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Internment, Imprisonment and Escape - Ballykinlar

Joseph McGrath, Commandant No.1 Camp, Ballykinlar, 1920-1921

Joseph McGrath, Commandant No.1 Camp, Ballykinlar, 1920-1921

This photograph of Joseph McGrath is mounted in a hand crafted picture frame, with ‘Ballykinlar 1920 1921’ as part of the fretwork decoration.
Ballykinlar Internment Camp, Co. Down, was established by the British authorities in late 1920, and was used to hold Irishmen suspected of involvement in the Republican movement. It consisted of two camps – No. 1 Camp and No. 2 Camp, each holding 1,000 men when full, with 25 men to a hut. Camp conditions were harsh – five men died due to maltreatment, and three internees - Tadhg Barry, Joseph Tormey and James Sloan - were shot dead in the camp. The interned men organised into companies, drilling and learning military tactics, and also formed communities to play sport, music and theatre.
Joseph McGrath was a 1916 veteran, having fought in Marrowbone Lane, and was held in Usk, Wormwood and Brixton prisons from 1918 to 1920. He became the Sinn Fein TD For Dublin St James area in 1918, and was also a commanding officer of the 4th Battalion Dublin Brigade. He was interned at Ballykinlar in November 1920, and was Commandant of No. 1 Camp until he escaped disguised as a British soldier in July 1921.


Joseph McGrath, Commandant No.1 Camp, Ballykinlar, 1920-1921 is located at:
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5th Royal Irish Rifles at Ballykinlar Camp, Co. Down, 1913

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Group of internees, Ballykinlar Intenment Camp, 1920-1921

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