Manchester talk on Harry Boland

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.

Harry Boland's Manchester roots flyerTickets are free and can be ordered on Eventbrite.

Next stop, New York!


5 thoughts on “Manchester talk on Harry Boland

  1. I am interested in the multiple attempts on the life of Michael Collins and especially the role that Harry Boland might have had in the IRB death sentence on Collins. This is documented in the British intelligence summary of June/July 1922 and recently confirmed in a recently released letter from Collins to cork saying not to trouble about the death sentence. I am puzzled at the conflicting information on a general order (unreferenced) to leave anti treaty politicians at large to allow peace talks and a direct order from Collins to arrest Harry Boland. Is there any explanation for a letter (mentioned but i have not seen text) from Collins saying ” I have the power to destroy you”.
    I am seeking links to explain why Collins “turned” on Harry Boland and allegedly singled him out among TDs for arrest – my thesis is that Boland was anti Treaty IRB with connections to American IRB and was the conduit for this death sentence. You will be aware of Ger Murphy’s evidence but not proof connecting Florence O’Donoghue (also IRB) with Collin’s death.


  2. It was the letter Harry wrote to Sean T. O’Kelly on 27 July 2022, asking him to go to the Clan na Gael conference in America and bring back guns for the long fight ahead. O’Kelly was arrested the next day at the political offices of the anti-Treaty Republicans and the letter seized. Collins then issued the order to arrest him. It’s very unlikely it was a kill order, as he was shot in the abdomen and, belatedly, brought to hospital. When the Free State troops turned to kill orders later in the conflict, it was a shot in the head and bodies dumped in a field.


    1. I have started delving into this and found the McGarrity papers in the National Library (digitized) i will read the Boland biographies there today. McGarrity names the four arresting party as Pepard, O’Connell, Maguire, McAllister, I think i had seen this before but was not working on civil war. The papers also have an inquest report etc. My immediate interest is in the multiple attempts on Collins before Beal na Blath I have accounts of ten relevant incidents. This was a coordinated campaign to attack staff cars countrywide and i am surprised that the irregulars were so organised and coordinated hence my interest in the IRB. While the IRB and Dublin in general supported the Treaty plenty of IRB went against the Treaty contrary to Tommy Graham’s observation. The arresting personnel were army not Oriel House men but i must confirm this. The family say six hour delay getting to hospital – that does not seem remarkable at 04.00 in Skerries. Dublin Fire brigade ambulance – a single vehicle covered all of Dublin but not the county so sending an army vehicle from Portobello would not be strange, the inquest barrister made play of not releasing Gerry to identify him but republicans renounced parole at the time and the women were too overcome. That McGarrity took such interest indicates that Boland was close to eth American IRB but that is only a link but in murky matters there will never be proof. , send me a n email _ easier for attachments


  3. The most controversial part of the ambulance is not just the delay, it’s that he was taken from Skerries to Richmond Barracks first and only then to St. Vincents Hospital. The Coombe, then a general hospital, was much closer. No-one knows why he had to be brought, bleeding and in shock, to the Barracks first.


    1. Too much talk of coomb there were.richmond Mercer’s Stevens adelaide meath sir Patrick dunnes as well

      Vincent’s would have been premier
      Dont forget king george V now Britons would have experience of gunshot wounds

      Agree medical attention was clearly not priority


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s