GOTO History Page Two....about Irish Patriot Robert Emmett

 

 

Scraps from History

Easter Uprising of 1916:  The struggle for an independent Ireland

Permission: I willingly grant permission for you to use my biographical essays on
The IrelandGenWeb Projects and IrelandGenWeb. Ellen

1.   

Easter Week holds a special meaning to the Irish people. It was from the
steps of the GPO (General Post Office) in Dublin that Padraig Pearce
proclaimed the Irish Republic on Easter Monday 1916. A couple of years ago
Ellen Naliboff and I did an Easter Week series telling about the lives of
those brave men who were executed after the Easter Rising in 1916. During
Easter Week we again are focusing attention on those who were involved in
the struggle for Irish Independence.  This Easter Week series is dedicated
to all the heroes who gave so much of themselves so their country would be
free.

Siochain agus Beannachtai (peace and blessings)
Ellen Naliboff
Margaret (Mairead) Kristich

2.   
The War of Independence in the Aftermath of The Easter Rising of 1916
The Easter Rising brought national attention to the Irish cause and to the
oppressive ways in which the English ruled the country. Nationalism swept
the country in the wake of the executions of the Easter Rising leaders. The
War of Independence, which followed in 1919, the subsequent Civil War of
1922, and the formation of the Irish Free State in 1923 had their roots in
the Easter Rising of 1916.
Tom Clarke urged the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
that a rising must happen before the end of the Great War. Patrick Pearse,
Joseph Plunket and Éamonn Ceannt drafted the first military plans. The
Supreme Council decided unanimously to proceed with the uprising although
they knew it had little chance of success. The Irish Volunteers were holding
recruiting meetings throughout Ireland and training recruits
enthusiastically. In spite of the order from Eoin McNeill not to revolt,
over 2,000 soldiers made a strike for freedom on Easter Monday. The
Volunteers seized and fortified six positions in Dublin city: the General
Post Office, the Four Courts, Boland's Mill, St. Stephen's Green, Jacobs
Factory and the South Dublin Union. The Volunteers' failed attempts to seize
Dublin Castle and Trinity College severely restricted their means of
communicating with each other and to prevent the arrival of English
reinforcements. By Wednesday, the English outnumbered the revolutionaries by
twenty to one. The English secured a perimeter around the city and closed
in. By Friday the GPO was engulfed in flames and Pearse gave the order to
surrender. Four hundred fifty people, many civilians, were dead with over
2500 wounded. The city was in ruins with the damage estimated at 2 Million
pounds. The English subsequently arrested over 3,500 people, including Éamon
DeValera and Michael Collins. The English executed all seven signatories of
the proclamation of independence (Pearse, Connolly, Clarke, MacDonagh,
MacDermott, Plunkett, and Ceannt). The masses of the country now thought
that the insurgents were heroic and, for the first time, wanted an end to
English rule. Nationalism swept the country.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

3.   

Terence MacSwiney - He was born in Cork City in 1879.  He helped form the
Cork Celtic Literary Society  with Daniel Corkery. .He was the author of
five plays.  In 1911 he was appointed commercial teacher and organizer of
classes in the towns of County Cork.  He was one of the main founders of the
Cork Volunteers.  He also published Fianna Fail, and was the main
contributor.  After 11 issues it was suppressed.  He and Tomas MacCurtain
dispersed the Volunteers at Easter of 1916 following Eoin MacNeil's orders.
He regretted this deeply the rest of his life.  He was imprisoned several
times for his Nationalist views and activities.  He represented West Cork in
the first Dail and was involved in setting up Dail Eireann's Arbitration
Court.

After the murder of his good friend, Tomas MacCurtain, Terence MacSwiney was
elected Lord Mayor of Cork. On August 12, 1920 while attending a meeting at
City Hall he was arrested along with several others.  Within a few days all
were released except for MacSwiney.  He was court - martialled and sentenced
to two years imprisonment.  He told the court that by not taking any food he
would limit any prison term imposed upon him.  He was transferred to Brixton
Prison in England.

The tragic ordeal of Terence MacSwiney began.  During  most of he hunger
strike MacSwiney's family was allowed to visit him, then towards the end his
sisters, Mary and Anne were forcibly removed from a waiting area.  His
brothers Sean and Peter were told to wait in a room and could only see their
brother when they were summoned. His wife Muriel was also told she would be
summoned.  As death approached the family was told they would be summoned
when a crisis occurred.  In reality as Terence MacSwiney was dying  he was
attended by his brother Sean and Fr. Dominic, when Sean attempted to call
the family, the authorities probhited him from using the telephone. Terence
MacSwiney died after 74 days on a hunger strike on October 25, 1920.  The
man who had said" It is not those who can inflict the most, but those that
can suffer the most who  will conquer" had sacrificed his life for the
freedom of Ireland.

During MacSwiney's long ordeal, the world expressed its shock and dismay
with England's actions towards MacSwiney.   The world witnessed   MacSwiney's
hunger strike. Press from as close as France to as far away as Afghanistan
covered Terence MacSwiney's hunger strike.  One of the presidential
candidates in America cabled Lloyd George:
"you have appalled the world by your callous indifference to the death
throes of the heroic Lord Mayor of Cork".***


Following are a few of the press tributes to Terence MacSwiney

The Petit Journal, Parish:
"The death of the Lord Mayor of Cork has interested the whle of humanity in
the cause of Irish independence".

Echo de Paris:
The sacrifice of the Lord Mayor of cork has had the entire world for a
spectator and will echo throughout the globe as the heartbreaking appeal of
a suffering fatherland.

Corriere d'Italia:
An untiring champion of the independence of his country, his wish has been
to sacrifice his life for her in testimony to his faith; and the sacrifice
may well be the equivalent for England of a crushing defeat."**

Londoners lined the streets to pay their last respects as the coffin was
taken to the train for MacSwiney's last trip home to Cork.  Sadly even this
solemn family tragedy was again marred by politics.  Lloyd George was
influenced by Sir Henry Wilson to have MacSwiney's family removed from the
boat  train at Holyhead and the coffin was diverted to Cork.  October 31,
the day of Terence MacSwiney's burial was declared a national day of
mourning in Ireland by the Dail.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved


References:
**A Trinity of Martyrs; Sean O'Kelly, Irish Book Bureau, Dublin

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; Roberts
Rinehart Publishers; 1992; Boulder, Colorado

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

A Dictionary of Irish Biograghpy by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

4.

Easter Rising 1916

On Easter Monday 1916, April 24th, members of the Irish Volunteer
Force, the Irish Republican Brotherhood and James Connolly's
Citizens Army launched the Easter Rising. At noon Padraig Pearse
and James Connolly led a group of about a hundred men up
O'Connell Street to the General Post Office which they, with a
round of shots, cleared and declared headquarters of "the
Republic of Ireland". The Union Jack was hauled off the roof and
the tricolour of the Irish Republic and the green flag with the
golden harp were hoisted instead.

 Shortly after noon Pearse
emerged on the steps outside where he read aloud "the
Proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Republic of
Ireland". Simultaneously another group of men, led by Thomas
MacDonagh, entered Jacob's Biscuit Factory and around town other
rebels- among them people whose names would become well-known in
the years to come:  Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera and
Constance
Markievicz- were seizing key points such as the town castle,
Stephen's Green, the Four Courts, Boland's Mill, the South Dublin
Union and a number of train stations. One week later the ceiling
of the post office was scattered with bullet holes. At 5 o'clock
on the 30th of April 1916, Padraig Pearse handed over a note of
surrender, signed by the co-signers of the Proclamation, to the
English officer in charge in order to "prevent the further
slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives
of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered"(quote
from Declan Kiberd:1916 Handbook).

In his last instruction to his
men Padraig Pearse told them to ""go out and face the
machine-guns as though you were on parade". As they left they
sang a song which had given them great comfort at the worst times
in the week- "The Soldier's Song"" (quote from Ruth Dudley
Edwards: Patrick Pearse and the Triumph of Failure, p. 302). Then
the tricolour was hauled off the roof of what was left of the
GPO.

 Like so many rebellions before the Easter Rising of 1916 had
gone terribly wrong and the Irish were, yet again, paying a high
price- many lives were lost and many more were to die in the
weeks to come. Those of the leaders that had not already been
killed were charged with treason and, with a few exceptions like
Constance de Markievicz, Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins,
they were all sentenced to death and executed shortly afterwards.
Most of the executed rebels were poets, writers, teachers and
other intellectuals- including Padraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh
and Joseph Plunkett- three of Ireland's young and promising
poets.

The Easter Rising of 1916 came as a surprise to most Irishmen. It
came at a time when nobody expected it, least of all the English.
Most of Ireland was poverty-stricken but only a hardcore of
nationalists thought in terms of an armed rebellion. There were
many reasons for the failure of the Rising- one being the failure
of a shipment of weapons from Germany to reach shore, another
being the hesitance of Dublin's population to join the rebels.
When Eamon de Valera was led by the British from Boland's Mills,
he murmured to the crowd outside, "Oh, if only you had come out
with your knives and forks" (Ulick O'Connor: A Terrible Beauty is
Born, p. 86). The truth was that many people were opposed to the
Rising, not the aim as much as the means and the timing, and the
rebels were spat on and pelted with rubbish as they were led away
by the British. The turning point came when the British began
arresting young volunteers who had not even participated in the
Rising and when they began executing the captured leaders.


Sixteen people, including Padraig Pearse, Willie Pearse
(Padraig's younger brother), Thomas MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett,
Sir Roger Casement and the wounded James Connolly, who was shot
sitting in a chair, were taken to Kilmainham Gaol and shot one by
one. Many people anticipating the long lasting effects warned the
British government against executing these men- most of whom were
virtually unknown outside Dublin prior to the Rising. George
Bernard Shaw was among those who warned the British government
against, in Shaw's own words, "canonizing their
prisoners""(Breándan Ó hEiíhir: A Pocket History of Ireland, p
57).

