Following on from the Dublin talk, I’ll be giving a talk on Harry Boland’s Manchester roots in the Irish World Heritage Centre in the city on 5 June.
On 13 April this year, we held a Boland family gathering in Glasnevin cemetery to mark the centenary of Harry Boland travelling to the US with Éamon de Valera. During the event, a silver cup that was giving to Harry to mark his time in the US was presented to the American Irish Historical Society to be put on display in their building. A portrait of Harry and his appointment credentials as Special Envoy to the US were also presented.
I’ve uploaded two versions of the Boland family tree as PDFs.
I’ve been researching my family for a few years with a view to writing their story. My mother’s family were the Bolands – major figures in the Irish revolutionary movements pre-independence and government ministers in the decades afterwards.
I’m trying to go back over four generations. The more recent generations – Kevin Boland and his father Gerald and uncles Harry and Ned and aunt Kathleen – are fairly straightforward. Much has been written about their lives, including by themselves. And there’s no shortage of information about 1916.
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Many years ago, I was reading Emma Goldman’s autobiography sitting beside the pool while on holidays in Greece (not necessarily everyone’s idea of relaxing, but I’m not everyone). I sat bolt upright in my sun-bed when I got to page 567 and Goldman writes of lecturing in Philadelphia. There, she writes, she met “two persons whose friendship recompensed me for the otherwise dreary experience, Harry Boland and Horace Traubel.” Harry Boland! She goes on, “Harry was an old devotee and always generously helpful in every struggle I made.”
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