Tadhg Barry of Cork
A very good autograph signed letter, 2 pp (single sheet), dated 21.10.16, to the Cork nationalist and barrister Frank Healy, then in detention in Britain, concerning his candidacy in the West Cork by-election of 1916. Barry says that Healy has been mentioned as a Sinn Fein candidate, but William O’Brien has taken the wind out of their sails by nominating him (Healy) as a candidate for O’Brien’s All-For-Ireland League, ‘and now the trouble is that people are dead on the oath taking, and unless we have some guarantee from you [that he will not take the oath] you will have J.J. Walsh up as official Sinn Fein candidate. Personally I would prefer you to secure the seat. Your connection with I.A.A. [Irish American Alliance] and the fine way in which you fought the Kent & McSwiney cases hardly needed the Goverment recognition of your worth, and your refusal to take allegiance to your gaolors would now give you a place in history As the first Sinn Fein MP ..’
In the event Frank Healy contested the by-election for the All-For-Ireland League, and was narrowly defeated. He later supported Sinn Fein. The Irish American Alliance was a separatist faction of the Ancient order of Hibernians, of what Healy was Grand Master. Early in 1916 Healy represented Terence MacSwiney and Tomas Ceannt [Kent] at their trial for making seditious speeches; MacSwiney was fined one shilling.
Tadhg Barry, a leading Cork IRB member, Volunteer and Sinn Feiner, was shot dead by a sentry at Ballykinlar Detention Camp while an unarmed detainee in 1921.
Provenance: Family of the Cork barrister Frank Healy, by descent.