A total of 97 men were sentenced to death after the Rising.
All except Sir Roger Casement, who had the "benefit" of a public
trial, were tried in closed trials before courts made up of three
British officers. They had no solicitors and were not allowed to
call any witnesses. All were found guilty and condemned to death.
However, when the British discovered that the executions had the
opposite effect of that intended, most of the sentences were
reduced- the last man to be executed was Sir Roger Casement.


5.   

Kevin Barry - Kevin Barry was an 18-year-old medical student at UCD.   He was
the fourth of a family of two boys and five girls.  He was born January 20,
1902 at 8 Fleet Street, Dublin. He was baptized in St. Andrew's Church,
Westland Row. His parents were Thomas Barry and Mary Dowling Barry. The
family had a farm in  Tombeagh, Hacketstown, County Carlow.

 During the War of Independence (1917-1921) the streets of Dubin were in the
middle of a  war zone.  Young Barry was captured after a street battle.  He
was sentenced to hang.  The Irish demanded that Barry be treated as a
prisoner of war. Women marched in the streets of Dublin carrying banners
"England Executes Prisoners of War".  The War of Independence was not an
ordinary conventional war.

Because of Kevin's Barry age most people had hoped that he would not be
executed. He was tried in military court under a new act called the
Restoration of Order in Ireland Act (1920).  It granted wide sweeping power
to the military - arrest without charge, detention without trial, secret
court martials, and suppression of coroners reports.

The Barry family believed that young Kevin's life would be spared because a
close family friend, Ernest Aston, a Dublin engineer and Protestant Home
Ruler went to see Lloyd George in London and had been promised that a
reprieve would be issued.

There was a big movement in Ireland and England to save young Barry. The
Westminster Gazette wrote -" We hope the prerogative of mercy will be used
in the case of the lad Kevin Barry, who lies under sentence of death in
Dublin. He is only 18, and his execution would be a painful and distressing
act.".*

There were a couple of escapes planned but were aborted because of the
massive presence of Black and Tans and Auxiliaries present in Mountjoy Jail
and some other reasons.  Michael Collins was anguished because he could not
free Kevin Barry when he had helped so many others escape from prison.  He
was tortured in jail and refused to name the others who were  in his group
or his commander.

Kevin Barry's plight focused attention on the fight for Irish independence.

Erskine Childers wrote a powerful and moving letter to the Westminster
Gazzette protesting the verdict and sentence of Kevin Barry. In the letter
he demanded fair treatment of captured Volunteers. " He also put the Irish
struggle for independence in proper perspective for the English people when
he wrote:

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 hand 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."**

The hanging of Kevin Barry gave Ireland a powerful martyr.  The Lord Mayor
of Cork, Terence MacSwiney was buried the day before Kevin Barry's
execution.  Some believe this was the turning point for the national
movement. After Kevin Barry's death hundreds of youths joined the Irish
Republican Army to fight for Irish independence.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

According to Seamus de Burca (letter to Irish Press August 5, 1951 the
following song about Kevin Barry was written by an
Irishman living in Glasgow, Scotland around the time of the execution of
Kevin Barry. De Burca protested against the using of the melody for other
songs. He wrote "The melody, like the words, belongs to the man who wrote
it, who gave both to the Irish nations without any reward. Let us preserve
this song about a gallant soldier inviolate".
Taken from Kevin Barry by Sean Cronin;National Publications Committee, Cork,
1971

In Mountjoy Jail one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty.
But a lad of eighteen summers,
Yet no once can deny,
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head on high.

Why not shoot me like a soldier,
Do not hang me like a dog,
For I fought to free old Ireland,
On that bright September morn.
All round that little bakery,
Where we fought them hand to hand.
Why not shoot me like a soldier
For I fought to free Ireland.

Just before he faced the hangman
In his dreary prison cell.
British soldiers tortured Barry
Just because he would not tell
The names of his brave companions,
And other things they wished to know.
'Turn informer or we'll kill you!'
Kevin Barry answered "No!'

Calmly standing to attention,
While he bade his last farewell
To his broken-hearted mother,
Whose sad grief on one can tell.

For the cause he proudly cherished
This sad parting had to be;
That old Ireland might be free."

The song continues for another two verses.  There were many songs written
about Kevin Barry, one also by Contstance Markievicz

References:

* and ** both taken from Kevin Barry by Sean Cronin; National Publications
Committee, Cork, 1971 Michael Collins The Lost Leader by Margery Forester; Sphere Books Limited, London; 1972

Ireland A History by Robert Kee;Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London; 1981

A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan; Roberts Rinehart; 1998;
Niwot, Colorado



6.   

Thomas Ashe - (1885-1917) born is Lispole, Co. Kerry and trained as a
teacher in De La Salle College, Waterford. He lived in Lusk,  North County
Dublin while  teaching in the Dublin National Schools. In the 1916 Easter
Rising he commanded the Fifth Battalion, North County Dublin (The Fingal
Volunteers). In an encounter with armed Royal Irish Constabulary at
Ashbourne, Co. Dublin, he captured four police barracks with
large quantities of arms and ammunition. Arrested soon after, the British
court martialed and sentenced him to death. The sentence was commuted to
penal servitude for life. Released in 1917 he was re-arrested  for making
speeches "calculated to cause disaffection" according to the government and
sentenced to one year's imprisonment at hard labor. With other Republican
prisoners at Mountjoy prison, his demand to be treated as a prisoner-of-war
was refused. The prisoners went on a hunger strike as the only form of
protest left to them. Ashe collapsed and died on 25 September 1917 after
being forced to lie on a cold floor for fifty hours, then force-fed. In his
weakened condition that was enough to cause his heart and lungs to stop.
Ashe was buried in his IRA uniform. Countess Markievicz, with a revolver in
her belt, led Veterans of the Easter Rising, Armed Volunteers in uniform,
and 30,000 people who followed his funeral. Ashe's death whipped up
sentiment and Volunteer battalions were reorganized in Dublin. The remaining
prisoners in Mountjoy were granted political status.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:
Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.

7.   

Dan Breen was born August 11, 1894 (d. 1969)  in Grange, one mile south
of Donohill, County Tipperary. His parents were Daniel Breen and Honora
Moore.
On January 21, 1919 the day that the first Dail met, Breen took part in an
ambush at Sologhodbeg, County Tipperary.  He and Sean Treacy planned the
attack as a continuation of the Easter Rising of 1916.  

The attack at Sologhogbeg was the first engagement of Irish forces with the Crown forces.  This event was the beginning of the War of Independence. 

After Sologhodbeg, Breen was on the run with a price on his head.  By 1921 the reward for Breens capture was 10,000 pounds.  He quickly established himself as a leader in the IRA.

Breen was badly wounded in one of many battles with the British  forces.  He was elected TD for Tipperary in 1923 and was the first anti Treaty deputy to take his seat. 

He represented Tipperary in the Dail from 1932-1965. He wrote MY FIGHT FOR IRISH FREEDOM, detailing the actions taken during the War of Independence and ending with the tragic Civil War.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:
A Dictionary of Irish Biograghpy by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

Michael Collins, The Man Who Won the War by T. Ryle Dwyer;Mercier Press,
Cork; 1990

My Fight for Irish Freedom by Dan Breen; Anvil Books, County Kerry,1964
first published in 1924 by Talbot Press



8.

Eamon de Valera  -  He was born in New York on October 14, 1882. His father
Vivion Juan de Valera, was Spanish and his mother was Katherine Coll from
Ireland.  When he was 2 his father died and his mother sent him to Ireland
to be  raised by the Coll family in Bruee, County Limerick.   He was a
mathematics professor.   He married Sinead Flanagan, also a teacher, on
January 8, 1910. During the Easter Rising in 1916 he was the commander of
Boland Mills in Dublin and held it until he received word from Padraig
Pearce to surrender.  He was sentenced to death but at the last moment the
sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Many believe his  life was
spared because he was born in America.  He was released in 1917 when the
general amnesty was granted. Upon his return to Ireland he was the Sinn Fein
candidate in East County Clare and won the election handily against the
Redmondite candidate.  This was a significant election because of de
Valera's involvement in the Easter Rising the previous year.

de Valera became both the President of Sinn Fein and The Irish Volunteers in
1917. He said the aim of Sinn Fein was to make English rule in Ireland
impossible.  It was hoped by all that when the World War ended and a Peace
conference was held that Ireland would be able to present its case for
freedom from England.  Through the various elections Sinn Fein won elections
and represented the majority of the people. Sean T O'Kelly was sent to Paris
to represent Ireland's cause.  He was unsuccessful in gaining recognition of
the Irish Republic. The U.S. congress voted to urge the Parish Peace
Conference to support Ireland's request for self-determination.

 In April 1919 de Valera was elected  President by Dail Eireann (Irish
Parliament). The Cabinet Ministers were - Arthur Griffith, Count Plunkett
(his son was one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish
Republic who was executed for his part in the 1916 Uprising), Cathal Brugha,
Constance Markievicz, Eoin MacNeill, William Cosgrave, Michael Collins,
Richard Barton and Richard Mulcahy, Robert Ginnell.

The stage was being set for the conflict between de Valera and Micahel
Collins.  de Valera was willing to let the politician's debate, while
Collins was impatient and wanted to take action to secure Ireland's freedom.

