14 boxes of IRA materials were discovered in the family home of former IRA commander Joe Barrett
An archive of Irish Republican Army [IRA] materials that are about a century old has been discovered in the family home of former IRA commander Joe Barrett in Kilrush, Co Clare.
According to RTE, 14 boxes containing more than 2,500 documents nearly wound up in the trash after the Barrett family home was recently sold.
The local Kilrush and District Historical Society discovered the materials after being contacted by a member of the public saying they were welcome to anything found in the house.
The trove of historical materials belonged to Joe Barrett, who was the commander of the Mid Clare Brigade of the IRA during both the War of Independence and the Civil War in the earlier part of the 20th century. Barrett, the BBC reports, died in 1971.
Among the findings were documents listing the names of IRA volunteers who served under Barrett, a photograph featuring Barrett with Éamon de Valera, and Barrett’s medals from the War of Independence, which the team of historians returned to the Barrett family.
Also found were documents issued by the IRA’s headquarters in Dublin which identified individuals, including senators, who should be targeted in the event any anti-Treaty prisoners of war were executed.
Instructions on the IRA’s code words and how to read them were also discovered.
On Twitter, Dr. Paul O’Brien, who works with the Kilrush Historical Society, shared pictures of some of the fascinating finds:
Many thanks to the teams at Good Morning Ulster (@BBCgmu) and @BBCRadioFoyle for inviting me on air to discuss the recent discovery of the Barrett papers by members of #Kilrush and District Historical Society (@KilrushH) Below is a sample of the material. @pjmwaldron pic.twitter.com/HtFomdxNjw— Dr Paul O’Brien (@Cooplafocal) June 17, 2019
Related to military pension claims. pic.twitter.com/6FtkJ5AbzO— Dr Paul O’Brien (@Cooplafocal) June 15, 2019
Dr. O’Brien told RTE: “The Barrett archive wasn’t even thought to be lost, it was not known to exist.”
The materials are expected to be donated to a public museum where it is hoped that they will become digitized.