Michael Carolan

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Michael Carolan (1875 – 1930) was an Irish republican activist.

Born in Belfast, Carolan joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914, then participated in the Easter Rising, although as part of the Belfast Division, he did not see any action. Following the rising, he was arrested and sent to the Frongoch internment camp. On his return to Belfast, he joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Sinn Féin.[1]

Carolan stood for Sinn Féin Belfast Shankill at the Irish general election, 1918.[2] This was a unionist stronghold, and he took only 3.8% of the vote. At the Belfast Corporation election, 1920, he was one of five Sinn Féin candidates elected,[3] That year, he was arrested and imprisoned at Mountjoy Prison; he took part in a hunger strike in protest.[4]

Carolan stood in Belfast North at the Northern Ireland general election, 1921, but was not close to election.[5] An opponent of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, he became Director of Intelligence for the anti-treaty forces in the Irish Civil War, then filled the same post for the surviving IRA.[1]

In 1925, he was involved in planning to break IRA prisoners out of Mountjoy, but was arrested and himself imprisoned for a year, many IRA intelligence papers being obtained by British authorities.[6] Frank Kerlin replaced him as Director of Intelligence,[7] but George Gilmore arranged a successful jailbreak in November and Carolan was one of nineteen men sprung in November.[8]


  1. ^ a b J. Anthony Gaughan, Memoirs of Senator Joseph Connolly (1885-1961): A Founder of Modern Ireland, p.84
  2. ^ Northern Ireland Elections, "The Irish Election of 1918"
  3. ^ "Interesting contests", Irish Times, 17 January 1920
  4. ^ "Peace Council asked to intervene in favour of Irish hunger strikers", Evening Independent, 12 April 1920
  5. ^ Northern Ireland House of Commons Election Results, "Belfast"
  6. ^ James Gillogly, Decoding the IRA, p.139
  7. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, p.53
  8. ^ James Gillogly, Decoding the IRA, p.150
Military offices
Preceded by
Michael Collins
Irish Republican Army Director of Intelligence
Succeeded by
Frank Kerlin
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