$10 Irish Republican Bond Certificate

Mrs. Mary Lare purchased the $10 Republic of Ireland Bond Certificate seen here on 21st January 1920. The certificate was sold as part of the first Dáil loan, which was designed to fund the foundation of the Irish Republic. These bonds were sold both internally in Ireland and externally in the United States. Éamonn de Valera travelled to the United States in the summer of 1919 to bring awareness to the Irish struggle for independence as well as raise money for the Dáil loan. The loan raised a total of £375,000 internally in Ireland and $5,100,000 externally in the United States. The certificates were sold in increments of $10, $25, $30, $50, $100, $500, and $1000 and featured the signatures of Eamon de Bhaileara, President, and Sean Ua Nunain, Registrar. There are also some print variations between the first issues and second issues of the bonds. The color varied significantly between denominations on the first print, while the second print seems to have been printed strictly in orange. This could possibly be attributed to the fact that fundraising efforts were far more successful than anyone originally though they would be. Fundraisers most likely ran out of the original print of the bonds and were forced to have a new batch printed in the United States, which resulted in the difference between the first and second batch of bonds. Even the smallest bond available at $10 was still a significant sum of money in 1920, so Mrs. Lare would have been well off financially to purchase the bond.

Alan Bell, a magistrate officer for the British government in Ireland, was assigned to investigate the influx of money associated with the Dáil loan into Ireland. He was also rumored to be working with the British Secret Service. Bell began examining bank accounts in Irish banks and seized illegal Dáil funds that he found stored in these bank accounts. Those responsible for the safekeeping of the Dáil funds had placed the money into a vast network of accounts, held under an equally vast number of names. This allowed the money to seemingly hide in plain sight.

On 1 March 1920, Bell summoned all high ranking bank officials to appear in court in Dublin with their ledger books and bank documents so that their entire bank operations could be examined by the government. This put pressure on the IRA to act as Bell was clearly closing in on the hidden funds – the loss of which would have been crippling for the movement. Bell was able to confiscate over £71,000 from his investigation by 26 March 1920. The success of his operation ultimately prompted Michael Collins and his intelligence department to target Bell for assassination.[1]

Joe Dolan, a member of Michael Collins Squad, was a member of the team sent to assassinate Bell, and offers one of the better recollections of the event. Dolan states that while IRA intelligence knew of Bell, they had no way of identifying him until his photograph was published in an issue of the Irish Independent. Armed with this photo, the intelligence officers were able to track Bell to his home in Monkstown and devised a plan to assassinate him while he rode the tram into Dublin city center one morning. On 26 March, 1920, a team consisting of Joe Dolan, Liam Tobin, Mick McDonnell, Vinnie Byrne, and Joe Guilfoyle boarded the tram that Bell was on. Joe Guilfoyle pulled the trolley from the wires and caused it to stop at Simmonscourt Road, where Bell was dragged off the tram and shot by Tobin and McDonnell.[2] Bell was killed near the entrance to the Royal Dublin Society in Ballsbridge. After Bell’s death no one continued his investigation into the Dáil funds. His assassination served as a worthy form of intimidation to stop the investigation. The Dáil fundraising was able to continue without any further disturbances by the British government for the duration of the War of Independence.

**Examples of other demoninations of Irish Republican Bonds. All photos are credited to Whytes.


[1] Pádraig Yeates, A City In Turmoil: Dublin 1919-1921 (Dublin: Gill& Macmillan, 2012), 103-108.

[2] Joseph Dolan Bureau of Military History Witness Statement WS0663.

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