Since the British Government was in control of the Irish Revenue and
taxation, the Republican government needed to raise funds. The Republican
Government issued Republican bonds.  As Minister of Finance, the task was
left to Michael Collins to  organize the loan.  The funds were to be used to
present the cause for Irish Independence on the world stage.   Harry Boland
was sent to America to make arrangements for a visit by de Valera's.  The
purpose of the visit was to raise money to float the  Dail Eireann loan; to
have the U.S. Congress recognize the Irish Republic and if the U.S. joined
the League of Nations to secure America's assistance in the League.  de
Valera went to the U.S. in June 1920 and traveled around the U.S. raising
funds until December 1920.  He was successful in raising funds because  of
the suppression of Dail Eireann by the British government.  The violence
against the Irish people was on the rise and this all made it easier for de
Valera to gain support for the Irish cause for freedom.
By April 1921 England was proposing a cease to hostilities but they were not
willing to offer much, in fact Lloyd George said that members of the Dail
would be granted safe conduct with the exception of 3 or 4 who were accused
of serious crimes. This was obviously aimed at Collins and a few others.
This was totally unacceptable to the Dail.
After a truce was called in July 1921  representatives were selected to go
to London to work out a treaty.  de Valera insisted that Collins head the
delegation.  Collins did not wish to negotiate a treaty.  He felt it was an
impossible situation

When Collins and the delegation agreed to a treaty this led to the bitter
split between de Valera and Collins.  de Valera headed the Republican cause
and Collins the Free Stater cause.. Dail Eireann accepted the treaty after a
bitter debate, it passed  by a vote of 64-57 on January 7, 1922.  After the
vote de Valera stood, visibly shaken and said: The Republic still goes on
until the nation itself has disestablished it, before we rise, I should like
to say my last word.  Up to this we have had the record of four glorious
years, years of magnificent discipline in the nation. The world is looking
on at us now."** His voice faltered and he could not continue. The chamber
was filled with young soldiers who had fought side by side for Ireland's
freedom  and now  both sides the Republicans and the Free Staters realized
the magnitude and horrible ramifications of the vote.  Member after member
broke down in tears at the thought of the horrors to come as a result of the
vote.

Arthur Griffith was  elected President to replace de Valera and a
Provisional Government was  selected to establish the Irish Free State.

During the next year de Valera lead the Republican side in the Civil War.
At the close of the Civil War and for years to come de Valera was a strong
force in Ireland's politics.  He served  in many positions in the government
of Ireland including president for many years.   His accomplishments are too
numerous to mention.He also founded the  political of  Fianna Fail in 1926
Eamon de Valera died at the age of 92 on August 29, 1975.  His wife preceded
him in death two years previously.  He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery
after receiving a state funeral. ( This is a very brief outline of de
Valera's contributions, just  a few of the highlights in his long career are
mentioned.  He made many contributions to Ireland).

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:
**The Anglo-Irish Treaty by Frank Gallagher;Hutchinson & Co., London 1965
p.187

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

A Dictionary of Irish Biograghpy by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

Green Tears for Hecuba, Ireland's Fight for Freedom by Patrick J.
Twohig;Tower Books,County Cork, 1994

Michael Collins The Man Who Won the War by T. Ryle Dwyer;Mercier Press,
County Cork, 1990

The Green Flag Volume III Oursleves Alone by Robert Kee,Penguin Books, 1972


9.   

Seán Thomas O'Kelly, (1882-1966) was one of the early leaders of the Irish
nationalist Sinn Féin Party. In the Easter Rising he was staff captain to
Padraig Pearse in the General Post Office. Although he was not court
martialed he was arrested and interned in England. Opposed to the Treaty of
1921 he was a founding member of Fianna Fáil  in 1926. He was second
President of Ireland. He died in Dublin on 23 November 1966.

He served two terms as president of Ireland,
from June 1945 to June 1959.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved


Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.



10.

Cathal Brugha, born Charles William St. John Burgess, 18 July 1874 in Dublin
and educated at Belvedere College until he was forced to leave at sixteen when his father's business failed. He then became a clerk at a church supplies firm and shortly thereafter founded a new firm with the Lalor brothers in 1909 to manufacture candles.

He married Kathleen Kingston of Birr (Offaly) in 1912 .

He joined the Gaelic League in 1899 and became a Lieutenant in the Irish Volunteers
 in 1913. As Second-in-Command at South Dublin Union, he was severely wounded
in the Easter Rising of 1916. Brugha weak from loss of blood continued to fire upon
the enemy and then suddenly the Volunteers heard the voice of Brugha singing
"God Save Ireland".

Although crippled for the rest of his life he took a leading part in the War of Independence. From October 1917 to April 1919, he was Chief of Staff of the IRA,
then was Minister of Defense until January 1922. He represented Waterford in
the Dáil Éirean from 1918 until his death in 1922. In the absence of Eamon de
Valera and Arthur Griffith, he presided at the first meeting of Dáil Éirean on 21
January 1919 and proposed that the Volunteers take an oath of allegiance.

On January 7, 1922 the Dáil Éirean ratified the Treaty by a slim majority of seven votes. De Valera has voiced his opposition early with the support of Brugha. Brugha opposed
the treaty and clearly resented the influence of Collins over the IRA.

As one of more militant opponents Brugha voted against the Treaty and was replaced by Richard Mulcahy as Minister of Defense. He fought on the Republican side in the Irish Civil War. Wounded in O'Connell Street, Dublin he died 7 July 1922.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.


11.   

Harry Boland -  (1887-1922).  He was a tailor and had a shop on Middle Abbey
Street, Dublin.  He was a close friend and personal confidante of Michael
Collins. For several years they were inseparable and as close as brothers.
He was also a close friend of Eamon de Valera.  He took part in the Easter
Rising in 1916 and was in Dartmoor Prison  with de Valera  until de Valera
was transferred to Maidstone Jail.  Austin Stack and Thomas Ashe were also
in  Dartmoor Prison with  Boland.  He served as Secretary in Sinn Fein;
Republican envoy to the U.S.; secretary to de Valera and lieutenant to
Michael Collins. He helped bring about the Pact that led to the signing of
the Treaty of 1921.   During the War of Independence he worked closely with
Collins.

Boland was President of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.  Along with de
Valera and Collins he was probably one of the most influential people during
this critical time in Ireland's history.  According to Tim Pat Coogan 's
book about Michael Collins, without Boland, the "Sinn Fein effort would have
collapsed."   With Collins he helped de Valera escape from Lincoln Prison in
England.   He served as Deputy from Roscommon in Dail Eireann.  Although he
held high office in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he voted against the
Treaty.  After the fall of the Four Courts he helped reorganize the Irish
Republican Army in the Province of Leinster.

While in America he was replaced as Sinn Fein  National Secretary by Hannah
Sheehy-Skefffington (the widow of the slain pacifist Francis
Sheehy-Skeffington who was killed while in prison during the 1916 Easter
Uprising).  Collins had been concerned about the Executive Committee of Sinn
Fein and it's moderation and lack of willingness to be more militant and
felt there was a lot of hostility towards himself and those of the more
militant. This move against Harry Boland was proof of Collin's suspicions.
The Committee wanted to have more moderates and Boland didn't fit in with
their philosophy.

Both Harry  and Michael Collins were in love with the same woman, Kitty
Kiernan.  When Harry went on his mission to America he thought he was going
to marry Kitty and mentioned in a letter to her about honeymooning in
America.  Upon his return from America he not only learned about the Treaty
but that Kitty was engaged to  Michael Collins.  He learned of this news
from Michael Collins.

When Collins signed the Treaty he knew there was a   lot of intrigue and he
did not know who he could trust and these were men whom he had fought with
towards the realization of a free and independent Ireland. Collins wrote to
Boland warning him to beware that changes were taking place and to be
cautious of whom he trusted.  Collins was unaware at this point that Boland
had come under the influence of de Valera in America and nowwas his
supporter.

On the  night of July 31, 1922  while sleeping in a hotel room,  soldiers of
the Free State Army broke into his room to arrest him.  An inexperienced
soldier shot him. He died three days later.


© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:
The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

The Green Flag Volume III Ourselves Alone by Robert Kee Penguin Books,
London.1972

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; p 124; Roberts
Rinehart Publishers; 1992; Boulder, Colorado

Michael Collins, The Man Who Won the War by T. Ryle Dwyer;Mercier Press,
Cork; 1990



12.

Robert Childers Barton (1881-1975) was born in Co. Wicklow and educated at
Rugby and Oxford. An extensive landowner and a progressive landlord, he sat on the Committee of the Irish Agricultural Organization Society from 1910.

He was a British army officer during Easter 1916, resigned his commission and joined the Irish Republican Army. The British arrested him for making a seditious speech in 1919. He escaped from Mountjoy prison.

He left a note for the governor that he could not stay any longer because the service was not satisfactory. They rearrested but released him on declaration of the Truce in 1921.

As Minister of Agriculture in 1921, he founded the Land Bank, and headed the Agricultural Credit Corporation, 1934-1954. He signed the 1921 Treaty as "the lesser of two outrages forced upon me and between which I had to choose" but later repudiated it. He died at home in Wicklow, 10 August 1975.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.

========================================================

Poem: SALUTATION
by George William Russell (A.E)
(1867 - 1935)

Written for those who took part in the 1916 Rebellion.

Your dream had left me numb and cold
But yet my spirit rose in pride,
Re-fashioned in burnished gold
The images of those who died,
Or were shut in the penal cell -
Here's to you, Pearse, your dream, not mine,
But yet the thought - for this you fell -
Turns all life's water into wine.

I listened to high talk from you,
Thomas MacDonagh, and it seemed
The words were idle, but they grew
To nobleness, but death redeemed.
Life cannot utter things more great
Than life can meet with sacrifice,
High words were equalled by high fate,
You paid the price.  You paid the price.

