The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has welcomed the acquisition by The National Library, with the support from the Department, of a collection of papers relating to the finances of the years leading to the foundation of the State.
Previously unpublished, the records are from the archive of Domhnall Ua Conchubhair (1872-1935), an accountant to Sinn Féin and Secretary of the Gaelic League. They were purchased for €21,780 with funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Among the records are a series of ledgers relating to the Sinn Féin Bank Limited, including a list of some 1,000 shareholders and subscribers, beginning with Arthur Griffith who subscribed 17/6d, in addition to his entrance fee of 2/6d. Material relating to the Bank’s liquidation in 1928-29 is also among the archive with lists of depositors and creditors included.
Records relating to the Irish National Aid and Volunteer Dependants’ Fund, whose chief organiser in 1917-18 was Michael Collins, are also in the newly acquired archive as are documents from An Cló-Chumann Ltd., a printing company established by the Gaelic League, which was wound up in 1908.
Now, some one hundred years after their creation, these papers come to light as a new and important source of information on the financing of the struggle for independence and the foundation of the State.
Minister Josepha Madigan TD said:
“I am delighted that my Department was able to support the National Library in adding these important documents to the national collections. There is much to be studied in them and will be of great interest to historians and the public alike, greatly adding to our understanding of the financing of the struggle for Independence and the foundation of the State.
“The National Library will now begin work on the cataloguing of these papers, with digitisation to follow. No doubt, as soon as it can be made available, scholars will review in detail this important new material, and determine and describe how it adds to our knowledge of the foundation of the State and how, in joining the collections held in the National Library, it complements or completes those records.”
Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne T.D. said:
“This collection of papers will provide new insight into a fascinating period in Irish history and will add greatly to the work underway in Conradh na Gaeilge that my Department has been supporting in recent years. Conradh na Gaeilge is collecting, organising and making available historical material which relates not only to the history of the organisation, but also to the history of the country. As part of this work, much research has been carried out on the history of Conradh na Gaeilge and on their headquarters at Number 6 Harcourt Street, which has had connections with some of the most famous people in Irish history, such as Michael Collins.”