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Comdt. Vincent Byrne, E Company, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Old IRA.


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Comdt. Vincent Byrne, E Company, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Old IRA.

I have put online some material which once belonged to Commandant Vincent (Vinny) Byrne, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Old I.R.A. here ;

http://www.militaria...inny-byrne.html

It is a small collection of :

Documents

http://www.militaria...docu/index.html

Photographs / postcards

http://www.militaria...hoto/index.html

Scrapbook he kept throughout the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War

http://www.militaria...apb1/index.html

&

http://www.militaria...apb2/index.html

For those who don't know Vincent Byrne joined the Irish Volunteers in 1915 at the age of 14. He paraded and drilled with them, then fought in the 1916 Easter Rising at Jacobs Mills alongside men such as Thomas MacDonagh, John McBride and Mick McDonnell (later leader of Michael Collins' counter intelligence unit 'The Squad'). During the Irish War of Independence Vinny Byrne (despite being the youngest), joined and became a prolific member of Michael Collins 'Squad', also known as the '12 Apostles.'

Taking part in the standard guerilla warfare activities of intelligence gathering, raids for weapons, vehicles and supplies, ambushes, attacks and assasinations all throughout the Irish War of Independence (January 1919 - Truce July 1921), I have included a sample timeline of approximately one year's activities throughout the War of Independence on the webpage. He famously took part in the Bloody Sunday executions of British intelligence officers ('Cairo Gang') throughout Dublin, and is quoted as saying ""The Lord have mercy on your souls. I then opened fire with my Peter. They both fell dead."

I have split the collection in to three parts, one for photographs and postcards, one for Documents, and the last part for the scrapbook proper (the scrapbook is also split into two).

Here are a few samples from the Documents/Letters section :

Letters & Documents

Card from Sean Doyle to Vincent Byrne December 1919. Doyle was also a member of Michael Collins Squad and was later wounded at the Customs House attack.

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Vincent Byrne Irish War of Independence era handwritten notes on the workings of a 'Peter the Painter' Mauser machine pistol.

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Evidence statement of Colonel Commandant Tom Keogh 're Dowling' (possibly Major Charles Milne Cholmeley Dowling shot by Michael Collins Squad at 28 Pembroke Street on Bloody Sunday, 21 November 1920). Document prepared for Corrigan and Corrigan solicitors Dublin.

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Letter to Colonel-Commandant Tom Keogh (former Collins Squad member) 9th July 1922. At this time early in the Irish Civil War Keogh was leading the pro-treaty 'Wexford Expeditionary Force' of 230 men, one field gun and four armoured vehicles in engagements against the anti-treaty IRA.

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Letter from Guard's Brigade Headquarters 17th August 1922 to Vice Commandant Vincent Byrne denying his request for 2 weeks leave to get married. This letter was sent during the Irish Civil War, 5 days before Michael Collins death in Beal na mBlath. On the back of this letter is a handwritten note referring to 400-500 irregulars at 2 mile house.

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Reverse of Letter from Guard's Brigade Headquarters 17th August 1922 to Vice Commandant Vincent Byrne - handwritten note referring to 400-500 irregulars at 2 mile house.

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Letter to Colonel-Commandant Tom Keogh (former Collins Squad member) 23rd August 1922. At this time Keogh was leading the pro-treaty 'Wexford Expeditionary Force' of 230 men, one field gun and four armoured vehicles in engagements against the anti-treaty IRA. Tom Keogh was to die on 11th September 1922 in a masive landmine explosion which killed 9 free state soldiers. A republican prisoner was then shot in reprisal.

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24th September 1922 Condolence letter from Paddy O' Daly (Major-General in the National Army in the period 1922 to 1924) to Tom Keogh's sister. Tom Keogh died 11th September 1922 in a masive landmine explosion which killed 9 free state soldiers. A republican prisoner was then shot in reprisal.

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28th September 1922 Condolence letter from Mary Powell (Michael Collins Sister) to Commandant Tom Keogh's Mother. Tom Keogh died 11th September 1922 in a masive landmine explosion which killed 9 free state soldiers. A republican prisoner was then shot in reprisal.

