Identity Statement for James Lalor

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P133
  • Title: Papers of James Lalor (b.1886)
  • Dates: 1912–61
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 6 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Biographical History

James Lalor was born on 22 June 1886 in Kilkenny. He joined the IRB in 1905. At the age of 26 he joined the Irish National Volunteers on 5 March 1914. At this time he was working with his father in his building business in Friary Street, Kilkenny. Following the split in the Volunteers, Lalor was appointed Section Commander of No. 1 Section of the Irish Volunteers. After mobilising for Easter 1916 he was arrested on 5 May and eventually imprisoned in Frongoch Internment Camp in North Wales. He was released in August 1916.

During the summer of 1917 Lalor assisted in the organisation of Volunteer companies in a number of towns and villages in county Kilkenny. Once this organisation was underway a decision was made to form battalions and James Lalor was elected Vice O/C or Vice Commandant. In 1918 further organisation of the Volunteers led to the formation of the Kilkenny Brigade and Lalor was elected Brigade Vice-Commandant. Towards the end of 1918 he was appointed Director of Elections for the Sinn Féin candidates in Kilkenny city and county.

He took part in the ambush in Hugginstown RIC Barracks, was arrested and detained in Kilkenny Gaol, transferred to Cork Prison and from there to Belfast Prison where he took part in a hunger strike. After fifteen days he was transferred to the Union Hospital and then home to Kilkenny. Lalor was arrested again in September 1920 and kept in custody in Ballykinlar Camp until the general release a few days after the signing of the Treaty on 6 December 1921.

James Lalor remained a committed Republican throughout his life. He acted on the Brigade Committee facilitating applications for Military Service Pensions as well as travelling to Dublin to attend Advisory Committee meetings to discuss the particulars of cases made by members of the Kilkenny Brigade. He provided references and advice to members of the IRA companies in Kilkenny.

Between 1935 and 1936 he acted as one of the treasurers for the Hennessy-Dermody memorial commemorating two colleagues who were killed during an encounter with British forces in Kilkenny. He was also involved in Republican associations such as the Old IRA Comrade’s Association and Irish Republican Army Federation, attending meetings and involving himself in administrative matters at a local level.

He maintained a lifelong interest in military matters and served as District Engineer in the Kilkenny Local Defence Force during the Emergency.

Archival History

This collection was deposited in UCD Archives by Miss Ann Lalor in 1996. The deposit was facilitated by Mr Jim Maher, historian of the revolutionary period in Kilkenny and biographer of Harry Boland.

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes, newspaper cuttings, reminiscences concerning the 1916 Rebellion and the war of independence in Kilkenny, 1919–54. Correspondence, circulars, receipts relating to collections and administration of the Dáil Éireann Loan in the Kilkenny area, 1919–25.

Copy of James Lalor’s statement to the Bureau of Military History, 1950–54.

Files containing lists of members of the Kilkenny Battalions, statements, correspondence concerning Military Service Pension Applications, 1912–16; 1935–58.

Correspondence, circular, accounts relating to the Hennessy-Dermody Memorial, 1935–42.

Circulars, notebooks, correspondence, reports, memoranda, lists of members, training manuals, accounts, maps concerning the administration and training of the LDF in Kilkenny, 1936–45. Also includes issues of An Cosantóir, 1940–45.

Agendas, minutes, reports of meetings, correspondence, notes, pamphlets relating to Republican veterans’ associations, 1934–61.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in microform. 
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue