Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2020/03/15

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Subject: [Leica] IMGs x 2: The Emergency
From: imra at (Douglas Barry)
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2020 02:05:13 +0000

Now that we're all more or less at war with CoVid, it reminded me of 
"The Emergency" between 1939 and 1945 which was what we in neutral 
Ireland euphemistically called World War Two. My grandfather who was the 
Chief Superintendent in charge of the Garda HQ in the Phoenix Park was 
given the task of managing the Local Security Forces (LSF) for the 
Dublin area for those years.

Here's a picture of him taken during this time - found in a family album 
and taken by photographer unknown

My grandfather in the greatcoat, and Garda helmet, surveys the damage 
the morning after the German bombing of Dublin's North Strand while in 
command of the Dublin LSF during the Emergency 1939-1945. His children 
remember him leaving the house on the night of 31st of May 1941 dragging 
the great coat over his civvies to rush over the 2 miles to the North 
Strand as the Heinkels dropped their bombs. He looks exhausted after the 
all nighter in the photo. Printed in the Irish Independent but 
photographer unknown. Recommended to be seen larger.

Sadly 28 people were killed and 90 injured, while 300 properties were 
either destroyed or damaged. Ironically, one of the destroyed properties 
was my grand-uncle's bakery at 5 Shamrock Place. His name was Patrick 
Swanzy and like my grandfather was an ex-IRA man. Pat was used to 
destroyed property as he had burned down Dublin's iconic Custom House in 
1921 and most of the Irish Nation Records stored there. Very frustrating 
for people researching their families' history like me :-)

I'm also involved a cultural, literary and historical society locally, 
and we had to cancel a promising lecture on this bombing on the 26th of 
this month due to our current "Emergency".

Anyway, my grandfather was five years older than Pat and the son of an 
RIC Sergeant. He joined the British Royal Engineers in WW1, saw action 
in Salonika, and was invalided out with malaria after six months trying 
to recover in a hospital in Malta. He joined the Dept of Posts and 
Telegraphs and initially was recruited by Michael Collins as an 
intelligence officer, then as a member of Collins's "Squad". Before 
joining the Gardai as an Inspector, he was one of Collins's most trusted 
men and the bodyguard for Arthur Griffith (President of Dail Eireann). 
He met my grandmother (Pat's sister) at Sinn Fein TD Walter Cole's house 
as Cole was the best friend of Griffith. Cole had fallen in love with 
and had proposed to my grandmother's sister Chris after her husband the 
Abbey actor Sean Connolly had been killed in the 1916 Easter Rising.

My lasting memory of him is getting a gift of a gardening set at 
Christmas 1952. I was two and a bit. He died a month later.


Replies: Reply from don.dory at (Don Dory) ([Leica] IMGs x 2: The Emergency)
Reply from jayanand at (Jayanand Govindaraj) ([Leica] IMGs x 2: The Emergency)
Reply from lluisripollphotography at (Lluis Ripoll) ([Leica] IMGs x 2: The Emergency)