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Irish Civil War (1922 - 1923)
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Anti-Treaty Publicity Material

Some Irish Capuchins displayed a noticeable sympathy with the republican interest during the Civil War. The Church Street community maintained close ties with various republicans including Frank Gallagher who carried out propaganda work on various Anti-Treaty bulletins, newsletters and publications. Gallagher worked alongside Erskine Childers (who was also on good terms with some Capuchin friars) on the republican publicity staff. Both men sided with Éamon de Valera in the Treaty debates. Gallagher and Robert Brennan were significant contributors to the 'Daily Bulletin' which was produced at this time (See CA IR/1/8/3/8). As a consequence, most of the tracts and publicity material obtained by the Capuchins reflected a rigidity to the Sinn Féin version of the conflict and demonstrated an implacable hostility to the Treaty and its supporters.

Capuchin Papers relating to the Irish Revolution

The fonds consists of the correspondence and papers of Capuchin friars detailing their involvement with participants in the national struggle. The majority of the material dates from 1916-1925 and includes many records highlighting the roles played by Irish Capuchins in ministering to republican leaders and their relations. Of particular interest is a large collection of prison letters including the correspondence of some of the leading figures of the Irish Revolution. The fonds also contains a large collection of republican publicity material, newspapers and miscellaneous items of ephemera and artefacts mostly relating to the military and political campaign organised by nationalists for Irish independence. A smaller collection relating to the repatriation of the bodies of Fr. Albert Bibby OFM Cap. and Fr. Dominic O’Connor OFM Cap. from the United States to Ireland in 1958 is also extant.

Irish Capuchin Franciscans

Copy Letter from Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap. re Civil War Battle

Photocopy of a letter from Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap., Capuchin Franciscan College, Rochestown, County Cork, to Winifred Etheridge, c/o Major F. Etheridge DSO, Broadway Cottage, Littleham, North Exmouth, Devon. The letter (27 January 1923) provides a detailed, eyewitness description of an engagement between Free State soldiers and irregular republicans near Rochestown College in August 1922. Winifred Etheridge was a sister of Ian McKenzie Kennedy, a Scottish-born republican, who died during the battle. The file also includes a photocopy of a letter (26 August 1922) from Nora Lucey, 3 Pembroke Street, Cork, to Mrs McKenzie Kennedy providing further detail on the skirmish and on the death of her son, Ian McKenzie Kennedy. A copy sketch map (drawn by Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap.) showing details of the battle between Free State forces and Anti-Treaty irregulars around Rochestown is also extant in the file.

O’Shea, Michael, 1892-1958, Capuchin priest

Newspaper Clippings relating to the Irish Civil War

Original newspaper clippings relating to the Civil War assembled by the editors of 'The Capuchin Annual'. The file comprises clippings from the 'Cork Examiner' and the 'Evening Echo' and contains reports on hostilities between Free State forces and republicans mainly in Munster.
The file includes:
• ‘Heavy Firing in Limerick City / Encounter in Clare / Commandant Breen’s Declaration’, 'Cork Examiner', 13 July 1922.
• 'Cork Examiner', 15 July 1922.
• 'Cork Examiner', 30-31 July 1922.
• ‘Cork and Peace / Harry Boland Shot / Cork Coachmakers’ Strike’, 'Evening Echo', 2 Aug. 1922.
• ‘Manufacturing Atrocities / Protest by Free State Soldiers’. 'Cork Examiner', 4 Aug. 1922.

Republican and Anti-Treaty Publications

A large collection of contemporary republican newspapers and Anti-Treaty publications. The sub-series includes extensive files of both 'Poblacht na hEireann (War News)' and the republican newssheet, 'The Daily Bulletin'.

The London Illustrated News

The file contains the following editions of this illustrated weekly newspaper:
8 July 1922 (No. 4,342. Vol. 161); 15 July 1922 (4,343. Vol. 161). The editions contain numerous photographic prints of the fighting in Dublin at the outbreak of the Civil War. Includes a photograph of ‘Father Dominic [O'Connor OFM Cap.], who was reported to have been with the Rebels in the Four Courts’.