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Ernie O'Malley1897

Ernie O'Malley 1897

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Place of migration
Stayed in Ireland

Ernie O'Malley was born in Castlebar, County Mayo on the 26th of May 1897. He was the second of 11 children born to his parents Luke and Marion. When he was a child, the family moved to Glasnevin, in Dublin. 

In 1916, O'Malley was studying medicine at University College Dublin when the Easter Rising took place. He was persuaded to join the rebels and took up with the 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade. From then on, O'Malley was deeply involved in Irish Republican activity, joining the Irish Volunteers in 1917. In 1918, he left UCD and devoted all of his time to the Republican cause. 

O'Malley was deeply involved in the Irish War of Independence, acting as staff captain for the IRA and reporting directly to Michael Collins. He was involved in action on a number of occasions throughout the country and was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol but escaped on the 21st of February 1921.

After the War of Independence, O'Malley was on the Anti-Treaty side of the Irish Civil War. During a shoot-out in Dublin on the 4th of November 1922, O'Malley was shot 20 times but survived. He was captured and placed in Mountjoy Prison where he spent 41 days on hunger strike, eventually being released due to medical advice that he might lose the ability to walk. 

In 1926, O'Malley finally returned to UCD to resume his studies. He left again without graduating and joined DeValera on his fundraising tour of America. In 1930 he travelled to New Mexico where he stayed with Native Americans. It was here that he began to write. 

O'Malley's literary career involved memoirs of the War of Independence, and the Civil War. They provide an insight into what life was like for the men and women on the ground during an incredibly difficult and transformative time in Irish history. His official military papers have also been published and his writing was the main inspiration for the film, The Wind that Shakes the Barley. 

Ernie O'Malley died on the 25th of March 1957 in Howth. 


Additional Information
Date of Birth 28th May 1897 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 9th Jun 1927 VIEW SOURCE

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