

Interviews with local Gorey people

*Many thanks to Kathleen Gleeson for sending me the photograph of her father



The Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation is happy to announce an exhibition,  and display on Saturday,March 23, 2013.

This year 2013,marks the anniversary of the foundation of The Irish Volunteers.

The event will take place at the Middle Parish Community Centre,Grattan steet,Cork city.It is centrally located ,public car parking is across the road.

We will be remembering Fianna scout Patrick Hanley, killed in action by the RIC in Cork, 27 Nov. 1920 on on the day,a terrace of houses adjoining the Community centre are named in his honour.

The event is open to the public.

The event opens on Saturday morning at 11. am and ends at 5.00pm.

Entry 5 euro per person.Family 10 euro.Members FREE .(Please bring your membership cards).

Enquiries. Phone Brian: (086) 2517954 .

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. Members wishing to help on the day , we require 10/12 members , please contact Brian on

Dennis Barry,nephew of Commandant Dennis Barry and author of the Book “The Unknown Commandant” will give a talk.


We request all members to attend.

Please address all enquiries to

or see for details.

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.

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.

^ 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


New Zealand




October- Info Required IRA members

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


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 ?


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

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.


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.


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….


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.



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.


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

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.




The Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation 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

Las Fallon will give a talk on his new book

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 or see

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.

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.”

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.

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:

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
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


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.


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




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.


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


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


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,

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.


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…

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
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.