Éamon de Valera Papers - UCD Digital Library

Éamon de Valera Papers : British documents relating to 1916

Abstract A collection of British documents and letters relating to 1916 which form a file within the Papers of Éamon de Valera. The documents include intelligence reports, despatches, and correspondence between Irish Command, Home Forces, the War Office, M.I.5.G., and the Royal Irish Constabulary. The documents cover the immediate aftermath of the 1916 Rising, the executions of the leaders, and the general political situation in Ireland at the time.

Is part of Papers of Éamon De Valera

Related item Papers of Kathleen O'Connell

Miscellaneous Documents
c. 133 items
Type of resource
UCD Archives
Repository reference
Biographical/historical information
Born in New York but brought up in Limerick, de Valera studied mathematics at the Royal University. In 1908 he joined the Gaelic League and remained dedicated to the Irish language. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and during the rebellion of 1916 commanded the 3rd Battalion at Boland's Mill. Sentenced to death, de Valera was reprieved partly because of his American birth.
On his release from prison in 1917, de Valera was elected MP for East Clare and became president of both Sinn Féin and the Irish Volunteers. In 1918 he and other Sinn Féin leaders were arrested for complicity in an alleged German plot. He escaped from Lincoln jail in February 1919 and was elected president of the first Dáil. In June 1919 he went to America and raised over $5 million for the republican cause but failed to obtain American recognition for the republic. His visit also led to a bitter power struggle with the leaders of the Irish-American movement, John Devoy and Judge Cohalan.
After his return from America in December 1920, de Valera's relationship with Michael Collins, who had effectively masterminded the IRA campaign in his absence, came under strain as differences emerged over the conduct of the Anglo-Irish War. These were accentuated when de Valera decided not to lead the Irish delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish treaty. There have been two opposing interpretations of this decision. The more hostile view is that he allowed Collins to take the responsibility for what he knew would be a partial surrender. His own explanation was that by staying in Dublin he could better preserve national unity and ensure general acceptance of any agreement reached.
De Valera rejected the Anglo-Irish treaty and resigned as president following its acceptance by the Dáil. In the run-up to the Civil War, he found himself sidelined by more hard-line opponents of the treaty, who distrusted his alternative of external association, while attracting fierce criticism from pro-treaty supporters for his inflammatory speeches. After civil war broke out in June 1922, his attempts to maintain a republican political organisation were rebuffed by the republican military leaders, particularly Liam Lynch. Lynch's death enabled de Valera to reassert some control and in May 1923 the war ended. in August 1923 he was arrested and spent a year in jail.
After his release, de Valera became increasingly dissatisfied with Sinn Féin's political abstention and in 1926 he formed a new party, Fianna Fáil. In 1927 he reluctantly took the oath of allegiance and entered the Free State Dáil. He spent much of the next five years building up the party organisation to a formidable machine and establishing a newspaper, the Irish Press.
Fianna Fáil's election victory in 1932 marked the beginning of sixteen years in power during which de Valera was both prime minister and Minister for external affairs. Policies of promoting small-scale tillage farming and industrial development behind high tariff walls, reinforced by the Economic War, reflected the traditional nationalist goal of economic self-sufficiency. On the political front, de Valera saw off the threat from both the Blueshirts and the IRA and in 1937 his new constitution was enacted. In foreign affairs de Valera achieved some notable successes. The Economic War was concluded in 1938 on very favourable terms and at the League of Nations de Valera was president of both the council and the assembly.
During the Second World War Irish neutrality caused friction with the allies but had overwhelming popular support. After the war, the economy and emigration were serious problems. During 1948–51 and 1954–7 Fianna Fáil lost power to interparty governments. Fianna Fáil won the 1957 election with a big majority and in the last two years of de Valera's political career the First Programme for Economic Expansion was implemented. In 1959 he resigned as Taoiseach and ensured the succession for Lemass. He served two terms as president 1959–73. (Biographical history courtesy of Dr Deirdre McMahon, University of Limerick)
Ownership/custodial history
Mr de Valera bequeathed all of his personal non-family papers to the Order of Friars Minor five years before his death. The collection was housed in the Franciscan Library Killiney, County Dublin before its transfer to UCDA in July 1997 under the terms of the OFM-UCD Partnership.
Scope and content
This collection consists of a file of British documents and letters relating to 1916 from the Papers of Éamon de Valera. The file has a note on the cover ‘Important British Documents & Letters, 1916. (Given to President de Valera) (This is to be given to the Franciscans at Killiney to be put with Éamon de Valera’s documents)’. Consists of intelligence reports and despatches between Irish Command [i.e. successive Commanders-in-Chief of British Forces in Ireland: Major-General L.B. Friend, (Lieutenant)-General Sir John Maxwell and (Lieutenant)-General Sir Bryan Mahon] or their various officers; the Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces and his staff; the War Office; M.I.5.G. and the Royal Irish Constabulary.
Organisation/arrangement note
This represents a single file within the wider Papers of Éamon de Valera.
Ireland–History–Easter Rising, 1916
De Valera, Éamon, 1882-1975–Archives
Suggested credit
"Éamon de Valera Papers : British documents relating to 1916," held by UCD Archives. © Various copyright holders - see individual records. Digital content by University College Dublin, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <http://digital.ucd.ie/view/ucdlib:53984>

