James Moran was attached to A Company in the Wexford Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. He fought in the Easter Rising in his native county, taking part in the attack on the Ferns RIC Barracks. Following the surrender, he was interned in Stafford Jail and Frongoch prison camp until December 1916. Moran rejoined the Volunteers and assisted in the making of munitions in the early stages of the War of Independence before moving to America in July 1919.
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