Along with Bulmer Hobson and Denis McCullough, Sean McGarry was a central figure in the revival of the IRB in the early years of the 20th Century. He was made aware of the plans for a rebellion at an early stage, and joined the Irish Volunteers upon their formation. He was stationed in the GPO during the Easter Rising, serving as aide-de-camp for Thomas Clarke. He accompanied Clarke in the early stages of the occupation, and was amongst the last to leave the GPO, assisting Michael (The) O’Rahilly in ensuring that the building was cleared. Originally sentenced to death, his punishment was reduced and he was interned until June 1917. He joined the supreme council of the IRB upon his release, and became its president upon the death of Thomas Ashe. He was arrested and interned from May 1918 until February of the following year, when he escaped from Lincoln prison alongside Éamon de Valera and Sean Milroy. He served as a captain in the Dublin Brigade of the IRA during the War of Independence and in 1921 was elected to the Dáil as a representative of Mid Dublin. McGarry supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and fought with government forces upon the outbreak of the Civil War in June 1922. He continued to sit in the Dáil until December 1924, when he resigned in protest against the government’s handling of the army mutiny earlier in the year.
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