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Archival description
War of Independence
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Papers of the O’Brennan Family

  • IE OCL P77
  • Fonds
  • 1906-1930s

Contains manuscript material, brochures, pamphlets, and a substantial newspaper collection created principally by Tullamore brothers and Irish Volunteers Séamus and Alo O’Brennan. The earliest material from 1906 and 1909 are programs for feiseanna held by Tullamore Celtic Literary Society and Conradh na Gaeilge. Also includes letter from Inspector Crane of Tullamore RIC Barracks giving permission in 1911 to James Brennan (Séamus O’Brennan) to play hand-ball in the alley at the barracks during weekdays. Both Crane and O’Brennan were involved in the Tullamore Incident five years later.

Also includes a copy of the charge sheet relating to the Tullamore Incident of March 1916, the original of which is in Offaly History Archives. This copy is annotated by Alo O’Brennan, along with annotated pages from Hansard’s Debates from April 1916 relating to the ‘affray.’

Also includes an illustrated pledge signed by Alo O’Brennan in Tullamore in June 1918 ‘denying the right of the British government to enforce compulsory service...’

Also includes an autograph book created by Séamus O’Brennan in Ballykinlar internment camp (1920-21).

O'Brennan, Alo

Memoir by Kathleen Barnwell, Birr

  • IE OCL P31
  • Item
  • 1918-1985

Typescript of memoir titled ‘Do You Remember’. Recounts the life in Birr and covers the following subjects: soldiers from Birr returning from World War I (1918), the Treaty (1921), occupation of Free State Troops of ‘The Gorm' (the workhouse) in Birr (1922), burning of Crinkle Barracks (1922) and other reminiscences of life in Birr from 1930s to 1980s.

Barnwell, Kathleen

1918-1922

  • IE OCL P131/2/2/4/3
  • File
  • 10 April 1918-3 May 1922
  • Part of Loughton Papers

Letters to and from Theodora Trench between 1918 and 1922.
The majority of the letters were sent by Sheelah Trench.The letters cover a wide variety of topics.

One reoccurring theme throughout the letters are Sheelah's concerns over the 'Sinn Feiners' actions in Ireland. A letter dated Easter Sunday 1920 elaborates further, 'We hear that the Moneygall Police Barrack has been burnt down, besides Dunkevin, Ballacymackey and many other. That, and destroying Income Tax and other Government Offices, seems to have been the Sinn Feiners game for Easter Monday'.

Sheelah also includes letters and newspaper clippings that she believes may be of interest to Theodora. One such letter dated 24 February 1920 from Mr Hill, P.O.W Staff, Famagusta Cyprus to Benjamin Bloomfield Trench describes his experience working at a Prisoner of War camp in Cyprus and working alongside Irish soldiers.

Lefroy, Sheelah Georgiana Bertha

Annual Report 1919

Report for year ending June 1919 outlining a remittance of £10,250 to Lord Digby, the increased amount being ascribed to revenue derived from the woods, particularly mature Scotch pine from Clonad Wood to a firm of match-makers. Remarks that although Ireland ‘remains in a disturbed an unsatisfactory condition this immediate neighbourhood has been very free from agitation and outrage and from a continuance of high prices for all agricultural produce and abundant crops, the Irish farmer is enjoying an era of unprecedented prosperity.’

Annual Report 1920

Annual report addressed to the 11th Baron Digby following the death of his predecessor. Goodbody reports that £7000 has been remitted and briefs the new Lord Digby on the state of the Ireland during the War of Independence: 'Ireland continues in a disturbed and unsatisfactory condition. This neighbourhood has not escaped the general destruction of Constabulary barracks, the only three barracks on your estate having been maliciously and wantonly burnt and wrecked, those of Clonmore being wholly destroyed and of Geashill & Killeigh partially so. The police authorities having vacated them prior to their destruction have since surrendered same, with a consequent loss of future rental. Claims for compensation have been lodged for substantial amounts and are still pending.'

Goodbody, Lewis

Minute Book

Minutes of King's County Council, notable for the annual meeting of 19 June 1920 when Eamonn Bulfin was elected Chairman in absentia, having been deported to Argentina in 1919 following internment by the British government. The same meeting also recorded a proposal put forward by James O'Connor that the elected members of the Council change the name of King's County Council to that of Offaly County Council, with all printed matter in connection with the Council to bear the new title. The vice chairman, John Kelly, observed that King's County was one of the counties 'bearing a name which shows the track of the invader' and that it was time to revive the ancient and illustrious title of Offaly.' The motion proposed by O'Connor was seconded by Robbins and resolved. In the minutes of 25 November (Minute Book 4 OFCC10/4/1/4), correspondence was submitted from the Local Government Board stating that the Council had no power to change the name of the county from King's County to Offaly but the minutes do not record any further action taken on the matter.

Papers of K. Forrestal

  • IE OCL P115
  • Collection
  • 1921-1966

Collection of newspaper cuttings, off-prints and photographs relating to Irish revolutionary period, mainly dating from the 1960s. Also contains original programme of 1921 Labour Day activities in Ballykinlar Camp No. 2 featuring interned Geashill priest Fr. Burbage; and photograph of Rev J. O'Callaghan, Rev. Canon Magner and Rev. Michael Griffin, stamped 'Murdered by Crown Forces 1921' .

Copy outgoing letters from Toler Roberts Garvey (Junior), land agent, (1921-1923)

Includes a letter from Toler R. Garvey Jr land agent at Birr Castle to ‘V.J. Beaumont Nesbitt’, Tubberdaly, Edenderry on 9 June 1921 who records agitations in Birr, and laments a former way of life:

‘...Although things are bad they are not a bit worse than I had anticipated, but we must reach an end of it sometime and we, or whoever is left, may once again be able to live in peace, though I don’t think they will ever know the comfort and good times which we had in the past.’

Also includes letter to Hon. Geoffrey Parsons on 8 December 1921, revealing the anxiety surrounding the situation for landowners following the War of Independence:

‘I enclose... Notice from the Local Government Board of their intention to take the land at Croghan after all, but in view of the Settlement just arrived at on the Irish question, it seems very doubtful that they will proceed with the matter. Things have moved rapidly since I saw you and we shall be face to face with a totally new situation.’

Garvey, Toler Roberts, Jr

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