R 1‘From the Archives’ documents are a pair of letters written by Mary Spring Rice to The O’Rahilly on 1 and 9 May 1914. They detail the early planning phases of what would ultimately become the Howth gun-running: the importation of a consignment of 1,500 rifles and 45,000 rounds of ammunition that had been purchased at Hamburg by Darrell Figgis and Erskine Childers. The latter captained the yacht which brought the majority of these weapons ashore on 26 July at Howth. The remaining 600 rifles came ashore at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow on 1 August, the day Germany declared war on Russia.

Mary Spring Rice to Michael Joseph (The) O’Rahilly, 1 and 9 May 1914 O’Rahilly papers, UCD Archives, IE UCDA P102/335. Part 5 of the History Hub’s Centenary Special. Original letter, transcript and analysis by Dr Conor Mulvagh can be viewed  here (in PDF). All images from The O’Rahilly papers, courtesy of UCD Archives

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