Tuesday 27 January 2015

Republican's letter shows how Treaty divided comrades

Cormac Murphy

Published 17/01/2014 | 02:30

Irish Prisoners on the balcony of E Block in Stafford Jail in 1916. Eamon Bulfin is 3rd from left in the back row.

EAMONN Bulfin was 24 when he served in the GPO during the Easter Rising.

He was subsequently interned until December 1916 and, after his release, became a vice-commandant of the Offaly Brigade of the Irish Volunteers.

Bulfin was then deported to England and from there to Argentina in May 1919.

While in South America, he acted as a representative for Dail Eireann and was involved in the purchase of arms and ammunition for the IRA.

Bulfin disagreed with the Treaty, closed down his mission to Argentina and returned to Ireland in June 1922. However, he took no part in the Civil War.

The files relating to Bulfin's pension application include a two-page letter that he wrote on February 10, 1936, to the Office of the Referee Military Service Pensions Act.

"When the Treaty was signed the members of the Mission... were dissatisfied and disgusted with the turn of events and with the instructions received from the Provisional Government. We decided to close down the Legation," he wrote.

The documents also include a two-page signed statement from Margaret M Pearse, the sister of Padraic Pearse, concerning Bulfin's deportation to Argentina by the British Government.

Irish Independent

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