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Harry Boland

Biography

  1. Harry Boland

Henry James (“Harry”) Boland was born in Dublin in 1887, following his parents’ relocation to the city from Manchester earlier in the decade. Harry was a keen participant in the GAA and represented Dublin in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final of 1909. Boland, along with his brothers Gerald and Edmund, was also a member of the IRB and was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers. During Easter Week he was stationed at Goulding’s Manure Works and later Gibney’s Wine Merchants, before finally relocating to the GPO on Wednesday. He was one of the last people to leave the rebels’ headquarters, having assisted Diarmuid Lynch in disabling explosives in the basement. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, serving time in Mountjoy, Dartmoor, Lewes, and Maidstone prisons. He rose to prominence during his imprisonment and, following his release, became a central figure in the republican movement. He sat on the Sinn Féin executive and became president of the IRB in 1918. He was a key strategist in Sinn Féin’s successful election campaign in of 1918, himself winning the Roscommon South seat for the party. He was firm friends with Michael Collins, with whom he collaborated to help Éamon de Valera escape from Lincoln jail in February 1919. He later accompanied de Valera during his trip to America and became a leading figure of the anti-Treaty side during the Civil War. He was shot during an ambush by government forces on the Grand Hotel in Skerries, Co. Dublin, and died from his wounds a day later on 1st August, 1922.


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