Papers of Frank and Cecilia Gallagher

Repository: Trinity College Dublin

Identity Statement

TitlePapers of Frank and Cecilia Gallagher
Archive ReferenceIE TCD MSS/10050-10065
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1884-1973
Extent Medium9 boxes and 4 photograph portfolios


Creator(s): Gallagher, Frank, 1893-1962, journalist and author Saunders, Cecilia, 1889-1967

  • Administrative History ↴

    Frank ('Gally') Gallagher was born in Cork in 1893. He started his career as a journalist with the Cork Free Press (1914-16), subsequently working on New Ireland (1917-18), Irish Opinion (1917), Irish Bulletin (1920-22) and co-founded Poblacht na hÉireann (1922). He joined the Irish Volunteers and worked with Erskine Childers on the publicity staff of the Republican government (1919-22) editing the underground Irish Bulletin. Gallagher was imprisoned several times during the War of Independence and the Civil War, partaking in hunger-strikes of republican prisoners (the longest for forty-one days in 1923 and the shortest for three). Frank Gallagher visited the US in 1927 and 1928 as Eamon de Valera's private secretary, and again in 1938 as de Valera's special envoy, and a further visit in 1939 in preparation for de Valera's official tour (subsequently cancelled). In 1931 Gallagher became first editor of the Irish Press founded by Eamon de Valera and later that year was imprisoned under emergency legislation introduced by W T Cosgrave's Free State government. He worked as Deputy Director of Radio Eireann until his appointment in 1940 as Director of the Government Information Bureau. From 1954 Gallagher worked on the staff of the National Library of Ireland. Gallagher wrote short stories and novels frequently using pseudonyms: 'David Hogan', 'Ernest Ahearne' and 'Cecil O' Hanlon'. His works include Days of Fear (1928) on his hunger-striking experiences, Four Glorious Years (1953), his account of the War of Independence, and Indivisible Island (1957), on the history of partition in Ireland. Frank Gallagher married Cecilia Saunders in 1922 and they had two daughters, Ann and Mary. He died in Dublin in July 1962. Cecilia Saunders was born in Cork in 1889. She was one of ten children and her family owned a horticultural nursery. She was a pupil at Miss Kelly's private school at South Mall, Cork and later at Belrive, the Faithful Companions of Jesus boarding school in Liverpool. Cecilia Saunders taught English in a Jewish boarding school in Weisbaden, Germany in 1912-13 where she made the acquaintance of Erna Walter, later married to Hugo Wortsmann. Cecilia and Frank Gallagher were successful in gathering support for the admission of the Wortsmanns to England in 1939 as refugees while they awaited their visas to move to the US in 1940. Cecilia worked as a bank clerk, in the Provincial Bank and later in the National Land Bank, in Cork prior to her marriage. Frank and Cecilia Gallagher were married on 24 May 1922 and subsequently settled in a flat in Dublin. Frank Gallagher was arrested and interned on 10 Oct 1922 and Cecilia Gallagher was arrested on 9 November. The couple spent their first Christmas as a married couple in different wings of Mountjoy Jail. Cecilia remained at Mountjoy until her tranfer on 6 Feb 1923 to Kilmainham Jail. On 1 May 1923 she was moved to the North Dublin Union and was finally released on 28 September 1923. Cecilia Gallagher died in Dublin in 1967.
  • Archival History ↴

    The core of the collection (TCD MSS 10050-10057) was augmented at later stages by several further accessions (TCD MSS 10058-10065)
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Gallagher, Frank, 1893-1962, journalist and author Saunders, Cecilia, 1889-1967 ↴

    This collection contains some 700 items of correspondence including over 260 letters (1914-54) from Frank Gallagher to his wife Cecilia (née Saunders) documenting his work for the Sinn Féin organisation (1917-18); his work under R Erskine Childers on the publicity staff of the first Dáil Éireann (1919-22); his personal experiences of imprisonment and hunger-strike during the War of Independence and the Civil War (1919-24); comments on his collaboration with, and his assessment of, political figures such as R Erskine Childers, Eamon de Valera, Desmond Fitzgerald, Robert Barton, Ernest Blythe, Eoin MacNeill, Terence MacSwiney and Sean MacBride; his visits to the US with, or as special envoy of, Eamon de Valera (1927-28: 1938-39).
    The collection includes Frank Gallagher’s journalistic articles and reviews , Poblacht na hÉireann materials, drafts of short stories, drafts of his books on Irish political history and related materials, and poems and ballads.
    The diaries and notebooks include prison journals kept by Frank Gallagher (8 Jan-27 July 1923) and Cecilia Gallagher (24 May -17 Nov 1923).
    There are over 100 photographs and 2 photograph albums in the collection including Gallagher family photographs and several portrait photos of Eamon de Valera.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The core of the collection (TCD MSS 10050-10057) was augmented at later stages by several further accessions (TCD MSS 10058-10065) which resulted in repeated sub-sections (eg ‘further correspondence’, ‘further photographs’).

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Please contact in advance of your visit
Conditions Governing ReproductionPlease contact for guidance
Creation Dates1884-1973
Extent Medium9 boxes and 4 photograph portfolios
Material Language ScriptEnglish, Irish and German
Finding Aids A full descriptive list can be consulted in the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library, Trinity College Dublin and a collection level description is available online Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Related MaterialFurther papers of Frank Gallagher and Cecilia Saunders: IE TCD MS 11121. Letters to Frank Gallagher from his family: IE National Library of Ireland MS 27,992/1-2. Patricia Lynch and R M Fox papers: IE National Library of Ireland MSS 34,923-34,931 and MSS 40,248-40,419. Letters to Lady Augusta Gregory: IE National Library of Ireland MS 46,083.
Publication NoteFrank Gallagher, Days of Fear (London: John Murray, 1928). Frank Gallagher, The Challenge of the Sentry and other stories of the Irish war (Dublin and Cork: Talbot Press, 1928). Frank Gallagher, Dark mountain and other stories (Dublin and Cork: Talbot Press, 1931). Frank Gallagher as David Hogan, Four Glorious Years (Dublin: Irish Press, 1953). Frank Gallagher, Indivisible island: a history of the partition of Ireland (London: Gollanz, 1957). Frank Gallagher, The Anglo-Irish Treaty, edited and introduced by Thomas O' Neill (London: Hutchinson, 1965). Sinéad McCoole, Guns and chiffon: women revolutionaries and Kilmainham Gaol, 1916 (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). Sinéad McCoole, No ordinary women: Irish female activists in the revolutionary years, 1900-1923 (Dublin: O' Brien Press, 2004). Nellie O' Cleirigh, 'A political prisoner in Kilmainham Jail - the diary of Cecilia Saunders Gallagher', Dublin Historical Record, vol LVI, no 1 ( Spring 2003), 4-17.


NoteTrinity College Library legacy numbering system applied multiple numbers to single fonds

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteNatalie Milne, February 2014.
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions41671