Fenian dynamite campaign

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Fenian dynamite campaign
TypeBombing campaign
Planned byJeremiah O'Donovan Rossa
Alexander Sullivan
Targetgovernment, military, police and infrastructure
Executed byIrish Republican Brotherhood
United Irishmen of America
Clan na Gael
OutcomeBritish government establish Special Branch in 1883.

The Fenian dynamite campaign (or Fenian bombing campaign) was a bombing campaign orchestrated by Irish republicans against the British Empire, between the years 1881 and 1885. The campaign was associated with Fenianism; that is to say the Irish revolutionary organisations which aimed to establish an independent Irish Republic; such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Fenian Brotherhood, Clan na Gael and the United Irishmen of America. The campaign, led by Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa and other Irishmen exiled in the United States, was a form of asymmetrical warfare and targeted infrastructure, government, military and police targets in Great Britain (particularly London). The campaign led to the establishment of secret police group Special Branch (originally known as the Special Irish Branch).

Timeline of the campaign[edit]

  • 14 Jan 1881: A bomb exploded at a military barracks in Salford, Lancashire.[1] A young boy was killed[2]
  • 16 Mar 1881: A bomb was found and defused in the Mansion House, London.[1]
  • 5 May 1881: Bomb explodes at Chester Barracks, Chester.[3]
  • 16 May 1881: Bomb attack at Liverpool police barracks.
  • 10 June 1881: Bomb planted at Liverpool Town Hall,[1]
  • 30 June 1881: Disguised explosives found aboard SS Malta at Liverpool.[3]
  • 2 July 1881: Disguised explosives found aboard SS Bavaria in Liverpool.[3]
  • 12 May 1882: A bomb exploded at the Mansion House, London.[1]
  • 20 January 1883: In Glasgow, bombs exploded at Tradeston Gasworks, Possil Street Bridge and Buchanan Street Station. About a dozen people were injured.[1][3]
  • 15 Mar 1883: In London, bombs exploded at government buildings at Whitehall and at the offices of The Times newspaper. There were no injuries.[1]
  • 29 March 1883: Fenians Denis Deasy, Timothy Featherstone and Patsy Flanagan are arrested while police in County Cork raid the homes and businesses of associates of Deasy and Flanagan.[3]
  • 28 May 1883: Future Easter Rising leader Tom Clarke is sentenced to penal servitude for life.[3]
  • 11 June 1883: Gallagher Trials begin.[3]
  • 22 August 1883: Fenian 'Red' Jim McDermott arrested.[3]
  • 31 August 1883: Those responsible for Glasgow bombings in January were arrested.[3]
  • 30 Oct 1883: Two bombs exploded in the London Underground, at Paddington (Praed Street) station (injuring 70 people) and Westminster Bridge station.[1]
  • December 1883: Trial of Glasgow bombers.[3]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Whelehan, Niall (2012). The Dynamiters: Irish Nationalism and Political Violence in the Wider World, 1867-1900. Cambridge University Press.
  • McKenna, Joseph The Irish-American Dynamite Campaign: A History, 1881-1896 (2012) McFarland & Co

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Porter, Bernard. The origins of the vigilant state: the London Metropolitan Police Special Branch before the First World War. Boydell & Brewer, 1991. Pp.27-28
  2. ^ 16 Lives: Thomas Clarke. p. 30.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Shane Kenna. "War In The Shadows".
  4. ^ "London Metropolital Police Service - History - The Fenians".
  5. ^ "London Metropolitan Police Service - History - Timeline 1870-1889".

External links[edit]