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The IRA in Britain, 1919-1923'In the Heart of Enemy Lines'$
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Gerard Noonan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380260

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380260.001.0001

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‘On a Solid Footing’

‘On a Solid Footing’

Organizing Republicanism in Britain, January 1919–July 1921

(p.33) Chapter 1 ‘On a Solid Footing’
The IRA in Britain, 1919-1923

Gerard Noonan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the means by which IRA companies, IRB circles, Cumann na mBan branches and Na Fianna Éireann troops were established and managed in Britain during the war of independence. The important people in the major centres of republican activity are introduced, including Art O’Brien in London, Neil Kerr and Paddy Daly in Liverpool, Paddy O’Donoghue in Manchester, Joe Vize in Glasgow, Richard Purcell in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and James Cunningham in Birmingham. The figures at IRA headquarters who interested themselves in the movement in Britain are introduced too, including Michael Collins, Rory O’Connor and Liam Mellows. The activities of associated political groups, such as Sinn Féin and the Irish Self-Determination League of Great Britain (ISDL), are studied. Membership figures are discussed, as are the type of people who joined republican organizations and their motivations. Relations between units in Britain and IRA headquarters in Dublin are explored. Problems like loose organization and bad leadership are noted.

Keywords:   Art O’Brien, Cumann na mBan, Irish Republican Army, Irish Self-Determination League of Great Britain, Irish War of Independence, Liam Mellows, Michael Collins, Na Fianna Éireann, Rory O’Connor, Sinn Féin

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