Thomas Ashe

1885-1917; Republican revolutionary; b. Lispole [var. Kinard, nr. Dingle], Co. Kerry; ed. Ardmore School and de Salle Training College, Waterford; became national school teacher, 1905; principal of Corduff NS, Lusk, Co. Dublin, 1908-1916; joined Gaelic League and Irish volunteers; fund-raising in America, 1914; supporter of James Larkin and friend of Seán O’Casey; led insurgents at Ashbourne, Co. Wicklow, 1916, when 8 RIC men were killed and 15 wounded before the police surrendered, being out of ammunition; commuted death-sentence; released 17 June 1917; organiser for Sinn Féin; campaigned for de Valera in Clare, 1917; made speech at anniversary of the hanging of Roger Casement; re-arrested for subversive writings, Aug. 1917; wrote poem in prison, “Let me carry your cross for Ireland, Lord”; failing to secure political status for Republican prisoners, he organised hunger strike to the death in Mountjoy; d. in hospital hours after release, following forcible feeding, 25 Sept.; Irish Volunteers fired volley at his funeral, where the oration was made by Michael Collins; inquest censured the authorities; his writings read by IRA Hunger Strikers in the seventies. DIB DIH

An tAthair Seosamh Ó Muirthils, Tréithe Thomáis Aghas (Baile Átha Cliath: Clódhanna 1967); Oliver Snoddy, ‘Notes on Literature in Irish dealing with the Fight for Freedom’, Éire-Ireland, 3, 2 (Summer 1968), pp. 138-48; Seán Ó Lúing, I Die in a Good Cause (Tralee: Anvil 1970).

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