Weekend Books – Crowdfunding the Revolution



Barrister and lecturer Ruth Cannon recommends a new book on the funding of the Irish war of independence.

There is a saying that money isn’t everything, but everything requires money. The new counter-state set up by Sinn Féin in 1919 certainly did, if only to pay judicial salaries in its alternate legal system.

For those interested in the financial structure underlining this system and generally, this new book by Patrick O’Sullivan Greene, Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence, is essential reading.

Lawyers will find much to interest them in its pages: Cahir Davitt, later President of the High Court, nervously cashing his salary cheque from Dáil Éireann for work as a judge in its courts; Corrigan & Corrigan, solicitors and Sinn Féin money launderers extraordinaire; the “devoted and trustworthy” Michael Noyk, friend of Collins.

Not to mention, on the other side, Alan Bell, magistrate and member of the British Secret Service, whose investigations into the “war chest” led to him being taken from a tram on Sandymount Avenue and shot on 27 March 1920.

Patrick’s book can be purchased in all the best bookshops, and from Amazon. I would highly recommend it for Christmas reading – if, of course, you can wait that long!

Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence by Patrick O’Sullivan Greene. Published by Eastwood Books, 288 pp.