Killing their own – Philip Doyle and Jeremiah Gaffney

The Civil War caused deep divisions within Irish politics and society which continue to reverberate to this day. Notwithstanding those divisions the Irish state would prove itself to be a relatively stable entity remarkably free of political violence. Perhaps because we have lived with this relative stability for so long we do not see how…

The IRA in Manchester (1919-23)

The IRA in Manchester (1919-23) New sources and insight from the Military Service Pensions Collection (MSPC) Project archivist Sam McGrath presented a history of the Manchester IRA (1919-23) utilising the recently released files of 45 individuals who applied for a military service pensions for their 1916-23 service. In total, this brings the number to over…

The Revolution Files in the MSPC – Part 3

Following the recent release of The Irish Times special supplement The Revolution Files, supported by the Department of Defence, the MSPC will highlight stories contained in this publication. Links will be presented as per the supplement. This post will focus on Connacht. Note The Irish Times operates a subscription service for their content. Connacht  Galway…

The Revolution Files in the MSPC – Part 2

Following the recent release of The Irish Times special supplement The Revolution Files, supported by the Department of Defence, the MSPC will highlight stories contained in this publication. Links will be presented as per the supplement. This post will focus on Munster. Note The Irish Times operates a subscription service for their content. Munster Cork…

The Revolution Files in the MSPC – Part 1

Following the recent release of The Irish Times special supplement The Revolution Files, supported by the Department of Defence, the MSPC will highlight stories contained in this publication. Links will be presented as per the supplement and each province covered in a separate post. Note The Irish Times operates a subscription service for their content….

Fennessy Family – skeletons in the closet

May 2018 saw the release of the unsuccessful application of Margaret Daly née Fennessy under the Army Pensions Acts in respect of the death of her brother Michael. Michael Fennessy died in the Midleton Hospital, Cork on 24 October 1922. His cause of death was recorded as tubercular enteritis. Margaret writes of her brother’s service…

Denis O’Brien: 1916 veteran shot dead by the IRA in 1942

Introduction Pim Street and Upper Basin Street in Dublin 8 are a short five minute walk from each other. They are bound to the north by the sprawling St. James’s Gate Guinness Brewery and to the west by the present day St. James’s Hospital. In 1916, 8 Pim Street was occupied by the O’Brien family…

Haughey and Hillery – political clichés

Few things are as entrenched as political lineage within families. There is the impression that political dynasties have existed for generations. Traditionally families have been either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael.  This post will explore two of the cases that will challenge that cliché. The first case is that of John Haughey (24SP9208) probably best…

The rescue of Robert Byrne from Limerick Union hospital (April 1919)

On Sunday 6 April 1919, several dozen members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Limerick city were mobilised to take part in a dangerous operation. Their mission was to enter the public area of a hospital during visiting hours and rescue a bed-ridden comrade who was being closely guarded around the clock by armed…