William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 1)
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William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 1)


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Track 1: William Geary recalls his youth, growing up on the farm in Ballyagran, and he also decribes the hiring fairs. He discusses his father’s untimely death when William was eight. Track 2: He joined the Atlantic Wireless School in Cahirciveen in 1919 to train as a wireless operator under Principal Maurice Fitzgerald, and he later joined the Birmingham Shipping Line as wireless operator and travelled the world for three years. Track 3: A description of daily life on board ship. Track 4: In 1921, William returned to Ballyagran where he drilled the local Volunteers and he joined the Garda Siochána in 1922, first stationed in Kildare where, he explains, there was strong reaction among his colleagues to the fact that former RIC officers were gaining senior posts in the Gardaí. He describes his memories of being present at Dublin Castle for its formal handover by the British in 1922. He also recalls hearing in Dublin the first gunfire of the Civil War. His transfer on promotion to Clones, Co. Monaghan, and subsequently to the Phoenix Park, Dublin are recalled. Track 5: Serving in Newport, Co. Tipperary, in 1924 and later in Templemore are remembered, as is a bank robbery by the IRA in Roscrea, his arrest of the culprits and his sense that, after this, he was a marked man. He was transferred to Kilrush, Co. Clare, in 1926, where he witnessed much disturbance by an active unit of the IRA in the area, under T.J. Ryan. Track 6: He describes the experience, in 1928, of being summoned to Garda Headquarters in Dublin for a meeting with Chief Superintendent Nelligan and General O’Duffy, during which he was accused of providing information to the IRA in return for a bribe. He was subsequently dismissed from the Gardaí Siochána by the Executive Council.

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Audio series:

Witnesses to Independence


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

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55.30 MB

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Dismissal from the Gardaí Siochána

Recorded by:

Dominic Kiernan