Collection no. IE KAS Q005. Introduction by Ann Tierney, 2021.

This collection of 86 carbon-copy type-written letters and statements details ill-treatment to individuals and damage to property by ‘Crown Forces’ during the War of Independence 1920-1921. The letters give a graphic picture of the hardships faced by families. They were written to the American Committee for Relief in Ireland (ACRI) in response to a request for details of losses suffered during the war. The letters are from recipients of relief in counties Cavan, Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath and Wexford.

Background

In January 1921, the American Committee for Relief in Ireland (ACRI) was set up to raise funds in America for the relief of distress arising from the War of Independence. Representatives of ACRI, led by Clemens J France (1877-1959) of Rhode Island, United States, made an inspection tour of Ireland in February and March 1921 visiting villages and towns that had suffered damage, mostly to private property. Simultaneously in the US, a national ACRI committee began an intensive fundraising campaign. It won support from the president, state governors, bishops, and other signatories. An organisation was established in each of the 48 states. Over 5 million dollars was raised. Recognising that the most efficient means of distributing relief was through an organisation based in Ireland, the monies raised were remitted to Ireland for distribution by the Irish White Cross (IWC), a nominally independent body set up under the management of the Quaker businessman, James Douglas, though largely funded by ACRI.

Whilst ACRI tried to remain non-political, concerns were expressed that it was exploited by the IWC which was dominated by individuals with links to Sinn Féin, including Michael Collins. British authorities at ambassadorial level made representations to the American government regarding political interference. As a possible result, in late 1921, ACRI’s policy of direct relief to individuals was abandoned in favour of support for Irish job creation, and the Irish White Cross was essentially wound down after 1922.

The appeal issued by the ACRI Committee to the American public was printed on the front page of The Kilkenny Journal on 12 February 1921

The documents are among the extensive collections of Kilkenny Archaeological Society’s Library and Archive. The ACRI collection was acquired by the KAS library in 1990 from Michael Buggy, Solicitors, Parliament Street, Kilkenny. A note in the file indicates it may have originated in the Buggy office at Clonmel, Co Tipperary. The documents can be examined in Kilkenny Archaeological Society’s library at Rothe House. Appointments may be made through the Honorary Librarian. Email: librariankas@gmail.com

The project in 2021 involved scanning, digitising, and transcribing the letters. A searchable table was created to provide an overview of the content of the letters. This project was possible with the help of a grant provided by Kilkenny County Council and the Decade of Centenaries fund of the Dept of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, for which KAS is very grateful.

Each column in the table is sortable. You can open a scan of the original copy of the letter or a transcript by clicking on the links. A spreadsheet with more information about each letter is available for download here.

