[HARRY BOLAND 1887-1922]
A lead bullet said to have been extracted from Harry Boland’s body at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin on 31 July 1922, after he was shot while attempting to escape arrest by Free State soldiers at a hotel in Skerries near Dublin early that morning.
With a signed letter of provenance from the vendors, explaining that the bullet was preserved in a sealed envelope at St. Vincent’s, until given by the Sisters to a supervisor at the hospital, Kitty Lowry (nee Harpur), formerly an active member of Cumann na mBan. The sealed envelope was seen with seal intact by a member of staff at Adams, but was recently torn open by a house-burglar, who apparently was disappointed by its contents. Our staff can certify that the envelope with its seal and contents was intact until recently. Also with a signed letter from the local Garda office confirming details of the burglary.
Harry Boland, an Easter Week veteran, was a close colleague and friend of Michael Collins, and a leading figure in the Volunteer reorganisation after the Easter Rising. At one time he and Collins were rivals for the affections of Kitty Kiernan. Boland was elected TD for Roscommon in the First Dail. He was sent to the United States in 1919 as Secretary to President De Valera. On his return he opposed the Treaty, but sought to heal the growing divisions in the Dail and the Volunteers, and was one of the architects of the so-called ‘Pact’. He was sleeping in a Skerries hotel on the night of 30/31 July when the hotel was surrounded by a Free State military party with an armoured car. Armed soldiers entered Boland’s room and called on him to surrender. In a confused situation, it seems he tried to escape and was shot and seriously wounded. He was later taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he died a few days later. It is alleged that he was taken first to a military barracks, and that there was a delay in securing medical treatment; this was denied by the authorities. There is evidence that Michael Collins was much grieved by his death.