Personal letters from Easter Rising leaders available to view online

The personal papers belonging to two of the leaders of the Easter Rising have been digitised and made available online for the first time.

Documents belonging to Sean MacDiarmada and Thomas MacDongah, two of the seven signatories of the proclamation, can now be viewed thanks to the National Library of Ireland (NLI). 

Amongst the documents are letters and photographs charting key developments in the lives of both men and offer a glimpse into their relationships with family and friends. 

Included in the collection is MacDonagh's application for appointment to the chair of history, English literature and mental science at University College, Galway.

In one of 12 testimonials included in the application, WB Yeats says the young academic states: 'He has great gifts of expression, and will, I believe, do valuable work for scholarship.'

The Seán MacDiarmada material is contains a 1913 letter to “my dear Joe” - the Irish-American nationalist Joseph McGarrity.

In a reference to the trade union leader Jim Larkin, MacDiarmada says he believes others in the nationalist movement will soon learn “not to place their faith in the English working man any more than in the English hand”.

The papers join an ever growing collection first published online in December 2015 and including work belonging to Tom Clarke and James Connolly. The NLI aim to have over 20,000 items relating to the signatories digitised by April 2016.

CLICK HERE to view the collection.