Tuesday 18 June 2019

Hoard of IRA papers, photos & maps discovered in attic

A 100-year-old archive of IRA material, including photos, maps and medals as well as documents recording the names and secret activities of republican volunteers in Co. Clare during the Revolutionary Period, has been found in a Kilrush attic.

The collection was discovered in suitcases during the clearance of a house once owned by Joe Barrett, a former IRA commander who died in 1971 and had run an auctioneering business in the town.

Among the papers, which number about 2,500 items and date from 1916-1924, are the names of men and women in each volunteer brigade under Barrett's command, orders and instructions from IRA HQ relating to code reading, and lists of individuals to be targetted in reprisal for any executions of IRA prisoners. There are also handwritten notes from the volunteers documenting their activities.

Kilrush & District Historical Society was involved in the removal of the collection, which is to be donated to a public library for future digitisation and online accessibility.

For more information about the collection and its historical value, see RTE's video, here.