Born Augustine Mary Moore Stack in Tralee, Co. Kerry, Austin Stack worked as a legal clerk and income-tax collector in his native county. He co-founded the Tralee Mitchels GAA club and played on the Kerry Gaelic football team between 1902 and 1908. He was also a member of the Gaelic League and the IRB, and in 1913 helped to establish the Irish Volunteers in Tralee. He was charged with collecting German arms and explosives from the Aud in advance of the Easter Rising, but the episode ended in disaster and the ship was scuttled. Stack was quickly arrested and interned in Britain until June 1917. He re-involved himself in the republican movement upon his release, but spent a large proportion of the subsequent years in prison. His participation in hunger strikes whilst incarcerated added to his prominence and he was elected as a Sinn Féin MP for Kerry West in December 1918. He served as minister for home affairs in the Dáil between 1919 and 1922, helping to establish republican courts throughout the country. He rejected the Anglo-Irish Treaty and served as director of finance for the IRA during the Civil War. He remained with Sinn Féin upon the establishment of Fianna Fáil and held his Dáil seat until 1927.
Witness Statements of Una Stack, including accounts of her husband’s activities:
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