Kilmainham Gaol text Collection title

Piaras Béaslaí

Biography

Born to Irish parents in Liverpool, Piaras Béaslaí moved to Dublin in 1906 to pursue a career in journalism. He wrote columns, articles and reviews for the Evening Telegraph and the Freeman’s Journal, amongst other publications. A committed Irish language activist, he founded the Fáinne movement in February 1916. By that stage, he was also an active member of the IRB and Irish Volunteers. He was on the Executive of the latter organisation, also holding the position of deputy commanding officer of the 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade. During Easter Week, he was based at “Reilly’s Fort”, on the corner of North King Street and Church Street and was also involved in transporting bombs and ammunition to the Four Courts. Following the Rising, he served time in Portland and Lewes prisons, and was subsequently elected as a Sinn Féin MP for Kerry East in 1918. He worked as publicity officer for the Dáil and as editor of An tÓglach during the War of Independence, twice escaping prison over the course of the conflict. He supported the implementation of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and served as the chief press censor for the Free State Army during the Civil War. Béaslaí left politics in 1923, turning his attention to writing. In addition to articles, poems, plays and short stories, he completed the official biography of Michael Collins in 1926. He remained active in the Irish language movement for the rest of his life.

 

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