IRA Financial Statements and Account, 1922 -25
[Mac Bride (Sean)] Two ring binders containing detailed IRA internal accounts covering the period from March 1922 to November 1925, well over one hundred documents containing some 500 pages, many of the documents signed by Sean Mc Bride, who was the IRA’s Director of Finance for part of the period. Viewing itself as a Government as well as an Army, the IRA was obsessively detailed in its internal accounts. These files contain full monthly accounts such as might be prepared for any business. To take just one example, the summary of accounts dated August 1924, in ledger form, shows monthly case income in various departments totalling £996; expenditure totalling £931, cash balances totalling £64; with comparisons with the previous month under various headings. The expenditure accounts distinguish between monthly and weekly allowances, special grants, travelling expenses, stationary, office rent, postage and telephones, etc., with notes of legal expenses, couriers, tram fares, etc., and even £1.15.0 for purchase of passports, the whole ledger apparently drafted in Sean Mc Bride’s hand and signed by him.
There are similar accounts for May, June, and July 1923; August – September – October 1924, December, January, February – March – April 1925. There are also monthly accounts for the Chief-of-Staff and some other departments, and some weekly accounts from 1923. The monthly account for January 1925 is signed by Sean Mc Bride, Director of Finance; Frank Aiken, Chief-of-Staff; and M. Colivet, Minister for Finance; that for November 1924 also has these three signatures. There are also detailed accounts for a publishing project “Leabhar na hAiseirghe,” Feb. – March 1925; and here and there through the file there are references to an episode where the IRA’s Director of Purchasing, who was a Dublin County Council rate-collector, apparently used some of the rates collected for IRA purchases. The IRA had to refund some £400 to the County Council to avoid his prosecution for embezzlement (see letters dated 4 February 1925, 11 Feb. 11925, 7.2.24 (green ink, filed with 1925 papers) etc. )
Some of this money was apparently spent in Germany, possibly on purchase of arms. there are also many detailed notes about particular grants and payments, amounts lost due to raids, expenses claimed, various disputed amounts and so on. As a collection manuscript material, w.a.f.
It appears that Sean Mc Bride became Director of Finance in early 1925 with a mandate to regularize the accounts, and some of the monthly statements previous to that appear to have been prepared by him retrospectively. There are also some documents in the first file prepared by Austin Stack (1922).
* A highly important Archive of documents. None of this detailed information has previously been in the public domain, and it opens an entirely new field for research. (1)