Diarmuid Lynch: A Forgotten Irish Patriot, by Eileen McGough

Diarmuid Lynch: A Forgotten Irish Patriot, by Eileen McGough

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The untold story of Diarmuid Lynch one of the key architects of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising and the last man to leave the GPO as the rebels retreated.

On Saturday night 22 April 1916, a tense meeting in Dublin went on into the small hours to decide whether or not the rising would go ahead. Present at that meeting were Padraig Pearse, Tomas MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett and Sean MacDiarmada. The fifth man present, Diarmuid Lynch, was the only one alive 2 weeks later.

Initially sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to ten years penal servitude because he was an American citizen. However, he was released on 16 June 1917. Immediately he became active again and, along with Michael Collins and Thomas Ashe, participated in the re-organisation of the IRB.

After the 1917 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, Lynch, like Collins, held three senior posts: in the IRB, Sinn Fein and the Irish volunteers. He was again arrested and deported to America in 1918. He was elected, although still in the US, as a TD for the constituency of Cork South-East in the 1918 elections. 

Lynch did not take part in the Civil War, but made several unsuccessful attempts to prevent it.