No.digital copy of original lettertranscript linkTypeDocument dateAddresseeName of WriterAddressCountyDate of Incident
1open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JO'Donoghue, PatrickRathmoreKerry1921.05.05
2open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.05-O'Sullivan, JohnDrimoleagueCork1920.09.29
3open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.21-O'Sullivan, JohnMiltown MalbayClare1921.04.05
4open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.14France, C JWalsh, MichaelGaggin, BandonCork1921.05.24
5open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.18France, C JWalsh, J RChurch Street, ListowelKerry1921.04.27
6open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.24Kennedy, HenryWalsh, PatrickLahinchClare-
7open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.20France, C JWalsh, John TDroumroe, FarranforeKerry1921.05.09
8open pdf
open pdfLetter1922.01.12France, C JDaly, Danl.Bartliney, FermoyCork1920.12.00
9open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.06France, C JDriscoll, EllenMuccross, ClonakiltyCork1921.03.00
10open pdfopen pdfStatement--Sharkey, P AStrokestownRoscommon
11open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.18France, C JLeahen, JohnLyre, MiltownKerry1920.11.01
12open pdfopen pdfLetter-France, C JDoherty, EllenBarnaleen, MonardTipperary1920.12.31
13open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.18France, C JTerry, KateAbbeyside, DungarvanWaterford1921.04.13
14open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.01sicFrance, C JVaughan, MRockroad House, MullinahoneTipperary1921.04.08
15open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JWanslow, ThomasCoosan, AthloneWestmeath1921.06.00
16open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.18France, C JWalsh, Michael JCurrananty, BallymoteSligo1920.09.22
17open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.02.19France, C JTuohy, PatrickDromore, FeakleClare1920.10.24-29
18open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.12France, C JWhelan, MichaelAbbeydorneyKerry1921.02.09
19open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JDuffy, PatrickBallymoteSligo1920.11.04
20open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.10Quinn, BridgetKinvaraGalway1921.02.11
21open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JGilmartin, WilliamCreevykeel, CliffoneySligo1920.10.20
22open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.25Harkin, MichaelEdenveva [Cliffoney]Sligo1920.10.28
23open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.07France, C JHanover, JohannaAnnabella Terrace, MallowCork1920.09.29
24open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JHoulihan, JamesBenmore, BallyduffKerry1920.11.01
25open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.18France, C JHoward, Michael36 Watercourse Road, CorkCork1920.11.23
25aopen pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JHoward, Michael36 Watercourse Road, CorkCork
26open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.24France, C JHegarty, Jerh.Main Street, KilgarvanKerry
27open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.20France, C JHayes, PatrickClonyconry, BroadfordClare1921.01.20
28open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.21France, C JMcHale/Hales, LiamKnockracurra, Ballinadee, BandonCork1921.03.04
29open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.17Tourmakeady Co-operative StoresTourmakeady, BallinrobeMayo1921.05.03
30open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.19France, C JFinigan, JohnAughnacliffe, MolbyLongford
31open pdfopen pdfLetterFarrell, JamesWell Street, BallylongfordKerry1921.02.23
32open pdfopen pdfLetterFenix/Feenix, EllenCausewayKerry1920.11.00
33open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.17France, C JFitzgerald, PatrickKnockcrockeryRoscommon1921.06.21
34open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.23France, C JFlannery, DenisCoolborbeen, NewportTipperary1921.05.17
35open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.02.10France, C JBourke, PElectric Saw Mills & Joinery Works, Denmark Street, LimerickLimerick1921.04.10
36open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JFahey, Mrs BridgetAbbeyside, DungarvanWaterford1921.04.14
37open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JFlynn, FrankTarmon, CastlereaRoscommon1920.10.02
38open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JForde, PatrickBalrobuckmore, CorrondullaGalway1921.01.20
39open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.11France, C JForde, DenisBallymurphy, UptonCork1921.03.19
40open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.10France, C KGeraghty, BridgetClooncaliga, MoyloughGalway1921.06.05
41open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.20France, C JGuilfoyle, JamesClifdenGalway1921.03.17
42open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.02.02France, C JGilligan, JohnRossroe, SixmilebridgeClare1921.01.21
43open pdfopen pdfStatement1921.08.06Irish White CrossMoran, Mrs BrigidChurch Street, EnniscorthyWexford
44open pdfopen pdfStatement1921.08.05Irish White CrossMurphy, MrsCloneybyrne, Nr. EnniscorthyWexford1921.02.15
45open pdfopen pdfStatement1921.08.27Irish White CrossLeary, JohnBallyhandle, UptonCork
46open pdfopen pdfStatementIrish White CrossDwyer, WilliamKielroe, Eyeries, CastletownbereCork
