Henry Coyle - A Forgotten Freedom Fighter

Henry Coyle - A Forgotten Freedom Fighter

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Entitled 'Henry Coyle, A Forgotten Freedom Fighter', the book was written by his son, Councillor Gerry Coyle, with the assistance of Mayo author and historian James Laffey, editor of the Western People.

It was officially launched last night by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny before a capacity attendance at the Erris Coast Hotel in Geesala.

Friends of the Coyle family from the spheres of politics and sport joined in a unique celebration of Henry Coyle's remarkable life.

Gerry had been working on the book for over two decades and visited libraries in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool searching for information about his father's IRA activities in Britain from 1919 to 1921.

His father was jailed in Scotland in March 1921 for possessing the largest quantity of illegal explosives ever found in the UK.

Police said they had captured 'one of the most important and most daring Sinn Féin activists in either Scotland or Ireland'.

Acclaimed as a hero of the War of Independence, he returned to Ireland in 1922 to fight in the National Army.

Commended for his bravery during the Civil War, he was elected a Mayo TD in August 1923 - but was back in prison the following year at the behest of the Irish Free State after being charged of 'fraudulently inducing Patrick James O'Malley to endorse a valuable secirity, to wit, a bank cheque of £450' at Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin, on October 18, 1923.

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