Photograph of delegates at the ‘Irish Race Congress’ in Paris January 1922.
The Congress was attended by delegates from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Argentina and Ireland.
Included in the photograph are Eamon de Valera, Constance Markievicz, Harry Boland, Eoin MacNeill, Douglas Hyde, Sean T O’Kelly, Mary MacSwiney, Michael Hayes, Diarmuid Coffey and Father Timothy Shanley.
Fianna Chief Eamon Martin accompanied the Irish delegation and was tasked with arranging a fake passport for Eamon de Valera in the name of ‘Father Walsh’.
Eamon Martin recalled: “Liam Mellows asked me to go to London and prepare a passport for him. As De Valera was to travel as a Priest, it had been arranged that Father Tin Shanley of New York, who was visiting Ireland at the time, would accompany him, and I availed of his presence in London. I explained to him how I wanted to “use” him, he knew, as I did, that he was taking grave risks both in regard to the Law in England and with his own Ecclesiastical Authorities, but he brushed all consequences aside.
De Valera got safely to Paris on the faked passport, and he was in time to be elected President of the Race Convention. I followed him a few days later with another passport – this time he was an Engineer – to be used on the return journey in case his disguise as a Priest became known to the British Authorities. In fact it never did become known and de Valera returned on the same passport, as a Priest.”
Photograph courtesy of the Michael Tierney Photographic Collection held at UCD Archives.