The hope lives on, age after age,
Earth with her beauty might be won
For labor as a heritage -
For this has Ireland lost a son,
This hope into a flame to fan
Men have put life by with a smile.
Here's to you, Connolly, my man,
Who cast the last torch on the pile.

Here's to the women of our race
Stood by them in the fiery hour,
Rapt, lest some weakness in their blood
Rob manhood of a single power -
You, brave as such a hope forlorn,
Who smiled through crack of shot and shell,
Though the world look on you with scorn,
Here's to you, Constance, (1) in your cell.

Here's to you, men I never met,
But hope to meet behind the veil,
Thronged on some starry parapet
That looks down upon Inisfail,
And see the confluence of dreams
That clashed together in our night,
One river born of many streams
Roll in one blaze of blinding light!

(1) Constance, Countess de Markievicz, one of the leaders of '16
and sister of Eva Gore-Booth.
===========================================================

13.

Ernie O'Malley (1897-1957)born in Castlebar, County Mayo, was one of the
most talented and colorful of modern Irish republicans. A leader in the  1916-1923 Revolution he was a contemporary of Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera.

O'Malley thought the Treaty was a compromise and joined the Anti-Treaty side in the Civil War. He commanded the capture and defense of the Four Courts. Frances Mary Blake edited his account of that war, The Singing Flame, and published it after his death. He was more severely wounded than in the War of Independence, and much of the book is spent in prison and prison
hospitals. The severity of his wounds and the unwillingness of the Free State to add another martyr to the Republican canon probably saved him from execution. On his release in 1924, he was in poor health and 27 years of age.

While in prison he had been elected to the Dáil but never took his seat. In 1928 he embarked for the US with Frank Aiken to raise money for the proposed Irish Press. Aiken returned to Ireland at the end of the long fund-raising tour, but O'Malley stayed behind.

During the next five years he moved around California, Taos, New Mexico and Mexico, mixing with bohemians, artists and writers. In 1933 he met the wealthy Hooker family of Greenwich,
Connecticut.

In August, 1935, Helen came to Dublin to make plans for her wedding. She married Ernie O'Malley in September in London. The couple had three children, but the marriage was not happy for long and the divorce was acrimonious.

O'Malley's last years were spent in deteriorating health. When he died in 1957 he was given a State funeral.


© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.


14.

Liam Lynch (1893-1923) was born in Co. Limerick where he worked in a
hardware store. He reorganized the Cork Volunteers in 1919 and commanded
an  effective Brigade in the Anglo-Irish War of Independence. He was a member
of the Irish Republican Army Supreme Council, Chief of Staff of the IRA, established the IRA Executive, March 1922.

He was an influential opponent of the 1921 Treaty. Although he resigned over the seizure of the Four Courts, he joined its garrison in June, 1922. Commander of the first southern division of the "Irregulars" he sought to hold the "Munster Republic" and issued the "orders of frightfulness" against the Provisional government. While preparing to come to terms with them in April, 1923, he was shot to death.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.

15.

Maude Gonne MacBride - (1865-1953)Irish Nationalist, I.R.A. leader and
actress. She was born of an Irish father and English mother, in Aldershot,
England. Her mother died in 1871 and she was educated in France and in
1882
moved to Dublin when her father was posted there.  Her father died in 1886
leaving her independently wealthy.  She developed tuberculosis and moved
back to France to recover where she met Lucien Millevoye, editor of "La
Patrie".  They agreed to work for Irish and French nationalist causes.
They
had two children.  After a couple of years she returned to Ireland where
she
aided people in County Donegal who were the victims of mass evictions. Her
work was so successful she had to go back to France to avoid arrest.

She co-founded Inghinidhe na hEireann (Daughters of Erin), a revolutionary
woman society.  In 1918 she was arrested and deported with several other
Sinn Fein leaders( de Valera, County Plunkett, Cosgrave, Griffith,
Countess
Markievizc and Kathleen Clarke) for her part in the anti conscription
campaign.  They were imprisoned without charge.
In 1920  Dail Eireann  in an attempt to set up some semblance of normalcy
of
self-government set up a court system.  Along with Kathleen (Mrs. Tom)
Clarke, Maude Gonne MacBride was one of the justices.

The year of 1920 saw the Black and Tan "war". Across Ireland peoples homes
and businesses were being systematically destroyed and people were forced
to
live in barns.This was part of the campaign of the English government to
bring the Irish people to submission through by destroying their economy.
Maude Gonne MacBride suggested to Arthur Griffith that the women of
Ireland
should form an organization to aid the families who had been left homeless
and jobless.  de Valera was also organizing a similar organization in
America.  These efforts were to become known as the White Cross.

During the Civil War she headed the prisoner release campaign. She
spearheaded protests, pickets and parades.

John O'Leary the Fenian and veteran of the 1848 Young Irelander Uprising,
introduced Maude Gonne to the poet William Butler Yeats.  Yeats fell
passionately in love with Maude Gonne. Throughout the years Yeats would
continually propose marriage to Maude Gonne but she never returned  his
love.  She told him "No Willie  the world would not thank me for marrying
you". Some of his best poetry was inspired by his unrequited love for her.
His well known play Cathleen ni Houlihan was written for her.  Maude Gonne
played the part of Cathleen ni Houlihan at the Abbey Theater.  She married
John MacBride in 1902 and this devastated Yeats. The marriage was not a
happy one.  John MacBride was executed for his part in the 1916 Easter
Uprising.
Yeats even proposed marriage to Maude Gonne's daughter and was also
refused.
In a very strange twist of fate in 1948 when the remains of William Butler
Yeats were finally returned to Ireland for burial at  Drumcliffe, County
Sligo, Maude Gonne MacBride's son Sean MacBride as Minister of External
Affairs for Ireland escorted the coffin off the boat and lead the State
funeral procession.

Maude Gonne and John MacBride's son Sean MacBride received the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1974 and was a founder member of Amnesty International.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:

A Dictionary of Irish Biograghpy by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

Michael Collins, The Man Who Won the War by T. Ryle Dwyer;Mercier Press,
Cork; 1990

The Secret Army by J. Bowyer Bell; Sphere Books, London, 1972

Yeats The Man The Masks by Richard Ellmann,E.P.Dutton & Co., New York,
1948


16. 

Liam Mellows (1892-1922) was born in Lancashire, reared in Co. Wexford. He
was educated at the Royal Hibernian Military School. James Connolly influenced him toward socialism. 

Sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in 1912, he was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers. Although deported to England, he returned for the Easter Rising of 1916.

He then escaped to the USA where he was agent for de Valera's tour in 1920. He opposed the Treaty as a coercion and betrayal of the republic. His employment includes working with Devoy on Gaelic American and as editor of Poblacht na hÉireann, Quartermaster General of the Irish Republican Army, 1921. He was a member of the Four Courts garrison, June 1922. Arrested in September 1922, he was executed on December 8, 1922.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved


Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.


17.

Erskine Childers - Born June 25, 1870 in London.  Author and Irish
Nationalist. Among his writing was the FRAMEWORK OF HOMERULE. He was
educated at Trinity College and Cambridge and served as a Clerk in the House
of Commons from 1895-1910.  His father was English and his mother was Irish,
a Barton of Glendalough House, County Wicklow. Robert Barton was his cousin.
He was in the Boer War in 1899.  He married Mary Ellen Osgood of Boston in
1904. They received as one of their wedding gifts the yacht, Asgard.  It was
later to play an important part in the history of Ireland.  In 1914 Erskine
Childers, his wife, Mary Spring-Rice and Gordon Shephard among the crew
transported arms to Howth for the Irish Volunteers.  The Volunteers marched
towards Dublin but were met by the police, all but 19 of the weapons were
saved and those 19 were broken in the struggle. At the same time the
Orangemen in Belfast were well armed and allowed to march in the open.

In March 1921 when Dail Eireann's Publicity Director was arrested, Erskine
Childers was appointed to replace him.  He along with Frank Gallagher
published the Irish Bulletin.
Childers was brilliant and quite gifted with words. When Lloyd George
introduced the "Better Government of Ireland Bill" and tried to appeal to
American public opinion and  compared Ireland's fight for Independence with
the secession of the southern states  in the United States in the 1860s,
Childers wrote an eloquent reply.

"The Irish answer to this declaration of war - this heroic defiance of the
weak by the strong is something like the following: we do not attempt
secession.  Nations cannot secede from a rule they have never accepted.  We
have never accepted yours and never will. Lincoln's reputation is safe from
your comparison. He fought to abolish slavery, you fight to maintain it.  As
to "resources" yours to ours are infinity to zero. You own a third of the
earth by conquest; you have great armies, a navy so powerful that it can
starve a whole continent, and a superabundance of every instrument of
destruction that science can devise.  You wield the greatest aggregate  of
material force every concentrated in the hands of one power; and while
canting about your championship of small nations, you use it to crush out
liberty in ours.  We are a small people with a population dwindling without
cessation under your rule. We have no armaments nor any prospect of
obtaining them.  Nevertheless, we accept your challenge and will fight you
"with the same determination, with the same resolve' as the American States,
North and South, put into their fight for their freedom against your
Empire." (taken from Irish Bulletin March 4, 1920).


Erskine Childers along with de Valera and others wrote the outline of the
draft for the Treaty with England.  Erskine Childers was in the delegation
sent to London to work out a Treaty. He was opposed to the Treaty.   Even
while on the move during the Civil War Childers was never without his
printing press.  He constantly tried to educate people through the written
word.  He was arrested by Free State Government troops in November 1922.
The day after his arrest Churchill in a unprecedented speech about a
prisoner said" I have seen with satisfaction that the mischief-making
murderous renegade, Erskine Childres has been captured.  No man has done
more harm nor shown more genuine malice, or endeavored to brig a greater
curse upon the common people of Ireland than this strange being, actuated by
a deadly and malignant hatred for the land of his birth." (One wonders if
Churchill hated Childers because he was born in England and worked for the
English government  and now fought for Irish freedom or if he felt so
threatened by this brilliant man and his great use of words). Erskine
Childers was shot at dawn on November 24, 1922 in Beggards Bush Barracks,
before he had a chance to appeal his death sentence.

