No. 367 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A20/4

Letter from Colonel Liam Archer to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(G2/0257) (Secret)

Dublin, 12 December 1940

Dear Joe,

Further to recent correspondence regarding Frank Ryan, I now append copy of the text of the telegram from O'Reilly, New York, to O'Reilly, 82 Ballymun Road, Dublin, which Major Bryan1 communicated to your Department by telephone; it reads as follows:

'Handed in 7/12/1940. New York. O'Reilly, 82 Ballymun Road, Dublin. Please inform O'Donnells and friends Frank safe Lisbon. Wishes no further enquiries made about him for present. O'Reilly.'

I also append an extract from a letter addressed by J. Nolan, 9 Marlboro' Place, Dublin, (a leading member of the Communist Party in Ireland) to J. Prendergast, 58 Theobalds Road, London, W.C. which reads as follows:

'About Frank, I expect now that you have some news, you'll hear the rest'.

It is now evident that the mystery surrounding Frank Ryan's whereabouts has been cleared up in so far as his immediate political friends are concerned.

With regard to Mr. Kerney's telegram,2 I am in a position to say that Clissmann met Frank Ryan in Dublin in 1936 and was seen occasionally in his company. Furthermore, Clissmann's wife was known to have political leanings similar to those of Frank Ryan, consequently it is not at all unlikely that the Clissmanns would help Ryan through their German friends and it is conceivable that he was both at Lisbon and Copenhagen. An alternative theory might be that his American friends were deliberately misled by being advised that Ryan was at Lisbon, which is in a neutral country, in order to cloak his transfer to Copenhagen, at present under German control.

Yours sincerely,
[signed] L. Archer

1 Major (later Colonel) Dan Bryan (1900-85), Deputy Director of Military Intelligence (1938-41), Chief Staff Officer and Director of Military Intelligence (1941-52), Commandant of the Military College (1952-5).

2 See No. 360.

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