Rebels, irregulars, a flying column...

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This image of a group of armed men was commissioned by a Captain McGrath from Mr. Poole in 1923. My first impression of it was that they were very well armed which made it unlikely to have been taken before 1922 and they are very well turned out for men on the run. Who were they and what side did they take in the recent Civil War?

Photographer: A. H. Poole

Collection: Poole Photographic Studio, Waterford

Date: c.14 May 1923 (copy of earlier image?)


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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 9333
ahpoole arthurhenripoole poolecollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland rebels irishrepublicanarmy ira oldira rifles leeenfield303 bandoliers pistols

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    • 18/Dec/2018 09:33:50

    at first glance it could be mistaken for an alpine hunting party. they seem not to be dressed to rough it as a flying column, so it would have been a prepared photocall?

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    Carol Maddock

    • 18/Dec/2018 09:34:29

    May be a red herring, but a Capt. McGrath was appointed Quartermaster to the 55th Infantry Battalion in a list issued in March 1923 (Freeman's Journal). Would he have been based at the Prison Garrison in Waterford? Bit of a stretch?

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    Carol Maddock

    • 18/Dec/2018 09:40:25

    [] Was just reading recently that the shirt, collar, and tie (though not everyone here has one on) were to denote respectability. Also learned the Irish for Flying Column is Colún Reatha (running column) which I think is lovely.

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    • 18/Dec/2018 10:46:24

    [] yes that was my thought.

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    John A. Coffey

    • 18/Dec/2018 11:54:33

    Wonder was Mr.Poole blindfolded on his way to take it ? Lots of "photoshopping" on the background...... I have a similar posed photograph from Castlecomer.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 18/Dec/2018 12:26:11

    [] I was thinking that the Poole people just made a copy of an existing photo that has a big crease up the middle?? The date's interesting, if correct, as it's just before the official end of the Irish Civil War on 24 May 1923.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 18/Dec/2018 13:51:00

    A search of the Bureau of Military History website shows that there was a 'Captain Jimmy McGrath' who headed up one of the Waterford City companies of the IRA before the Treaty. No idea what way he went after the Treaty, but the Waterford City connection strikes me as being a possible line of enquiry.

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    • 18/Dec/2018 23:08:09

    Buenas fotos antiguas .

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    • 19/Dec/2018 00:27:01

    Hard to imagine the Irish Republican Army were so well equipped, from what I have read. Those are bolt action Lee Enfield rifles, with leather bandoliers, common to the British Empire.