James Loughlin joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914 and served as a section commander in the Oranmore Company of the Loughrea Battalion in the Galway Brigade. He participated in a number of activities in Galway during the Easter Rising, including the attempt to blow up a bridge in Oranmore and battles with the police in Moyode and Rahard. He was interned until June 1917, serving time in Dartmoor, Lewes and Pentonville prisons. Loughlin rejoined the Irish Volunteers upon his release and remained active throughout the subsequent years.
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