Barry, Tom

Tom Barry was born in 1898. In June 1915 he joined the British Army, not to secure home rule for Ireland or to fight for Irish freedom or for freedom of small nations – just to see what war was like. While fighting in Mesopotamia he heard of the 1916 Rising taking place at home. After the war he returned home and with some difficulty persuaded the IRA to trust him and to make use of his military experience. In the summer of 1920 he became training officer to the Third (West) Cork Brigade. Tom Barry fought on the republican side of the Civil War, was imprisoned and escaped. In the late 1930s he was Chief of Staff of the IRA. He died in 1980.