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There are also letters/documents from the War of Independence up to the 1960's, relating to various commemorations ('98 Commemoration Association', 'Knocklong Commemoration Committee', various 1916 Anniversary celebrations etc) and connected to his work with the 'Association of Old Dublin Brigade (IRA)', & 'National Association of Old I.R.A. Executive Committee'. Including one re a Mass for the 26 Irish soldiers killed in the Congo.

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Photographs and Postcards

Earliest known photograph of Vincent Byrne. Primary School Class Photograph circa 1906 (3rd Row back, 4th from the left). Along with handwritten childhood prayer by Vincent Byrne, 'Visit I beseech thee O'Lord. This beautiful isle and her poor Oppressed and persecuted people. Drive away from it all the snakes of her enemies. Let the Holy Angels dwell herein to perserve us in peace. May thy blessings be upon us for ever through Christ our Lord. Amen.'

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Original Photo Postcard from the Vincent Byrne Collection of City Hall Dublin 1916, Headquarters of the ITGWU in the aftermath of James Connollys' execution at Kilmainham Jail May 12th 1916. Liberty Hall was also where the Irish Citizen Army trained and, despite being empty, was the first building shelled by British artillery during the Easter Rising.

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World War One era Irish Republican Propaganda card based on the famous John Redmond Irish recruitment Poster for the British Army.

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Irish Republican Army, 1916 postcard. Joseph Mc Guinness IRA Volunteer. Michael Collins nominated Joe McGuinness using the slogan "Put him in, to get him out". He was one of the first Sinn Féin members elected. The effect of the by-election victories was almost immediate. The British released the remaining 120 prisoners. Joseph McGuinness was one of 73 members of the first Dáil Éireann (from 21 January 1919 until 10 May 1921).

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Irish Rebellion, Easter 1916 postcard - Mrs Joseph Plunkett (Miss Grace Gifford). Grace Gifford married Joseph Plunkett in the twilight hours in the prison chapel (6 hours before he faced a British firing squad). She joined Cumann na mBan and was noted for her artistic ability. She was later a prisoner in the female wing of Kilmainham prison (see seperate Kilmainham Gallery). She carved a famous Madonna on the walls one version of which was later restored.

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Seán Mac Diarmada (Sean McDermott) member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and good friend of veteran Fenian Tom Clarke. Seán Mac Diarmada joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1906 and went on to become a member of the IRB's secret Military Committee. A key planner of the 1916 Rising he fought in the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin Easter week 1916 (despite being afflicted by Polio). Executed by the British at Kilmainham Jail May 12, 1916.

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Photo postcard from the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Frongoch Concentraion Camp, North Wales. Used for the internment of 1,800 Irish prisoners (many of whom went from Dublin to Stafford Gaol then Frongoch), among them such notables as Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith.

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Photo Postcard from the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. This is believed to show the Irish Rebel prisoners on return from Frongoch.

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Photo Postcard from the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Prisoners on return from Frongoch. The reverse of this is marked 'Prisoners home after 1916'. This photo is possibly dated Monday 18th June 1917.

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Irish Republican Propaganda card from the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Propaganda card showing the Royal Irish Constabulary

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA, memoriam card to Leo Fitzgerald, killed in an Auxilliaries ambush on a republican meeting at 144 Brunswick Street, Dublin. Volunteer Leo Fitzgerald, B Company, 3rd Battalion Dublin Brigade, Irish Republican Army was killed, as were Constable James O'Farrell and Cadet Bernard Beard of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Thomas Traynor who had fought in Bolands Mill Easter 1916 was captured in this ambush and later executed by the British.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. A mostly unpublished series of photographs from Stafford Jail 1916 where Irish Rebels were sent to before Frongoch Concentration Camp. This photograph shows Irish Rebel prisoners playing football in the prison yard of Stafford Jail.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. A mostly unpublished series of photographs from Stafford Jail 1916 where Irish Rebels were sent to before Frongoch Concentration Camp. The writing on the back appears to say 'D.Daly, M. O'Connell, G. Dunne'

