Shadow of a Taxman: Who funded the Irish Revolution?

R. J. C Adams

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Irish War of Independence (1919-21) was a guerrilla war between the IRA, loosely under the command of the underground Irish republican government known as Dáil Éireann, and the forces of the British government in Ireland. Eager to project itself as a legitimate government, the Dáil decided to raise funds by selling war bonds. These bonds promised a return to subscribers only when British forces had left Ireland and an independent Irish Republic was internationally recognised. Known as the National Loan and External Loans, these bonds raised £370,165 in Ireland and nearly $6m in America. This thesis explores the funding of Dáil Éireann during the Irish War of Independence, showing how its funds were solicited, collected, transmitted and safeguarded, as well as who the subscribers were and what might have influenced their subscriptions.

Section I explores the Dáil’s fundraising in Ireland, while Section II covers the funds collected overseas. Chapter 1 introduces the National Loan, placing it in the context of previous nationalist fundraising in Ireland. Chapter 2 explores the organisational structure that underpinned the loan campaign and chapter 3 analyses the ways in which the loan was promoted. Using previously unknown archival material, chapter 4 investigates the identities of its subscribers. Section II begins with chapter 5, which gives an overview of the history of Irish nationalist fundraising in America. Chapter 6 outlines the organisational landscape in which the First External Loan was promoted. Its promotion is covered in chapter 7, and chapter 8 looks at the internal dynamics of the External Loan organisation. In chapter 9, attention is paid to the identities of subscribers to the First External Loan. Chapter 10 then focuses on the Dáil’s Second External Loan, relating it to the Anglo-Irish peace negotiations. Finally, chapter 11 explores the Dáil’s fundraising in Argentina.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted - 2021

Publication series

NameOxford Historical Monographs
PublisherOxford University Press

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