Kilmainham Gaol text Collection title

Diarmuid Lynch

Biography

Born in Cork in 1878, Diarmuid Lynch emigrated to New York in 1896, where he joined a variety of Irish associations, including the Philo-Celtic Society and Gaelic League. He played leading roles in both organisations before returning to Ireland and joining the IRB in 1908. He served as Munster representative on the Supreme Council and helped to raise funds in America and organise gun smuggling activities. Lynch was stationed at the GPO during the Easter Rising, serving as aide-de-camp for James Connolly and undertaking a number of other tasks. He was detained in Kilmainham Gaol, where, as he later recalled, “a warder unceremoniously cuffed and pushed a couple of our men through the doorway. My protest against such treatment of “prisoners of War” was answered by a baton on the jaw.” Initially sentenced to death, his punishment was reduced to 10 years of penal servitude and he was placed in Pentonville and Lewes prisons. He resumed his position on the Supreme Council of the IRB upon his release, but was soon re-arrested and deported to America. In the same year, and in spite of his absence, Lynch was elected as a Sinn Féin MP, although he resigned his post two years later as a result of a dispute between Éamon de Valera and the Friends of Irish Freedom, the American society of which he was secretary. He operated an insurance business in New York before returning to Ireland in 1932, eventually settling in his home place of Tracton, Co. Cork.

 

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