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. A series of photographs from Stafford Jail 1916 where Irish Rebels were sent before Frongoch Concentration Camp. This iconic photo (published in Tim Pat Coogan's 'Michael Collins'), shows a young Michael Collins at the back on the Irish Rebel group on the wing of Stafford Jail 1916.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. A mostly unpublished series of photographs from Stafford Jail 1916 where Irish Rebels were sent to before Frongoch Concentration Camp. This photograph shows Irish Rebel prisoners in the prison yard of Stafford Jail.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Photos of the Dublin & Tipperary All Ireland Hurling and Gaelic Football teams of 1920. The All-Ireland Champions of 1920 are Dublin (hurling) and Tipperary (football). The 1920 Dublin Tipperary Final was also the scene of Bloody Sunday when the black and tans/auxiliaries drove to Croke Park and fired 228 rounds into the crowd (not counting 50 rounds from an armoured car). They shot 68 people, killing 15. Including a 10 yr old boy, a 14 yr old boy and also a player for the Tipperary team.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Postcard of a drawing, by a 2nd Battalion IRA artist, showing the burning of the Customs house on 25th May 1921 during the Irish War of Independence. This attack involved 200 Irish Republican Army volunteers, 75 were arrested and 6 killed. Vinny Byrne took part in this direct assault and and despite being questioned avoided arrest. Other Squad members took part in this 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade attack, Jimmy Conroy and Tom Keogh were among the captured and Jim Slattery was badly wounded.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. 'Officers of the 26th Batallion.' 26th Battalion was a WW2 era Irish Army Battalion made up of former Dublin Brigade/Old IRA men. This picture includes Bryan MacSweeney (far right) and Patrick D'Alton (Second from the right) & 2nd from left back row is Michael Smyth.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Photograph of Dublin Brigade, Writing on the back '1st Battalion Leading officer in charge, Jimmy Brennan. Parade of the Dublin Brigade leaving Dublin Castle after Holy Mass enroute for the unveiling of the (Donovan) O'Rossa Memorial. Brigade Council in front, V. Byrne Chief Marshal, Vice Chairman Dublin Brigade, J.O'Connor Chairman, Dublin Brigade, P.Nolan, Secretary, N. Kelly, 5th Engineers, J.Cassidy 3rd Battalion, T.Moorison 3rd.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Seán Lemass, Taoiseach of Ireland (and former member of Michael Collins Squad) Capt Frank Thornton, President 2nd Batallion, Vinny Byrne Chairman Dublin Brigade, Dublin Castle comemoration mass for Michael Collins.

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close-up

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Morans Hotel, 1956. Believed 1916-1921 /Association of the Old Dublin Brigade. Vinny Byrne Centre with pipe.

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From the private collection of Vincent Byrne, E company 2nd Battalion Old IRA. Customs House Commemoration 1979, May

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Vincent Byrne Irish Independence era Scrapbook

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1916 Irish War News, Vol. 1 No. 1, Dublin, April 2 The historic paper published during the Rising - the only other printed document issued by the Rising leaders other than the Proclamation. Vincent Byrne added the pictures of Rising Signatories, Thomas MacDonagh, James Connolly, Major Mac Bride and Eamonn Ceannt. Byrne fought as a 14 year old with Thomas Mac Donagh and John Mac Bride at Jacobs during the Easter Rising.

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1916 Irish War News, Vol. 1 No. 1, Dublin, April 2 The historic paper published during the Rising - the only other printed document issued by the Rising leaders other than the Proclamation.

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Copy of last letter of Eamonn Ceant & Contemporary newspaper cuttings relating to the 19th December 1919 Attempted assasination of Lord Lieutenant, Field Marshall Sir John French at Ashtown. This action involved men of the Squad along with the men from Soloheadbeg who had initiated the Irish war of Independence. Mick McDonnell, Sean Treacy, Dan Breen, Seamus Robingson, J.J. Hogan, Paddy O'Daly, Martin Savage, Tom Keogh, Jim Slattery, Vincent Byrne, Joe Leonard. Volunteer Martin Savage lost his life in this gun battle.