Before Erskine Childers died he wrote to his wife -
"My beloved country, God send you courage, victory and rest, and to all our
people harmony and love. It is 6:00 A.M. You will be pleased to see how
imperturbably normal and tranquil I have been this night, and am.  It seems
perfectly simple and inevitable, like lying down after a long day's work".

No complaints, regrets, bitterness, just amazing courage like so many others
who gave their lives for Ireland.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:

A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; p 124; Roberts
Rinehart Publishers; 1992; Boulder, Colorado

The Anglo-Irish Treaty by Frank Gallagher;Hutchinson of London,1965

18.

Rory O'Connor (1883-1922) was born in Dublin. He emigrated to Canada where
he worked as a railway engineer 1911-1915. The Irish Republican Brotherhood
requested that he return. He was wounded in the 1916 Easter Rising and interned.

He disagreed with the IRB's policy of secrecy, which he thought was a deterrent to the promotion of popular agitation. He was the Irish Republican Army  Director of Engineering, 1919-1921. He rejected the 1921 Treaty, led the IRA Military Council, repudiated the authority of the Dáil in March 1922, and led the establishment of the garrison at the Four Courts in April,
1922. He surrendered June 1922, and was executed 8 December 1922.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved


Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.


19.

Edmund John (Eamon) Duggan (1874-1936) was born in Longwood, Co. Meath and
educated as a solicitor. He was arrested in the Easter Rising, 1916. The
British court-martialed and sentenced him to three years of penal servitude
but they released after one year.
He served as Director of Intelligence of the Irish Republican Army. He was
elected to the Dáil in 1918. The British arrested him again in 1920 and
released him in 1921.  After the Truce he became the Chief Liaison Officer
for Ireland. He signed the 1921 Treaty, served as Minister for Home Affairs
in 1922, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and the
Executive Council. He died suddenly at Dún Laoghaire on 6 June 1936.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved


Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.

Visit Ancestry's Library - The best collection of family history
learning and how-to articles on the Internet.
http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library


20.

Austin Stack (1879-1929), a rebel born in Kerry on December 7, 1879, joined
the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1908. He served as commandant of the
Kerry Brigade of the Irish Volunteers in 1916. The government arrested and
sentenced him to death. They commuted his sentence to penal servitude but
released him in June 1917. At different times between 1919 and 1922, he
served as Minister for Home Affairs, Finance and Defense. He took part in
the Civil War in opposition to the Treaty of 1921.

He went on a hunger strike for forty-one days before being released from
prison in 1923. On August 10, 1925, he married Una Gordon, a wealthy widow
who kept a "safe house" for Republicans during the War of Independence.
He never recovered his health from his hunger strike and he died in a Dublin
hospital April 27, 1929.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.


21.

Cathal O'Shannon (1889-1969), was a trade unionist and journalist for the
Peasant, Sinn Féin and other fugitive nationalist papers and the Gaelic
League organ, An Claidheamh Solus.

He mobilized with a hundred Volunteers at Coalisland, Co. Tyrone on Easter
Sunday, 1916. They dispersed when there were no orders from Dublin. The
British arrested and interned him until the General Amnesty of 1917.

Later, they arrested and imprisoned him in England for urging Irish independence.
He was released after a hunger strike of seventeen days.

In 1921 he campaigned as a Volunteer and as a trade union officer until the
Treaty of 1921. He was a leader of the efforts by Labour Party members to
mediate between the Republicans and the Irish Free State sides during the
Civil War. He remained active as a trade union official until his retirement
in 1969. He died in Dublin on October 4, 1969.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.


22.

Éamonn Broy, (1887-1972) was born in Rathagan, Co. Kildare. Assigned to the
G division, the secret service of the British administration in Ireland, he
supplied Michael Collins with valuable information. When Collins was on the
run Broy hid him in the College Street police station. Arrested in 1921, he
was jailed for six months, then dismissed. After the Treaty he served as
adjutant of the Free State air force. He died in Dublin 22 January 1972.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.

23.   

Richard Mulcahy, (1886-1971), Leader of Fine Gael, served as Minister of
Defence. These loyal troops became the Free State Army, while the
anti-Treaty forces became known as the Irregulars. Born in Waterford, his
father was a postmaster and he worked in the postal service in Thurles,
Bantry, and Dublin. After the formation of the Irish Volunteers in 1913, he
became second-in-command to Thomas Ashe in the Easter Rising of 1916. He was
interned at Frongoch until the general amnesty. He rejoined the movement as
the chief of staff of the Republican Army. In 1918, he was elected Member of
Parliament for Clontarf division. The following year, he married Josphine
Ryan, sister of Dr. James Ryan and Phyllis Ryan, wife of Sean O'Kelly.
A supporter of the Treaty of 1921, he was also General Officer Commanding
the Provisional Government during the Civil War. He replaced Cathal Brugha
as Minister of Defense when Brugha voted against the Treaty.
After William T. Cosgrave resigned leadership of Fine Gael in June 1944 and
served until October 1959. He spent the last five years of his life
arranging his papers that he presented to University College, Dublin.
He died 16 December 1971.

© 2001
Ellen Naliboff
enaliboff@home.com
All rights reserved

Selected references:

Boylan, Henry, A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Third Edition, Gill &
Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.

Connolly, S.J., editor, The Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford
University Press, 1998.

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland, 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1988.

Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset, A History of Ireland, Barnes & Noble, New
York, 1988

Llywelyn, Morgan, 1921, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, 2001.

24.   

Constance Markievicz -Countess Constance Markievicz (nee Gore-Booth;
1868-1927); born in London,  was raised at Lissadel House, County Sligo,   married Count
Casimir Markievicz, 1900.

She joined Sinn Fein,  and launched Fianna Eireann, 1909; joined Inghinidhe na hEireann, wrote A Call to the Women of Ireland; became an officer of the Irish Citizen Army, which resulted in  the resignation of Sean O'Casey.

She was second in command at St. Stephen's Green under Commandant Michael Mallin
during the Easter Rising. She was sentenced  to death for her roll in the Easter Uprising, but the sentence was commuted because of her sex. President of Cumann na mBan, the women's auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers, 1917.  Sinn Fein MP for St Patrick's Dublin, 1918, being the first woman to be elected to the Commons, but did not take her seat - establishing a
Republican tradition. Sinn Fein TD for South Dublin, 1923-1927.  

In March 1919 when de Valera returned to Ireland after his prison escape planned and
executed by Micahel Collins and Harry Boland.  de Valera appointed  his cabinet members, he appointed Constance as  Minister for Labor.  She wrote to de Valera telling him that she could give all her time for Ireland. The Viceroy banned the annual Cumann na mBan conference in 1919, it was to held at the Mansion House.  Nothing got in the way of  Constance Markeivicz, so
while the British soldiers were guarding the Mansion House, Constance and her companions held their conference in the Gaelic League Hall. 

Dublin Castle even attempted to have her deported to Poland because she was married
to a Polish count. The government attempted to destroy Dail Eireann by arresting the leaders.  Upon her release from one of her many imprisonment's the Viceroy declared Dail Eireann an illegal association. She never missed a meeting of the Dail except when she was in prison.  In 1920 she lived in Dublin with the  O'Carroll family for several months.  She was known as the
children's auntie  and was heavily disguised as an elderly woman which allowed her to move around Dublin undetected. 

She had received death threats as did the other leaders.  Dublin Castle wanted the Countess very
badly.  The following is a police directive dated January 14, 1920

"Superintendent D. Division

The Countess Markievicz has, according to the newspapers, made two appearances at unannounced meetings in the City.  One last night, the other a few days. Ago.  I must again impress on all who superintend the grave importance of securing this woman's arrest, and to this end, force sufficiently strong to secure her arrest must be held in reserve at each Divisional Headquarters tonight and tomorrow night.

The moment an unannounced meeting is discovered a message must be sent by the quickest
method available to the nearest Divisional headquarters and to the  G. Division, Dublin Castle.  The police on the spot must act firmly and promptly as the Countess never remains at a meeting for more than a few minutes and may possibly be heavily veiled, and therefore, difficult to
recognize. A motor van will be kept in waiting at the Castle and will be sent out promptly if her arrest is reported.

Superintendents will have at least three cyclists on duty in their Divisions to look out for suddenly convened meetings and the presence of the Countess or other suspects.   They will report at once to their Divisional Headquarters and the Castle any information obtained
Signed W.E. Johnstone
Chief Commissioner
Janurary 14, 1920"(1)

In May of 1920 Constance wrote to a friend that she had received another death threat and that  there wasn't any doubt that Dublin Castle was plotting to murder all the cabinet members and leaders of the I.R.A.  The Lord Mayor Tomas MacCurtain had already been killed in Cork City.

Shortly after this  Colonel Smyth, Divisional Commissioner of Police for the Munster Area (Munster:Counties Cork,Kerry,Limerick,Clare,Tipperary and Waterford) gave his appalling infamous  speech which caused 14 RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) to resign on the spot.  Symth  was visiting the Listowel, County Kerry barracks with General Tudor, Inspector General of
Police and the Black and Tans, along with other police officials.

The speech was later to be published in the Freeman's Journal. "Well, men I have something of interest to tell you, something that I am sure you would not wish your wives and families to hear.  I am going to lay all my cards on the table, but I must reserve one card for myself. Now, men Sinn Fein has had all the sport up to the present (side note by MK. Michael Collins war against the Crown forces was proving successful) and we are going to have sport now. We must take the offensive and beat Sinn Fein with hits own tactics.

