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'the irish-american connection'

It may well be assumed by many that Irish America played little or no role in the lead up to the 1916 rebellion in Dublin. The reality however, was quite different. Through Clan na Gael, an Irish Republican organization which emerged out of the 19th Century Fenian Brotherhood, much of the finance for the insurrection was provided. Their financial support was critical and it is believed that they were the single biggest financier of the Rising, their money paying for much of the guns and ammunition used. 

Éamon de Valera on a fundraising tour of America, 1919

In the aftermath of the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War, some of those who had participated in 1916 left Ireland for North America and disappeared from history. Little is known of what happened to many of these brave men and women, and in some cases it is probable their descendants are blissfully unaware of their involvement in what many believe is the most important event in Ireland's history.

'Stories from 1916' will provide a platform for relatives to both explore more fully the role of their antecedents and through their life experience allow us to take the story of the heroic men and women beyond that Easter Week almost 100 years ago. We aim to seek out as many of these Irish American connections as possible and help them to tell the story of their family's involvement in the 1916 Easter Rising.

The funeral of New York Fenian leader John Devoy, 1928

'The trans-atlantic Courier'

In this 'Stories from 1916' Podcast, we look at the little-known tale of Tommy O'Connor, the IRB Trans-Atlantic courier during Ireland's revolutionary period. Tommy's grandson Tommy Vogt reads extracts from his grandfather's amazing account of his time spent bringing hugely important coded messages and vast sums of money between Clan na Gael in the U.S. and the rebel leaders in Ireland.


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Click on the images below to hear more stories of the Irish-American Connection to the 1916 Rising


Find out more about the 'Stories from 1916' project and how it came about.

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