Edmund Leo Byrne

My Grandfather (Edmund Leo Byrne - known principally as Ned Byrne but also it would seem referred to as Eddie Byrne (i've got a couple of letters where he's called that but it's mainly 'Ned')) was involved in IRA activity during this period (ostensibly, it would seem, as dispatch carrier for Michael Collins between Liverpool and Dublin

Ned Byrne was in the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Blackrock and carried dispatches, and aided in the transit of arms and wanted men between Liverpool and Bristol to Dublin -I have some testimonals dating from the 1920's from former IRA/IRB members to this effect - including Neill Kerr and, also, one or two others he aided following their escape from Usk prison in 1919. 

He had, Ibelieve, 6 or 7 brothers who were also involved in 'the movement' including a Willy Byrne, a Vincent Byrne and a Gus Byrne.  I believe the family home during the 1916-21 period was 7 St James Street, Dublin

My Grandfather applied for a pension for his IRA/IRB military service during the 1916-1924 period and, in spite of a fairly comprehensive raft of evidence and testimonials indicating he was active from 1916 onwards, it was only awarded from 1919 'Service' onwards (I'm not sure what 'side' my Grandfather was on in the 1921-24 Civil War and suspect that there may have been a 'political' decision to marginalise those on the 'wrong side' and this may have 'cost him' some pension when he applied for it) which always rankled with him afterwards.  My grandfather had a 1914-1919 Merchant Navy Medal from the British Government and also a 1917-1921 Service Medal from the Irish Government!

(Alan8hughes on Rootschat)

“The death has occurred of Mr E. Byrne, 19 Grenville St, Dublin. Member of C Company, 2nd Battalion. Dublin Brigade who took part in the attack on the Custom House. During the Civil War he was interned and participated in a hunger strike.” Irish Independent, Friday, Jan 08, 1932.


IRA men involved in the Squad

Here's an extract from Pat McCrea's WS413
I was mobilized for 35 Lr Gardiner St together with the remainder of the Transport men. It was between 8 and 9 o'clock when I arrived there and received instructions from Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy. They were together in the hall. I was told what was to take place on Sunday morning, each car with two drivers was allocated a certain street or area. I was told to assist the unit that was operating at 28 Lr. Baggot St. As well as I remember, the men on that job were a couple of members of the squad - P. Griffin, Eddie Byrne and Mick Fleming. Mick Fleming was in the army later.

The British agent in Baggot St., listed for elimination was, as far as I know, Captain Baggally, who was believed to have been one of Kevin Barry's torturers. On that Sunday morning I left home about 7.30 o'clock and made my way to the dump in North Great Charles St. I met the remainder of the men there - at least some of them. We collected our guns and got out the car. We timed ourselves to be in Baggot St. about five minutes to 9 o'clock. We arrived there up to time - I think it was two or three minutes to p - and within three minutes another man, who was on the job, turned up. We parked the car a little to the rear of the house on the opposite side of the street. when our men arrived there was no delay, as arranged. Three or four men entered the house, leaving one man on each side of the building outside as a guard for the men who had actually gone into the house. They had particulars of the agent's bedroom. When the room was entered he tried to escape through the window, but before he reached the window he was put out of action. The job was completed in the space of a few minutes. We got away without incident. We left Baggot St and we came down Merrion square and Westland row. When we came into Merrion square we picked up a few men coming off the Mount St. job - one was Herbert Conroy. We arrived back at the dump without any interference from anybody. We replaced the car and dumped our guns. Headquarters that morning was at 6 North Richmond St - Byrnes - in case of casualties, and for the purpose of making our reports. I think we were about the first unit to arrive there. After a time the other units came in. Sean Russell was there. I think he was quartermaster of the Dublin Brigade at that time.