Martial law applying to Ireland is coming into operations shortly.  I am promised as many troops from England as I require; thousands are coming daily.  I am getting 700 police from England. what I wish to explain to you is that you are to strengthen your comrades in the
out-stations.  If a police barracks is burned, or if the barracks are already occupied is not suitable, then the best house in the locality is to be commandeered, the occupants thrown out in the gutter. 

Let them die there, the more the merrier.Police and military will patrol the country roads at least five nights a week.  They are not to confine themselves to the main roads but make across the country, lie in ambush, take cover behind fences near roads, and when civilians are seen approaching shout: 'Hands up!' Should the order be not obeyed, shoot, and shoot with effect. 

If the persons approaching carry their hands in their pockets or are in any way suspicious looking, shoot them down.  You may make mistakes occasionally and innocent persons may be shot, but that cannot be helped and you are bound to get the right persons sometimes. The more you shoot the better I will like you; and I assure you that no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man and I will guarantee that your names will not be given at the inquest. 

Hunger strikers will be allowed to die in jail, the more the merrier.An emigrant ship will be leaving an Irish port with lots of Sinn Feiners on board.  I assure you, men it will never land.  That is nearly all I have to say to you.." (2)

 There had been rumors of what Smyth was going to say and Constable Mee had been selected as spokesman for the group.Mee objected to Symth and called him a murderer and then resigned as did 13 others.  Mee went onto to become assistant to Constance Markevicz in the Ministery Department.

The times were very dangerous for Irish patriots.  The War of Independence continued until the British government worked out a truce with Dail Eireann of the Irish Republic.

At the Dail Eireann session, where the Treaty was narrowly passed, Constance Markievicz   denounced the Treaty.  All the women members of the Dail supported de Valera in the vote against the Treaty.  The women deputies included,  Mary MacSwiney sister of Terence MacSwiney who spoke eloquently against the Treaty, the Countess,Kathleen Clarke and Mrs. Margaret Pearse.

The Countess continued her fight for Irish Independence on the side of the Republican Army during the tragic Civil War that was to follow. When she was relected to the Dail in 1927  she was in failing health and died the same year.   She was a remarkable force in the history of Ireland and was known as the Rebel Countess as well as respectful  title of Madame.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:

A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; p 124; Roberts
Rinehart Publishers; 1992; Boulder, Colorado

The Rebel Countess by Anne Marreco;Corgi Books, London 1969
Quotes 1 & 2 taken from  The Rebel Countess by Anne Marreco (1) - page 246;
(2) page 250

The Anglo-Irish Treaty by Frank Gallagher;Hutchinson of London,1965



25.   

Women of Ireland - At a later date  much needs to be written about the Women
of Ireland who did so much for their country and sacrificed so much.  They
were fighting next to the men and involved in every aspect of the struggle
for Irish freedom and independence.  There is Kathleen Clarke the widow of
the executed 1916 leader Tom Clarke and sister to Edward Daly another 1916
leader who was executed.  She later became the first female Lord Mayor of
Dublin.  Mary MacSwiney, the sister of Terence MacSwiney, she spoke
eloquently against the Treaty at Dail Eireann.  Muriel MacSwiney, widow of
Terence MacSwiney, Nora Connolly O'Brien, daughter of another executed 1916
leader, James Connolly,  Helena Malony, member of the National Council,
Nancy O'Brien a cousin of Michael Collins who courageously smuggled messages
to her cousin from Dublin Castle.  She hid the messages in her hair. Mrs.
Margaret Pearse whose  two sons, Padraig and Willie were executed after the
1916 Easter Uprising  Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington (widow of the pacifist
Sheehy-Skeffington who was shot in prison during the 1916 Uprising),all the
brave women  and girls of Cumann na mBan (Leauge of Women).  It was the
auxiliary force of the Irish Volunteers.  It is pronounced - cummon na mon.
There are so many more who were an intregal part of Ireland's  struggle for
freedom, most of whom are not mentioned in books or articles,
but are remembered as part of Ireland's soul.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

 

26.

Tom Barry - (General) born July 1, 1897 in Rosscarbery, County Cork and died
July 1980.  He married Leslie De Barra. He quickly established himself as a
military leader in the IRA and organized the West Cork Flying Column. He
gained military experience from the British Army, he was stationed in
Mesopotamia (Iraq) when he heard about the 1916 Easter Uprising.  He was
mesmerized by the words of the Proclamation read by Padraig Pearse.  When he
returned to Ireland in 1919 his national pride had surfaced full force.
Until that time he knew all about English history but not about the
Rebellion of 1798 or the other important events in Irish history.

In 1918 a critically important event took place - the elections -  where 70%
of the people voted.  They voted for Republican candidates.  The candidates
pledged to abstain from the British Parliament, this became a long standing
Republican tradition(they refused to take an oath to the British
Government).  They voted for the Irish Republic to set up a Government and
Parliament in Dublin.  In January 1919 when the representatives gathered in
Dublin they set up Dail Eireann the Irish Parliament and they proclaimed
Irish Independence.  This set the stage for the struggle to move one step
further, Dail Eireann set up a de facto Irish Government which  could not
coexist with the British Government in Ireland, the two were set on a
collision course.  Dail Eireann proceeded to set up various departments.
The  Irish Volunteers were now the recognized army of the Irish Republic -
The Irish Republican Army. The Irish Republican Army had  moral and legal
status the same as any lawfully formed army of a democratic government.
Michael Collins was the military strategist that devised what we now call
guerilla warfare.  Tom Barry  had the much needed military experience he
gained when in the British Army.  Tom Barry aptly pointed out in his book
Guerilla Days in Ireland that without the Easter Uprising of 1916 there
would not have been a Dail Eireann  thus "no sustained fight with moral
force behind it in 1920-1921 and without the guerilla war Dail Eireann would
have been destroyed and the 1916 sacrifices would have been in vain".(1)

Tom Barry was in charge of the West Cork Brigade. The Flying Column was the
back bone of the war against England during the War of Independence.  At the
highest point the West Cork Brigade Flying Column had a 110 men, twice the
size of the next largest Flying Column in Ireland. They moved quickly into
an area, chose their battle,  then disappeared as quickly as they appeared.
Tom Barry's primary objective with his West Cork Flying Column was not to
fight but merely to stay in existence.  The existence of the Flying Columns
challenged the British rule and forced them  to maintain barracks and strong
military presence all over Ireland because they didn't know from whence the
Flying Columns would next strike next.
Tom Barry's book, Guerilla Days in Ireland is a fascinating glimpse into
this very important part of Ireland's history. He tells the stories of many
courageous men and women.  Some of these people had to endure the "Torture
Squad".  Two such courageous men were Tom Hales and Pat Harte, both of
Clonakilty and members of the  famed West Cork Brigade.    The following
will give you an idea what was happening throughout Ireland during this
time.

Sir Hamar Greenwood, British Chief Secretary for Ireland announced in 1920
that resistance to British rule would be wiped out.  150 of the Auxiliaries
took over Macroom Castle, County Cork.

"Of all the ruthless forces that occupied Ireland through the centuries,
those Auxiliaries were surely the worst.  They were recruited from
ex-British officers who had held commissioned rank and had  active service
on one or more fronts during the 1914-1918 war. They were openly established
as a terrorist body with the avowed object of breaking by armed force,
Ireland's continued resistance to British rule.  Their war ranks ranged from
Lieutenant to Brigadier-General and they were publicized as the very pick of
Britain's' best fighters.  Highly paid and with no bothersome discipline,
they were habitual looters.  They were even dressed in a special uniform
calculated to cow their opponents.  Each carried a rifle, two revolvers, one
strapped to each thigh, and two Mills bombs hung at the waist from their Sam
Browne belts.  It should be said in all fairness to the better type of
British officers that they had refused to join this force.

Macroom was outside the West Cork I.R.A. area, but the Company of
Auxiliaries stationed there seemed to concentrate from the time of their
arrival on raiding south of our Brigade area.  Day after day they traveled
in to Coppeen, Castletownkenneigh, Dunmanway and even south of Bandon River.
By November 1, it seemed to me they were working on a plan to eliminate the
I.R.A. resistance by terrorism, in one district at a time and then move on
to repeat their activities in some other area They had a special technique.
Fast lorries (trucks) of them would come roaring into a village, the
occupants would jump out, firing shots and ordering all the inhabitants out
of doors.  No exceptions were allowed.  Men and women, old and young, the
sick and decrepit were lined up against the walls with their hands up,
questioned and searched.  No raid was ever carried out by these ex-officers
without their beating up with the butt ends of their revolvers, at least a
half dozen people.  They were no respecters of person and seemed to
particularly dislike the Catholic priests. Actually in cold blood they
murdered the aged Very Rev. Canon Magnier, P.P., Dunmanway on one of their
expeditions. For hours they would hold the little community prisoners, and
on more than occasion in different villages they stripped all the men naked
in the presence of the assembled people of both sexes, and beat them
mercilessly with belts and rifles. They commandeered without payment food
and drink and they seldom returned sober to their barracks.Observing some
man working at his bog or small field a few hundred yards from the road,
they would stop their lorries and start their pleasant game.  Laughing and
shouting four or five would take aim, no to hit him, but to spatter the
earth or bog around him.  The man would run wildly with the Auxies' bullets
clipping the sods all about him.  He would stumble and fall, rise again and
continue to run for safety.  But sometimes he would not rise as an Auxiliary
bullet was sent through him to stop forever his movements.  Still laughing
and joking , these gentlemen and officers would ride away.  Why not? The
corpse was only an Irish peasant, and probably a sympathizer with these
rebels, and anyway what did it matter? One more or less made no difference
and it was part of their duty to strike terror into the hearts of all the
Irish." (2)

These were the conditions Tom Barry and the West Cork Brigade and other
Flying Columns were fighting throughout Ireland to gain Ireland's
independence.