47open pdfopen pdfStatement1921.08.12Irish White CrossMeagher, MrsNewtown, Derrycastle, KillaloeClare1921.01.20
48open pdfopen pdfStatement1921.08.12Irish White CrossMeara, ThomasDerrycastle, KillaloeClare
49open pdfopen pdfStatementIrish White CrossLarkin, MichaelLeitrim, O'Brien's BridgeClare1921.01.20
50open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.14France, C JHynes, JamesLymnaugh, HeadfordGalway1921.01.20
51open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.11Sullivan, JamesDrimoleagueCork1920.09.29
51open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.11Sullivan, JamesDrimoleagueCork1921.06.00
52open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JMoore, PatrickCoosan, AthloneWestmeath1921.06.00
53open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.20France, C JCarey, EdmundMain Street, MidletonCork1921.01.01
54open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.17France, C JDorgan, WilliamBallinaboutra, CarrigtwohillCork1921.01.01
55open pdfopen pdfLetterACRICusack, JohnBallingard, BallynacallyClare1921.06.02
56open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.25Dillon, JohnAhaclare, BroadfordClare1921.01.20
57open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.24France, C JRyan, JamesBridge Street, StrokestownRoscommon
58open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.09France, C JRedmond, Ellen MMullinahoneTipperary
59open pdfopen pdfLetterO'Sullivan, Eugene FInchintaglin, Adrigole, BantryCork1921.05.25
60open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C J O'Connor, HonoriaCamp, CastleislandKerry1921.04.24
61open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C J O'Donoghue, Denis MKillarney Road, CastleislandKerry1921.04.00
62aopen pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C J Ryan, ThomasLimerick Street, CappawhiteTipperary1920.10.00
62bopen pdfRyan, ThomasLimerick Street, CappawhiteTipperary1921.05.16
62copen pdfRyan, ThomasLimerick Street, CappawhiteTipperary1921.01.17
63open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.02.09France, C JRoche, Mary AnneMain Street, Miltown-MalbayClare1920.09.22
64open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JCunnane, PatrickKennyborough, BallintubberRoscommon1921.05.10
65open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JMcCauby/ McCauley, Mrs CatherineMain Street, SwanlinbarCavan1920.12.17
66open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.24France, C JMoriarty, EugeneAbbeydorneyKerry1921.02.09
67open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.17France, C JMoran, PatrickMulrannyMayo1921.06.22
68open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.30France, C JMcNamara, JohnKnockatoreen, KilkishenClare1921.01.20
69open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.20Murray, M JDrumcollogherLimerick1921.05.24
70open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.13France, C JReynolds, PeterBallukilclin, Rooskey, DromodRoscommon1920.11.26
71open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JO'Leary, JohnBallyhandle, UptonCork1921.04.08
72open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.02.25France, C JMaher, WilliamDerry Castle, KillaloeClare1921.01.20
73open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.14France, C JMurphy TimothyMeelin, NewmarketCork1921.01.05
74open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.00ACRIO'Sullivan, JeromeCoolagh, BallydehobCork1921.05.25
75open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16Mulcahy, EdmondCoolagarranroeCork1921.05.13
76open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.10France, C JMartin, Mrs Una25 Patrick Street, CorkCork1920.12.10
77open pdfopen pdfLetterFrance, C JMoloney, TomP O, FeakleClare1920.10.08
78open pdfopen pdfLetterMcKnickans, John Knickans, Cloonminda, CastlreaGalway1921.05.19
79open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.22France, C JMeara, Jerry DLisheenacanninaKerry1920.11.10
80open pdfopen pdfLetterMoran, WilliamChurch Street, EnniscorthyWexford1920.10.00
81open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.10France, C JMurphy, DenisChurch Street, ListowelKerry1921.04.27
82open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.18France, C JMurphy, HumphryBallybeg, Killeenterna, FarranforeKerry1921.05.00
83open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.16France, C JMoynihan, Tim TOld Road House, RathmoreKerry1921.05.02
84open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.23France, C JNagle, GarrettRathmoreKerry1921.05.15
85open pdfopen pdfLetterMurray, MaryMaulregan, RosscarberyCork1921.04.00
86open pdfopen pdfLetter1922.01.13France, C JCaplis, ThomasCoonmore, Rear Cross, NewportTipperary1921.01.00

Further Reading

  • National Archives of Ireland, Irish White Cross: list of advances on security of compensation claims, 1922-1926, FIN/1/655.
  • National Library of Ireland, Senator James G Douglas papers 1898-c1979, MS 49,581.
  • Francis M Carroll, The American Committee for Relief in Ireland, 1920-22, Irish Historical Studies, vol 23, no 89, May 1982, pp 30-49
  • Edward J Law, The enterprises of the Sharkey sisters, Strokestown, and their persecution during the War of Independence, Local History Review, no 18, 2013, pp 92-99.
  • Edward J Law, Harrassment and murder in the War of Independence: the Moran family’s business in Enniscorthy, Journal of the Wexford Historical Society, no 24, 2013, pp 13-20