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Liam Ó Briain


After receiving his university education in Dublin and Berlin, Liam Ó Briain returned to Ireland in 1914 where he joined F Company in the 1st Dublin Battalion of the Irish Volunteers and was later sworn into the IRB. In the days before the Easter Rising he helped to print the Proclamation of the Irish Republic in Liberty Hall, but was then dispatched by Eoin MacNeill to Westmeath and Offaly with countermanding orders calling off the insurrection. He subsequently returned to Dublin and spent Easter week with the Irish Citizen Army in St Stephen’s Green and the Royal College of Surgeons. He served time in Wandsworth prison and Frongoch internment camp following the Rising, and was released in December 1916. The following year he was appointed Professor of Romance Languages at University College Galway (UCG). While based in Galway he served as a judge in the republican courts, and also went on arms-smuggling excursions to Italy and France, but was arrested in by the Black and Tans in 1920 and went on to spend 13 months in prison. He then resumed his position in UCG, serving for a period as Dean of Arts, until his retirement in 1959. He remained active in culture and the arts for the rest of his life.


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