Tom Barry took the Republican side during the Civil War and was imprisoned.
In 1927 he was appointed General Superintendent with Cork Harbor
Commissioners and held this position till his retirement in 1965.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:

A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

Guerilla Days in Ireland  - The story of the famous West Cork Flying Column,
told by the man who led it; by Tom Barry, Anvil Books, Tralee, County Kerry,
Ireland, 1971
Reference #1 - taken from Guerilla Days - page 16
Reference #2 - taken from Guerilla Days - page 38 and 39


The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle;Corgi Books 1968; London

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; p 124; Roberts
Rinehart Publishers; 1992; Boulder, Colorado

Michael Collins The Lost Leader by margery Forester;Sphere Books Limited,
London,1972

My Fight for Irish Freedom by Dan Breen; Anvil Books,Tralee, County Kerry,
Ireland, 1964

27.

Arthur Griffith - Born in 1872 and died suddenly August 12, 10 days  before
Michael Collins death on August 22,1922. He was a journalist, politician,
and Irish leader. He was the editor of the  weekly newspaper called United
Irishman. He was the father of Sinn Fein.  In a series of articles Griffith
advocated the abandonment of Parliamentary methods (this was after the fall
of Charles Stewart Parnell).  Instead he proposed passive resistance to
English rule. He founded Sinn Fein in 1905.  He was a Fenian and a member of
the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) until 1906. He wanted to see a free
and independent Ireland with its own strong economy. He was involved in the
Howth gun-running episode (see Erskine Childers article).  He opposed
conscription during World War I and actively campaigned against Redmond on
this issue. It was during this campaign that the press labeled Griffith's
Republican Volunteers - Sinn Fein Volunteers  versus Redmond's forces.  As
Griffith's idea of dual monarchy was fading the term of Sinn Fein to
identify Republicans, was emerging in Irish history.  Although he did not
fight with the Irish Volunteers in 1916 he was imprisoned after the Uprising
because of his  threat as a journalist.  Many of the more militant
Republicans during the War of Independence did not fully support him because
of his lack of participation in the Uprising of 1916, as well as his
moderation.  Evidently Griffith did not broadcast that he had shown up at
the GPO (General Post Office) during that fateful  Easter week and was told
by Sean MacDiarmada (business manager for his newspaper Nationality) that he
was going to be needed after the Uprising and to return home.  Griffith was
doubtful that the Uprising was going to be successful thus he was not in
favor of it, but yet still showed up at the GPO to lend his support to  his
fellow patriots.

In 1917 as de Valera was emerging as one of the strongest Irish leaders,
Griffith was pressured (according to some historians) to withdraw his name
for the presidency of Sinn Fein.  Since he did not have the support of the
Volunteers he would not have won the election, so in a show of unity he
withdrew his name and was elected as Vice President of  the organization he
had founded.

At the close of the War of Independence Arthur Griffith with Michael Collins
headed the delegation that went to London to work out a Treaty in 1921.
Lloyd George knew the way to achieve what he wanted with the Treaty would be
to divide the delegates and have them disagree with each other.  He knew
that Arthur Griffith was a man of honor and always kept   his word. Lloyd
George craftily set out to entrap Griffith. Griffith had warned many times
in his journals  that in negotiations the English could not be trusted, yet
he did not heed his own warnings.  He  also stated that no Irishman could
have the authority to give away "an inch" of Irish land. Eventually during
the negotiations Lloyd George painted Griffith into a corner and Griffith
was forced to support the Treaty.The delegation split down the middle.
Griffith said he would sign the Treaty, Collins also agreed  as did Duggan
Barton would not sign until it was pointed out to him that he would be
taking on the responsibility of bringing war to Ireland again.  Lloyd George
had threatened an "immediate and terrible" war against Ireland if the Treaty
was not agreed upon. Duffy and Barton had been astonished at Collins
acquiescence to the Treaty. Collins had a private meeting with Lloyd George
and not all of what was said is known.  But George had said Ireland would be
annihilated, and Collins was in the position to know best the strength of
the Irish Republican Army and if it could sustain another prolonged war, a
war that would have been much fiercer than the  War of Independence.  Duffy
had not believed Lloyd George's threat of all out war against Ireland, but
when he heard Collins say that the I.R.A. could not protect the Irish people
against the British Army he agreed to sign the Treaty.    Just a couple of
days prior to this, Griffith told de Valera and the Dail Eireann cabinet in
Dublin that he would never sign anything that agreed to the partitioning of
Ireland.  The Treaty granted Dominion status to Ireland such as in Canada,
it also allowed for the partitioning of Ireland and required the Irish
Members of Parliament  to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown.

In Dail Eireann when the Treaty was being discussed, Arthur Griffith was the
last speaker for those in favor of the Treaty. The speech  followed a verbal
attack on Michael Collins by Cathal Brugha.

"He was the man (referring to Michael Collins) that made the situation; he
was the man, and nobody knows better than I do how, during a year and a half
he worked from 6 in the  morning until 2 the next morning.  He was the man
whose matchless energy, whose indomitable will carried Ireland through the
terrible crisis and though I have not now, and never have had an ambition,
about either political affairs or history, if my name is to go down in
history I want it associated with the name of  Michael Collins.  Michael
Collins was the man who fought the Black and Tans for twelve months until
England was forced to offer terms."(1)


January 7, 1922 was the fateful day that resulted in the tragic split
between Irishmen and Irishwomen who had just completed a successful war
against the Black and Tans. January 7, 1922 was the day that Dail Eireann by
a very thin margin (64-57) voted to accept the Treaty. It resulted in de
Valera resigning as  President of the Republic. Arthur Griffith was elected
as President of the Provisional Government. The following June the infamous
attack on the Four Courts took place plunging Ireland into a nightmare of
Civil War and by  August, Arthur Griffith was dead.

The following is a poem written by Oliver St. John Gogarty about Arthur
Griffith.

"He made the loud tyrannical foe dumb-founded
And to relax his yoke.
Inglorious in the gap: by man a hater
The scoffing word was said.
He heard from those who had betrayed him, 'Traitor!'
The cross-grained and cross-bred
He shook from off him with grand impatience,
The flesh uncomforted,
And passed amoung the captains of the nations
Live when these men are dead." (2)


© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:

A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan;Roberts Rinehart;
1998;Niwot, Colorado

The Anglo-Irish Treaty by Frank Gallagher; Hutchinson of London, 1965

The Green Flag Volune III - Ourselves Alone; by Robert Kee;Penguin Books,
London, 1972

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle; Corgi Books 1968; London

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan;Roberts Rinehart
Publishers, Boulder Colorado, 1996
Ref #1 taken from Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland page 306
Ref # 2 taken from Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland page 398


28.

Sorry for the delay with the final articles for the series.  In the next few
weeks the final two articles will be sent - #29- Michael Collins, #30 Black
and Tans

Siochain agus beannachtai (peace and blesssings)
Margaret (Mairead)

Piaras Beaslai -Poet, playwright, Gaeilge scholar and journalist.  Born in
1881in Liverpool, attended schools in Liverpool. Died in 1965.  In 1904 he
left England after editing the Catholic Times, and went to live in Ireland.
He soon joined the Gaeilge League.  He believed that the Gaeilge League
should represent a free and Gaielge Ireland, free of all foreign domination.
When Beaslai made a motion stating this as a goal of the Gaeilge League
Douglas Hyde resigned as the President in 1915.  Hyde a scholar and poet,
not a revolutionary, had founded the Gaeilge League in 1893. Beaslai played
an important role in the Irish Republican Brotherhood and later the Irish
Republican Army.  He was an effective speaker for the cause of  Irish
freedom and also was the editor of an tOglágh, the first edition was
published in August 1918.  an tOglágh was the voice of the Irish Republican
Army.  It was not an easy task to edit the paper since it was raided
continually. In order to avoid arrest, the leaders were often on the run
(not sleeping in their own homes) and this made it very difficult for
Beaslai to coordinate everyone and get important information to the various
key figures in the Irish Republican Army.

Michael Collins realized the value of Beaslai and during one of Bealai's
imprisonment's, Collins arranged his escape as well as Patrick Flemming who
had brought to the forefront the issue of prisoners being treated as
prisoners of war instead of as criminals. The prison escape was a great
success.  Thinking they would need 3 bicycles, Collins' men waited outside
the walls of Mountjoy Jail.  Much to their delight and surprise along with
Beaslai and Flemming, 16 more men escaped.

Beaslai sided with Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins.  He went onto to
write a biography of Collins.  He also was a general in the new Irish Army.
He was present at many important meetings thus giving us a view through the
window of the War of Independence and what the key players said.

© 2001
Margaret Kristich
conaught@ix.netcom.com
All rights reserved

References:

A Dictionary of Irish Biography by Henry Boylan; Roberts Rinehart; ;Niwot,
Colorado, 1998

Eamon De Valera, The Man Who Was Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; Harper
Perennial, New York; 1996

The Irish Republic by Dorothy Macardle; Corgi Books, London; 1968

Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan; Roberts
Rinehart Publishers, Boulder, Colorado; 1992

Michael Collins The Lost Leader by Margery Forester; Sphere Books
Limited,London,1972

===================================================================

    "You cannot conquer Ireland"

A chairde,
Sent to me by my good friend Micheal O'Fearghal in memory of those heroic lovers of Ireland whose sacrafice helped reshape Ireland forever.

