Seamus Fitzgerald Papers

Repository: Cork City and County Archives

Identity Statement

TitleSeamus Fitzgerald Papers
Archive ReferenceIE CCCA/PR6
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1890-1975
Extent Medium26 boxes


Creator(s): Fitzgerald, Seamus LLD (b1896-d1972) businessman, politician

  • Administrative History ↴

    Born 1896, [Cobh]. Joined Irish Volunteers in 1914 and was interned following 1916 Rising; active in Sinn Fein and IRA 1918-1922; early member of Fianna Fail Party. Active in Old IRA Mens association. Served as a Town Councillor in Cobh Urban District Council. Member of Cork Harbour Commissioners. Involved and appointed to various organisations such as local chambers of commerce, the campaign for Cork airport, Aer Lingus and Aer Rianta, Governing body of UCC, Local Appointments Commission, various Trade Unions and Employers organisations. Owner of Fitzgerald and Company. Held Directorships of Rushbrooke Cork Dockyard, Verolme Dockyard and Irish Steel and others. His interests included the Irish Language and music.
  • Archival History ↴

    The collection was donated to the Archives by Patrick A. Fitzgerald, Seamus Fitzgerald’s son, in 1992.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Fitzgerald, Seamus LLD (b1896-d1972) businessman, politician ↴

    Personal papers of Seamus Fitzgerald, revolutionary, politician, businessman. Papers are of relevance to the history of the revolutionary period 1916-1922 and the evolution of the Irish state particularly with regard to industry and the organisation and development of the Fianna Fail party.

    Section 1 (Early Political Affiliation) contains material relevant to Fitzgerald’s activities as a member of The Irish Volunteers and Sinn Fein. Preserved here are letters he received during his 1916 internment in Frongoch camp and letters he wrote to his mother. Subsection VIII contains requests from ex-Volunteers for Fitzgerald to vouchsafe their recollections for pension purposes. Gathered also by Fitzgerald are copies of statements given by friends to the military historian, Flor O’Donoghue. Section 1, Subsection C (Sinn Fein) details Fitzgerald’s early political activity. Preserved here is a testimonial from Michael Collins paying tribute to Fitzgerald’s energy and determination. Sinn Fein electoral material and items relating to the party’s organisation, including the Sinn Fein Courts are also contained here. Material relating to the general treatment of Republican Prisoners is described in subsections VI and VII.

    Section 2 (Later Political Affiliation) records Seamus Fitzgerald’s commitment to the Fianna Fáil party, documenting his involvement with the party from 1926, his spearheading of the 1934 reorganisation in Cork, and his participation in party affairs. Preserved in Section 2 V is a body of correspondence including pleas for help with job applications, pension rights, discrimination and intercessions with government bodies. These are grouped with Fitzgerald’s copy replies. Preserved alongside material relating to Fitzgerald’s election campaigns are documents and paraphernalia relating to Fianna Fail’s electoral campaigns in Cork. Electoral propaganda belonging to other parties is also preserved. Section 2 Subsection B reflects Fitzgerald’s associations with other Republican organisations.

    Section 3 is devoted to Fitzgerald’s Public Service, beginning with A his activities as a member of Cobh Urban District Council and B his tenure as a member of the Cork Harbour Commissioners. Section 3 Subsection C records Fitzgerald’s activities as a founder member of Cobh Chamber of Commerce and its Cork counterpart. There survives a large body of correspondence relating to the Cork Economic Development Council. Early proposals for an airport for Cork are preserved in this Subsection D. His involvement as a director of both Aer Lingus and Aer Rianta is reflected in Subsection E. Subsection F details Fitzgerald’s activities as a co-opted member of the Governing body of University College Cork and as a member of the Finance Committee of the College. Subsection G contains material from two political appointments: his participation as a member of the ESB Superannuation Tribunal and his service on the Local Appointments Commission. In Subsection H are preserved dealings with both Employer’s organisations and Unions.

    Section 4 (Business Involvements) records Fitzgerald’s activities as a prominent Cork businessman. Subsection A details concerns that he was in ownership or part ownership of Fitzgerald and Co., the Electrical Engineering and Goods shop he founded in partnership with his brothers, was his main base in Cork. Subsection B, Directorships, contains records of Fitzgerald’s achievements as a director of Rushbrooke Dockyard, Verolme Cork Dockyard and Irish Steel.

    Section 5 (Interests and Patronage) reflects Fitzgerald’s interests outside the business world and his generosity in giving his support financially and otherwise to charitable organisations.

    Section 6, Personal and Family Life, contains mementoes, correspondence and appointment diaries belonging to Fitzgerald.

    The papers of Seamus Fitzgerald are unique in that he straddled so many spheres, cultural, political, revolutionary and commercial. As they do not provide a full record of the various bodies and projects, but rather the surviving record of Fitzgerald’s involvement with them. He was a man of seemingly endless energy and motivation with a strong sense of fair play. His brand of nationalism was first and foremost a practical one and his legacy was to help establish Cork as an area capable of handling industrial development and to have assisted in the development of perhaps the most formidable political organisation in Ireland. Researchers interested in the evolution of the Irish state particularly with regard to industry and the organisation and development of Fianna Fáil should find the Seamus Fitzgerald collection invaluable.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    Arranged into 8 main sections with several sub sections.

    A.Irish Volunteers – Contemporary Material (1914-1923, 1941)
    B. Irish Volunteers – Recollections (1933-1971)
    C.Sinn Fein (1919-1928)

    A. Fianna Fail (1925-1971)
    B. Later Republican Associations (1935-1971 )

    A. Cobh Urban District Council (1920-1965)
    B. Cork Harbour Commissioners (1920-1971)
    C. Chamber Of Commerce (1932-1966)
    D. Cork Airport (1928-1961)
    E. Aer Lingus And Aer Rianta (1934-1951)
    F. University College Cork (1938-1967)
    G. Political Appointments (1949-1952)
    H. Unions And Employers Organisations (1933-1959, 1971)
    I. Irish Tourist Association (1950-1964)

    A. Ownerships (1920-1968)
    B. Directorships (1921-1972)
    C. Investments (1947-1968)


    A. Early Life (1911-1914, 1931) Including, apprenticeship, references, scholarships
    B.Correspondence (1920s-1960s) Family and general correspondence
    C. Memorabilia Family Memorabilia, Appointment Diaries and Journals, Cork Corporation Yearbooks, Articles by Seamus Fitzgerald, Newspapers, Notes, Ration Notice and Book, Menus, Sundry Items



Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Open by appointment to those holding a current readers ticket.
Creation Dates1890-1975
Extent Medium26 boxes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids Descriptive list Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteCarol Quinn
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions1998