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Copy of Last Letter of Eamonn Ceannt May 1916. Eamonn Ceannt was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and later was one of the founding members of the Irish Volunteers. During the Easter Rising of 1916 Ceannt was Commandant of the 4th Battalion, fighting at the South Dublin Union and Marrowbone Lane distillery with Cathal Brugha and W.T.Cosgrave. Ceannt was one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and was executed by the British on 8th May 1916.

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On the funeral of Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney during the Irish War of Independence in 1920. Top picture the Solemn requiem Mass for the Lord Mayor at the Pro-Cathedral. 2nd Picture the large British Army presence at the Funeral in Cork.

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On the funeral of Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney during the Irish War of Independence in 1920. Top picture the cortege starting from Southwark Cathedral with uniformed Irish Volunteers. 2nd Picture Peter and John MacSwiney, chief mourners.

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'General Collins leading with General Mulcahy the G.H.Q. staff at the funeral of President Arthur Griffith.' Arthur Griffith, founder and third leader of Sinn Féin. served as President of Dáil Éireann from January to August 1922, and was head of the Irish delegation at the negotiations in London that produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. Griffith died on 12 August 1922, Collins was to die 10 days later on August 22nd 1922.

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General Michael Collins, Commander in Chief of the Irish National Army.

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Irish War of Independence Political cartoon.

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This is where he was in 1921 - then the treaty came and the wind of liberty blew him out 1922 thus is he - Pro Treaty 1922 Irish Civil War Propaganda.

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Late Col.-Comdt Kehoe. Blown to Pieces. Laid to Rest. Tom Keogh fought in the Easter Rising and was a member of Collins' Squad during the Irish War of Independence. He was killed during the Irish Civil War while with the Wexford Expeditionary force. He was also a good friend of Vinny Byrne.

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Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa senior member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood died in Staten Island 1915 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin 1 August 1915. The funeral Oration given by Padraig Pearse was a motivating factor with many of the men who fought in the Irish Rising of Easter 1916. It ended with the lines: 'They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.' It is likely Vinny Byrne as an Irish Volunteer attended this event.

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Call to Arms, Oglaigh na h-Eireann, July 13th 1922. National Reserve, Men of Dublin City and North County, Rathmines & Pembroke, who have handed in their names for Service in the National Reserve and who have not yet been called up, will present themselves at the City Hall, on Friday 14th, inst., between 10am and 2pm, or 4pm and 8pm. C. Saurin, Capt., Adjutant, 1st. Dublin Brigade.

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'The Army' - breaking news about developments in the Anglo Irish Treaty negotiations which took place in London following the Irish War of Independence.

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Michael Collins; 16 October 1890 – 22 August 1922

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Coverage of Michael Collins Funeral August 1922

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'An intensely poignant time in the lying-in-state of the dead hero was the moment when, on Friday, Mr. Sean Collins, Co.C., Cork, entered the death chamber and knelt to pray beside the bier. His prayers interrupted by sobs, and he was joined by the supplication for mercy for his brother's soul by two of the late Commander-in-Chief's closest comrades, Gen. Ennis and Comdt. Sean Hayles, T.D. It need hardly be added that the scene will remain a vivid memory in those who witnessed it.'

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Michael Collins; 16 October 1890 – 22 August 1922. Vale. Hark to Valhalla's mightly roar, Her columned palace shakes; With Thunderous Fianna Cheers, The empyrean quakes. A Welcome, aye a welcome shout 'Fling wide Valhalla's door and pass the ancient Soldier's toast. A Warrior treads the floor.'

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If anyone would like to view the rest of this collection they are now online here :

http://www.militaria...inny-byrne.html

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  • 6 months later...

For the sake of anyone searching this thread in future - this photo :

has been identified as 'probably' Michael Collins in a book I came across the other day (name escapes me at the moment).

This one :

has been identified as Countess Markievicz (according to "Revolution" by Padraig O'Ruairc , A Photographic History of Revolutionary Ireland 1913 -1923

'A huge crowd gathered outside the ruins of Liberty Hall to welcome Countess Markievicz and other Republican prisonwers on their return to Dublin after release from British Jails, 17 June 1917'

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  • 4 weeks later...

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