Eamon Bulfin

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Eamon Bulfin (1892–1968) was an Argentine-born Irish republican. He was the son of writer William Bulfin (1864–1910) of Birr, in County Offaly (then called King's County). His father had emigrated to Argentina at the age of 20 and was a writer and journalist who became the editor/proprietor of The Southern Cross.

Bulfin was a pupil at Patrick Pearse's school, Sgoil Éanna (in English, St Enda's), and studied at University College Dublin,[1] where he became captain of the Irish Volunteer Company. One of Pearse's favourite pupils, he assisted with teaching after he graduated.[2] He was recruited to the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1913, and along with some fellow St Enda's students created home-made bombs in the school's basement in preparation for the Easter Rising.[3][4]

In the Easter Rising of 1916, he raised the green flag with the words "Irish Republic" painted onto it[5] over the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin, the headquarters of the rebellion.[6][7] Following the insurrection he was condemned to death, but was reprieved and deported to Buenos Aires after internment in Frongoch internment camp in Wales along with the other Irish soldiers of the Rising.[8]

Éamon de Valera made Bulfin Irish Representative to Argentina.[9] De Valera described Bulfin's job as to “inaugurate direct trade between Ireland and the Argentine Republic… to co-ordinate Irish opinion in the Argentine, and to bring it into the Irish demand for a republic.” [10] While carrying out these duties, Bulfin maintained a close line of communication with Michael Collins in Ireland.[11]

Bulfin was one of several representatives abroad appointed for that purpose during the War of Independence, and recognition of the importance of their work led to the establishment in February 1921 of a Department of Foreign Affairs. [12]

In the 1920 County Council elections, Bulfin was nominated in his absence for a seat on the council of Offaly, his family's county of origin. He was elected and though he was in Argentina, immediately appointed chairman of the council. One of the first actions of the new council was to agree that King's County be renamed Offaly, the name of the ancient Gaelic kingdom from which part of the modern county was formed.

On the formation of the Irish Free State, Bulfin returned to Ireland, and became active in local politics.

His sister Catalina (1901–1976) was secretary to Austin Stack.[13] Catalina Bulfin married the Nobel Prize winner Seán MacBride, a founding member of Amnesty International, the son of son of Major John MacBride and Maud Gonne.

Bulfin died on Christmas Eve 1968, and is buried in Eglish churchyard near Birr, Co Offaly.[14]

Bulfin Road in Inchicore, Dublin 8 is named after him.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dudley Edwards, Ruth Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure. Dublin: Irish Academic Press: 2006, p.138.
  2. ^ Dudley Edwards p.138.
  3. ^ Sisson, Elaine. Pearse’s Patriots: St Enda’s and the Cult of Boyhood. Cork: Cork University Press, 2004, p.167, 156.
  4. ^ Dudley Edwards, p.266.
  5. ^ http://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/reels/bmh/BMH.WS0497.pdf
  6. ^ Hegarty, Shane and Fintan O’Toole. The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising. Gill & MacMillan: Dublin, 2006, p. 46.
  7. ^ Ebenezer, Lyn. Fron-Goch and the Birth of the IRA. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch: Wales, 2006. p.77.
  8. ^ Ebenezer, Lyn. Fron-Goch and the Birth of the IRA. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch: Wales, 2006. p.77.
  9. ^ Connell, Joseph E.A. Where’s Where in Dublin: A Directory of Historical Locations: 1913-1923. Dublin: Dublin City Council: 2006, p.34.
  10. ^ Irish News UK - News from the Irish Community in Britain
  11. ^ Kennedy, Michael and Joseph Morrison Skelly (eds). Irish Foreign Policy: 1919-1966 From Independence to Internationalism. Four Courts Press: England 2000, p.45.
  12. ^ http://www.ria.ie/projects/difp/downloads/section3.doc
  13. ^ Kotsonouris, Mary. Retreat from Revolution: The Dáil Courts: 1920-24, Irish Academic Press: Dublin, 1994, p.38.
  14. ^ http://feniangraves.net/Bulfin,%20Eamonn/Bulfin%20bio.htm

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