No. 329 UCDA P80/385

T.A. Smiddy to Desmond FitzGerald

Washington, 3 December 1922

A Chara:


On reading the report of a meeting held in Boston on last Sunday at which Mrs. Muriel MacSwiney and other supporters of the Irregulars spoke (and a copy of which I sent you) I noticed that among the speakers was a Mr. Briscoe, a Dublin Jew. I asked Mr. McGrath if he knew anything of him. He told me that he believes he used buy guns and supply them at one time to the I.R.A. and that he suspects that recently he made some purchases on behalf of the Irregulars.

The probability was suggested that he may be here on a gun-purchasing and -running expedition. Hence, I went to New York last Wednesday to interview the most efficient International Detective Agency in the States — that of Wm. J. Burns. It is conducted now by his sons as William J. is Chief of the Intelligence Service at Washington for the Department of Justice. I interviewed Mr. Sharman Burns who has proceeded to put an investigator and detective on the track of Briscoe. I also gave him a general direction to make investigations if there are any guns going to Ireland from the principal ports on the East Coast. He informed me that guns can be easily procured at present in the States and that in New York the dockers would help willingly to smuggle the guns out as many of them through the supporters of Jim Larkin are ready to help the Irregulars. He told me that Larkin and his clique are in league with the Irregulars. They are sure, though they have not got all the evidence, that it was the same people who some time ago attempted destruction with bombs in Wall Street.

He advised me that in the event of any guns being captured going into Ireland you report to me the names of the makers and description of the guns.

I have been interested in this matter recently in consequence of a reference made by the Commander-in-Chief to guns being imported from America.

Do Chara,
T. A. Smiddy

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