Help find the lost Volunteers of the Easter Rising.
Liam Parr, Larry Ryan, Gilbert Lynch and Redmond Cox were the Volunteers we know about who travelled from the Manchester area to take part in the Easter Rising. The picture is of Liam Parr, my wife’s cousin. The sporran is part of the uniform of the James Connolly Pipe Band of which he was a member.
These Volunteers spent much of their lives on the run or in hiding so they knew they could not talk openly about their activities, particularly while they were in England. Liam Parr felt so at risk that he did not even feel safe going to a doctor until the weeks immediately before his death. This secrecy has led to their stories being forgotten; even in Manchester, where they all had families. The knowledge of their involvement in the Rising had been completely lost..
Newly available documents mean that the story can now be told and the book (called Hidden Heroes of Easter week- memories of Volunteers from England who fought in the Easter Rising) is due to be published in November. I hope it will bring to light new information. As the Irish community has been spread around the globe, the relatives and friends of the Manchester Volunteers could be anywhere on the planet. Someone reading this could be the person who can fill in the missing piece of the puzzle. Perhaps you have heard a story which always seemed so far-fetched that you’ve never believed it .For many years I felt like this about Liam Parr, particularly as all the histories said that no one from Manchester even knew about the Rising until it was all over. Yet newly released documents prove that the family rumours were largely accurate while the published histories were shown to need rewriting.
There is also a real mystery man called O’Dwyer. The leader of the republicans in Manchester during the War of Independence, Paddy O’Donoghue, included on his list of Manchester Volunteers ‘O’Dwyer of Brook Street, formerly of Tipperary.’ I have found no other mention of anyone with a similar name taking part in 1916 and having links with Manchester. it may be that O’Donoghue made a mistake, or perhaps there was another Volunteer who has, so far, eluded us. Can anyone help?
Please tell me if you know anything about these men so we can share our knowledge.