Related item
Press Photographs of Eamon de Valera (1882–1975).
Is part of
UCD Archives. Papers of Éamon De Valera. Dublin, Ireland : UCD Archives (1882-1985)
Related item
UCD Archives. Papers of Kathleen O'Connell. Dublin, Ireland : UCD Archives (1888–1956)

Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin, based on information provided by UCD Archives. Additional contextual information provided by Deirdre McMahon. Initial EAD derived from MODS record.19 April 2016

Finding aid author
Hewson, Helen (Archivist). Manning, Kate, 1969-
1. Cover [View...]
2. The Director of Military Intelligence writing to the Under Secretary for Ireland [View...]
3. Intelligence report about an armed rising in Ireland [View...]
4. Intelligence report on the state of Ireland from Headquarters, Irish Command to Lieutenant Colonel V.G. Kell, M.I.5.G.  [View...]
5. Reports by Major General L. B. Friend on the progress of the rebellion [View...]
6. Document appointing Lieutenant General Sir John Maxwell Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in Ireland [View...]
7. Communications relating to the appointment of General Maxwell [View...]
8. Proclamation No. 1 [View...]
9. Henry A. Blake writing to the Lord Lieutenant [View...]
10. Lord Wimborne writing to General Maxwell [View...]
11. Field Marshal Viscount French writing to General Maxwell about his talks with Sir Edward Carson and John Redmond [View...]
12. Notes [View...]
13. R. Hutchison writing to the GOC, 59th Division [View...]
14. Major General Shaw writing to General Maxwell about his appointments as GOC the Forces in Ireland [View...]
15. The War Office writing to Viscount French about Maxwell's appointment  [View...]
16. Notes concerning Pearse's conditions for surrender [View...]
17. General Maxwell writing to Lord French about the situation in Dublin and the surrender of the rebels [View...]
18. Lord French writing to General Maxwell [View...]
19. Scheme for further operations to cope with the rebellion in the Dublin District Area [View...]
20. Instructions for taking the surrender [View...]
21. Despatch from Colonel G.A. French to the General Officer Commander-in-Chief about a peace deputation [View...]
22. R. Hutchison writing to GOC Dublin and OC 59th Division concerning troop movements. [View...]
23. Maxwell writing to Lord French concerning casualties [View...]
24. Secret communications between General Maxwell, Major General Friend, the War Office and General Headquarters, Home Forces [View...]
25. French writing to Maxwell about the suppression of the insurrection [View...]
26. Viscount Wimborne writing to Maxwell about the suppression of the insurrection [View...]
27. Viscount Wimborne writing privately to Maxwell about the suppression of the insurrection [View...]
28. Robert John Lynn writing to Maxwell [View...]
29. Report by General Maxwell to Lord Kitchener on military action following the surrender [View...]
30. Telegram from French to Maxwell [View...]
31. Lord French writing to General Maxwell referring to the executions of Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh [View...]
32. Lord Lieutenant Viscount Wimborne writing to General Maxwell about martial law in Ireland [View...]
33. Note from Brigadier-General, General Staff, Irish Command to HQ, Irish Command [View...]
34. General Maxwell writing to Lord French referring to Eoin MacNeill [View...]
35. Communication from Frank Hall, M.I.5 to Brigadier-General R. Hutchison marked 'Secret and Personal' [View...]
36. Wimborne writing to Maxwell about a message from the Prime Minister [View...]
37. Basil Blackwood writing to Maxwell about Sir Henry Blake [View...]
38. Basil Blackwood writing to Maxwell enclosing a telegram from the Stephen Quinn, Mayor of Limerick [View...]
39. Rough preliminary draft of a proclamation under martial law [View...]
40. Report from Belfast concerning the terms of the surrender of arms [View...]
