Frank Carney (politician)
Frank Carney (25 April 1896 – 19 October 1932) was an Irishman who fought in the British Army in World War I before joining the Irish Republican Army (IRA). He fought in the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War before being elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD).
A former chief supplies officer of the National Army, he won his seat in the Dáil on his first attempt, when he was elected for the Donegal constituency at the June 1927 general election. He was re-elected at the September 1927 and 1932 general elections, but died following ill-health later that year, aged 36. No by-election was held for his seat, which remained vacant until the next general election in January 1933.
In her account of the opening shots of the Civil War, “The Fall of Dublin” (Mercier 2011), the historian Liz Gillis presents the testimony of Frank Carney, a Free State officer stationed at Portobello Barracks during the lead up to the assault on the Four Courts:
“Frank Carney, supplies officer at the barracks, was ordered to hand over weapons and other materials that were to be used in the assault:
He was about to obey the order when he recognised the officer receiving them as a British officer from the Phoenix Park depot [the British Army HQ]. Realising it was an alliance with British against Republicans that he was being called upon to take action, he refused to comply and resigned. Several men resigned with him and all were placed under arrest.”
Carney was himself ex-British Army from the WWI period and an Irish Republican Army veteran of the War of Independence. He went on to be a TD for Donegal and was well respected in his time. His testimony seems quite unambiguous on the matter of direct British military support for the Free State regime.
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