Kilmainham Gaol text Collection title

Art O’Donnell

Biography

A native of Co. Clare, Art O’Donnell was sworn into the IRB by his cousin Con Colbert in 1908. He helped to establish a branch of the Irish Volunteers in Killadysert, Co. Clare in 1914, and took part in military exercises on Easter Sunday, 1916, but did not participate in any fighting during the Easter Rising. He was nevertheless arrested and deported to Lewes prison before being transferred to Frongoch prison camp, where he stayed until July 1916. He helped to reorganise the Volunteers in Clare upon his release and assisted in the by-election campaign of Éamon de Valera in 1917. He was subsequently arrested in August and placed in Mountjoy and Dundalk prisons, taking part in two hunger strikes before his release in December. After a further period of imprisonment in 1918, O’Connell was elected Commandant of the IRA’s West Clare Brigade in 1919, a position he held until May 1920. He was again arrested in November 1920 and interned in Ballykinlar camp until the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921.


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