41. John Dillon writing to General Maxwell protesting about the executions [View...]
42. Maxwell writing to Robertson about Hutchison [View...]
43. Cipher messages between the Prime Minister and Dublin about the executions [View...]
44. Communiqué [View...]
45. Maxwell writing to French attaching a dispatch from Robertson [View...]
46. Neville Chamberlain writing to Maxwell about meetings of Sinn Feiners [View...]
47. Cipher messages between the Prime Minister and Dublin about the executions  [View...]
48. Head Quarters, Irish Command writing to Neville Chamberlain about meetings of Sinn Feiners [View...]
49. Cipher message between the Prime Minister and Dublin about the arrests of Sinn Feiners [View...]
50. Whigham writing to French [View...]
51. Frank Hall writing to Maxwell [View...]
52. French writing to Maxwell [View...]
53. French writing to Maxwell discussing Maxwell's position in Ireland [View...]
54. Despatch from Maxwell to Lord Kitchener concerning Francis Sheehy-Skeffington [View...]
55. R. Whigham writing to Maxwell about Hutchison [View...]
56. Maxwell writing to Asquith about the death of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington [View...]
57. Lord French writing to General Maxwell about Maxwell's actions [View...]
58. Hutchison writing to the Editor of the Freeman's Journal about its reporting [View...]
59. Follow up note from Hall to Maxwell [View...]
60. Extract from a report concerning the response Belfast from the U.V.F. [View...]
61. Report on the Sinn Fein Rebellion and the present state of S.F. movement [View...]
62. Maxwell writing to French reflecting on the Sheehy-Skeffington case and other incidents [View...]
63. Maurice Bonham Carter writing to Hutchison about an interview with a journalist [View...]
64. Special Branch communications relating a letter for Eoin MacNeill sent to Mrs. A.S. Green [View...]
65. Despatch from General Maxwell to Maurice Bonham Carter [View...]
66. Paraphrase copies of cipher messages from Maxwell to Kitchener concerning the North King Street massacre [View...]
67. Paraphrase copies of cipher messages between the War Office and General Maxwell concerning Mrs. Pearse [View...]
68. French writing to Maxwell about his visit to Dublin [View...]
69. War Office writing to Maxwell about Byrne [View...]
70. French writing to Maxwell about the 10th Commercial Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers [View...]
71. Correspondence between R. H. Brade and Field Marshal Viscount French [View...]
72. Shaw writing to Maxwell enclosing an amended proof of the Irish despatches [View...]
73. Maxwell writing to Asquith concerning Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick [View...]
74. Drafts of a statement by General Maxwell to the Associated Press [View...]
75. Note from French to Maxwell [View...]
76. Correspondence and reports relating to telephones in R.I.C. barracks [View...]
77. Points suggested for discussion [View...]
78. Maxwell writing to the Chief Secretary concerning the extension of police telephone system in Ireland [View...]
79. Edward Troupe writing to Maxwell [View...]
80. Correspondence between Maxwell and H. E. Duke concerning Major Price [View...]
81. Memorandum by J. Byrne to Royal Irish Constabulary inspectors [View...]
82. Despatches between Major General Sir F. Shaw and Brigadier General Sir Bryan T. Mahon [View...]
83. Memorandum concerning present and future relations of Great Britain and Ireland in the Empire [View...]
84. Telegrams relating to General Hutchison [View...]
85. Paraphrase copies of cipher messages from the War Office to Irish Command about General Hutchison [View...]
86. Letter to Sir Brian T. Mahon about Hutchison [View...]
87. Notes on conference held at Headquarters, Irish Command, Parkgate, on November, 6th, 1917 [View...]
88. Major General R. Hutchinson writing to H.E. Duke about the situation in Ireland [View...]

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