Tony D'Arcy

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Tony D'Arcy was a senior leader in the Irish Republican Army who died as a result of a 52 day Hunger-strike (16 April 1940) at the age of 32.


D'Arcy was from Galway and a member of the IRA during the 1930s. In 1938 Sean Russell appointed Volunteer Tony D’Arcy to the IRAs Army Council and the Officer Commanding (O/C) of the IRAs Western Command. [1] By 1938 D'Arcy had a key target for the Irish police Special Branch. [2] He was arrested on 17 Feb 1940 and imprisoned during The Emergency (Ireland). D'Arcy was sentenced to three months for refusing to account for his movements and for not giving his name and address when arrested. [3] Odn Sunday 25 February 1940, six republican prisoners embarked on a hunger strike demanding free association and to have two prisoners (IRA Volunteers Nicky Doherty of County Meath and John Dwyer) moved from the criminal wing to the Republican area within the prison (Mountjoy Jail) [4] . Between 1917 and 1981 a total of 22 Irish Republicans have died on Hunger-Strike. [5]

Joining D’Arcy was Jack "Sean" McNeela, Tomás Mac Curtain of Cork (the only son of the martyred Lord Mayor), Jack Plunkett of Dublin, son of Count Plunkett and brother of Joseph Mary Plunkett (executed for his roles in the Easter Rising of 1916), Tommy Grogan of Drogheda and Michael Traynor of Belfast (later Ard-Rúnaí of Sinn Féin). [6] Close to the annual commemoration of the Easter Rising of 1916, a letter of protest criticizing the governments policy was published from relatives of participants in the Easter Rising and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Kathleen Clarke, the wife of Tom Clarke and sister of Edward Daly (both executed in the Easter Rising of 1916).Tony D'Arcy and Seán McNeela of (Ballycroy Co.Mayo) both died on hunger strike in the Military Wing of St Bricins Hospital, Dublin. [7] At the time of his death D'arcy was married with three young children. A owner of a garage and a undertaker by profession, his body was carried in his own hearse, driven by neighbor Joe Glynn of Headford. He was buried at Donaghpatrick, Headford (his hometown), County Galway. [8]

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  1. Pawns in the Game, Flynn, Barry, Collins Press, Cork, Ireland 2011, ISBN 9781848891166, pg 97,
  2. Flynn, pg97
  3. accessed 5 October 2020
  4. Flynn, pg 94.
  6. 20 April 2016
  7. Biting at the Grave, O'Malley, Padraig, pg 27
  8. "Volunteer Tony D'arcy's death on Hunger Strike". Tuam Herald. 2 April 1921. Retrieved 6 April 2021 via The World News.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)