"You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by  a better deed."               
-- Patrick Pearse at his court-martial, May 2, 1916
    
                  On   the 24th  A pril, 1916,  Irish poet, scholar, and teacher Patrick Pearse stepped from the GPO into the Dublin afternoon and faced the crowds going about their usual business in busy Sackville Street (O'Connell St.). With a curious lack of his usual magnetism, reflecting the gravity of the deed t which he had long devoted himself    and which was now at hand, he read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic to the  onlookers:
    
            "Irishmen and Irishwomen: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag  and strikes for her freedom..."   From that moment on Ireland would, in the words of Yeats' memorial poem, be  'changed, changed utterly'.
    
       The day began at Liberty Hall, where the Volunteers gathered under their  commanders for the march to the GPO just before noon. It was a ragged and  ill-armed band that set out to defy the British occupation of their land. Plans for  the Rising had gone awry in a number of ways. Ideological splits between the  various nationalist organizations had led to confusion in orders, which drastically  thinned the ranks of Volunteers. A German arms landing, arranged by Roger Casement,  had been thwarted by bad timing and Casement was captured (he was later hanged in an  English prison). It was determined that the Rising would take place regardless of setbacks.

There would be no going back. There were no illusions that the British could be defeated -- the goal had become  to strike a resounding blow which would ripple out beyond the Rising, to force  the door to freedom open wide enough that it could never quite be closed again.

The architects of the Rising, who included James Connolly, Thomas Clarke (a  leader of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and veteran of various acts of rebellion and  grueling stints in English prisons), Sean Mac Diarmada, Joseph Plunkett, and Pearse's  good friend Thomas MacDonagh, among others, fully expected to die in the attempt. A  fierce devotion to Ireland's freedom obliterated all concerns for self-preservation. On that  April morning, a group of Irish men and women, probably numbering no more than  1,000 at most, set out to face down the formidable might of the British empire to strike a  blow for Ireland's freedom.

A  force of around 150, led by Pearse, Connolly, and the others, commandeered the GPO and established their General Headquarters there. A young Michael Collins was in attendance as Plunkett's aide-de-camp, and would acquit himself admirably in the coming battle. No time was wasted in preparation for the  inevitable British backlash. Windows were duly smashed and fortified and the doors  barricaded. Two flags were hoisted over the GPO to replace their British counterparts.  One was green with a gold harp in the center and "Irish Republic" spelled out in white   and gold Irish lettering. The other was the tricolor which is now the official flag of the  Republic. Foraging parties were sent out for food and medical supplies.

Across Dublin the Volunteers dug in at other key locations. St. Stephen's Green was occupied under the command of Michael Mallin and Constance Markiewicz. Eamonn De Valera operated out of Boland's Mill, the Four Courts were occupied by Ned Daly's 1st Battalion, Thomas MacDonagh held Jacob's factory and  Eamonn Ceannt the South Dublin Union.

Thomas Ashe and Richard Mulcahy had  relative success throughout with their 5th Dublin Battalion in Dublin and Meath. An  attack was made on Dublin Castle but the rebels withdrew, believing it to be more  heavily guarded than it actually was.

Rumors were rife that other parts of the country  were rising also, but the earlier confusion and countermanding of orders had effectively  halted that possibility. Apart from some concentrated rebellion in Wexford and Galway,  and a few scattered skirmishes, the rest of Ireland was quiet throughout the week.

The Volunteers did not have long to wait for the first British move. Just after 1 pm  a small force on horseback charged down Sackville Street, to be met with fire  from the Volunteers. Four of the mounted Lancers were killed and the rest   retreated. After this episode, the suspense lay thick as the British still made no   show of force on the GPO, though they were tackling the rebel outposts and had driven  the St. Stephen's Green forces into the Royal College of Surgeons. By Monday night the  Volunteers had effectively set up a fortified defense of the city center. Tuesday brought  more of the same, with no real attack on the GHQ area by the British. But by Tuesday  night the reinforcements came pouring in and the British troops numbered over 6,500.  Heavy artillery had also been brought in, an ominous sign.

Wednesday morning, April 26th, saw the arrival of the British gunboat Helga up the Liffey. The now-empty Liberty Hall was shelled and destroyed. The British   now launched a concerted and sustained campaign against the rebels, slowly   advancing artillery and infantry, closing in on the GPO. Incendiary bombs were   launched from Trinity College into Sackville Street, setting some buildings alight. By  Thursday morning the British had set their sights on the rebel headquarters at the GPO. 

Another 10,000 troops arrived and rifle, machine gun and artillery fire increased. A shell  scored a direct hit on the GPO. But a larger concern for the Volunteers was the  increasing threat of the flames engulfing many of the buildings around them. Connolly  led a contingent out of the building to form an outpost, and received two serious  wounds. He made it back to the GPO and spent the few remaining days of his life  incapacitated.

By Friday the British were well within range and shelling the building ferociously. The GPO was in flames and the men inside fought desperately against the inferno. Plans were hammered out for evacuation. This was accomplished in stages, with risky runs for outposts through the non-stop hail of bullets. The  O'Rahilly led a charge up Moore Street only to be felled along with 20 of his men. Other  groups scattered for cover where they could. Connolly and Pearse remained till the last  of the Volunteers had evacuated. Then they, too, made their bid to escape the crumbling   fiery remains of the GPO, Connolly being borne on a stretcher.

At a shop in Moore Street, Connolly met up with Plunkett, Clarke and Mac Diarmada. Pearse and his brother Willie arrived a short time later. On Saturday the 5 leaders went through anguished conferences, trying to decide the next course of action. News of civilian deaths greatly distressed them (Pearse  witnessed a family shot in the street by the British as they emerged from their  beleaguered home waving a white flag). It was finally decided that they should end the conflict for the sake of the remaining Volunteers and the citizenry of Dublin.

Pearse  accordingly sent a message to British Brigadier-General Lowe to open negotiations.  Lowe sent back word that they would accept nothing short of unconditional surrender.  After another conference, the rebels agreed to this. Pearse walked up Moore Street and  met General Lowe to formally surrender. Messages were got out to the remaining  rebel outposts. De Valera, who had held his area in a Herculean effort, was the last to surrender.

The Rising had ended, 6 days after it began. The leaders of the Rising were picked out for court-martial. There was no doubt  as to the outcome: execution by firing squad. The British had fatally misjudged the mood of the Irish. May had seriously doubted the wisdom of the tactics employed by the Rebels, and a simple imprisonment of the leaders would very likely have ended the matter.

Pearse and others were  transferred to death cells in Kilmainham Gaol.  The president of the  courts-martial was deeply distressed at having to condemn Pearse. He remarked to an acquaintance that "I have just had to condemn to death one of the finest  characters I have ever come across".   However, like Pilate, his misgivings did not extend to radical action, and he fulfilled the role pre-assigned to him. 

Pearse was executed at 3:30 am on May 3rd in  the stonebreaking yard at Kilmainham, as were Thomas Clarke and Thomas  MacDonagh. The bodies were thrown into a pit of quicklime. May 4th brought the  executions of Willie Pearse, Ned Daly, Plunkett, and Michael O'Hanrahan, who had  fought in Jacob's.

Joseph Mary Plunkett, direct collateral descendent of Saint Oliver Plunkett, Married Grace his beloved in the chapel of Kilmainham jail only hours before his execution.  She died, his faithful widow, their marriage unconsummated, only very recently. 

John MacBride, married to !Maud Gonne (Yeats' love) was executed  the following day. On May 8th, Eamonn Ceannt, Con Colbert, Michael Mallin and Sean   Heuston were shot. May 9th saw the execution of Thomas Kent, who had fought in Cork.  On May 12th, Sean Mac Diarmada and James Connolly were executed -- Connolly   having to be propped up in a chair to face the firing squad due to the severity of his injuries.

He had been nursed with care for fear he would die a natural death before the scheduled execution. It was the last straw. Irish opinion, at first hostile to the rebels, then changing  as they witnessed British savagery, now swung vehemently in their favor.  "All changed, changed utterly:  A terrible beauty is born."  The men and women of 1916 had cast the die. The door to the Irish Nation was open and could never be completely closed again.             


for more on the Easter Uprising of 1916 please see:

http://www.ireland-information.com/1916.txt

A Soldiers Song
The National Anthem of the Republic Ireland

Gaelic

Amhrán na bhFiann
Seo dhibh a cháirde duan óglaigh,
Cathréimeach briomhar ceolmhar,
ár dtinte cnámh go buacach táid,
'S an spéir go min réaltogach
Is fonnmhar faobhrach sinn chun gleo
'S go tiúnmhar glé roimh thíocht do'n ló
Fé chiúnas chaomh na hoiche ar seol:
Seo libh canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Curfá:
Sinne Firnna Fáil
A tá fé gheall ag éirinn,
buion dár slua
Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Fé mhóid bheith saor.
Sean tír ár sinsir feasta
Ní fhagfar fé'n tiorán ná fén tráil
Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil
Le guna screach fé lámhach na bpiléar
Seo libh canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann.

Cois bánta réidhe, ar árdaibh sléibhe,
Ba bhuachach ár sinsir romhainn,
Ag lámhach go tréan fé'n sár-bhrat séin
Tá thuas sa ghaoith go seolta
Ba dhúchas riamh d'ár gcine cháidh
Gan iompáil siar ó imirt áir,
'S ag siúl mar iad i gcoinne námhad
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Curfá

English

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song,
With cheering rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o'er us;
Impatient for the coming fight,
And as we wait the morning's light,
Here in the silence of the night,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Chorus:
Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free,
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
"Mid cannons" roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

In valley green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
And conquered 'neath the same old flag
That's proudly floating o'er us.
We're children of a fighting race,
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march, the foe to face,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Chorus