Chief Secretary’s Office, Crime Branch: Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) Movement of Extremists March 1916
The series is comprised of daily reports produced by the DMP Detective Department on the movements and associations of pro-independence suspects between 29 May 1915 and 20 April 1916.
The DMP reports were compiled by Superintendent Owen Brien and submitted to the Under Secretary for Ireland, Sir Matthew Nathan, at Dublin Castle. The reports describe Republican activity in Dublin during the 11 months preceding the Easter Rising. The final report in the series was written on 20 April 1916, just 4 days before the beginning of the Rising.
The reports detail intelligence gathered at a number of key city centre locations, including the shop of Thomas J Clarke at 75 Parnell Street, the Irish Volunteers Office at 2 Dawson Street, the Irish National Forester’s Hall at 41 Parnell Square, and the headquarters of the Gaelic League at 25 Parnell Square. The reports record the interaction of suspects at these locations and attendance at meetings, as well as drilling and marching of Irish Volunteers. The movements of suspects in and out of Dublin were also recorded at the five main Dublin train stations: Kingsbridge [Heuston], Amiens Street [Connolly], Westland Row [Pearse Station], Broadstone and Harcourt Street, and at Dublin Port.
Major events which took place in 1915 and 1916 are recorded in the reports, including the funeral of the Fenian leader Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa (1 August 1915) and the Annual Convention of Irish Volunteers (31 October 1915). They also record the travel of suspects to events outside of Dublin, such as the ‘annual pilgrimage’ to Bodenstown, County Kildare, for commemorations at the grave of Theobald Wolfe Tone (19 June 1915). Other activities recorded in the reports include anti-recruitment and conscription rallies, meetings of the Irish Women’s Franchise League, and protests against the imprisonment of revolutionaries under the Defence of the Realm Act.
There are over 230 individuals referred to in the reports, principally members of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Sinn Féin. The primary person of interest is Thomas J Clarke, who is mentioned in almost every report, while the other most frequently mentioned individuals include Pierce Beasley, Thomas Byrne, Con Colbert, Bulmer Hobson, Seán T Ó Ceallaigh, Seán Mac Diarmada, John McGarry, Joseph McGuinness, Herbert Mellows, Michael O’Hanrahan, William O’Leary Curtis, Michael Joseph O’Rahilly and James Joseph Walsh.
The reports also contain copies of Nationalist newspapers, with attention drawn to ‘anti-British’ content, as well as pamphlets and election material. Publications include The Workers’ Republic, Ná Bac Leis, Nationality, The Hibernian, The Irish Volunteer, The Spark, Honesty and New Ireland.
For more information on the individuals frequently mentioned in the reports, please see Who were the Extremists?
For more information about the work of the Chief Secretary, please see Office of Chief Secretary for Ireland.
For more information about how the documents were conserved please see How we conserve the Movement of Extremist reports.