No. 236  NAI DFA Secretary's Files A20/4

Letter from Colonel Dan Bryan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(G2/0257) (Secret)

DUBLIN, 29 October 1942

Dear Joe,
I am quite satisfied that the enclosed 'Dear Evelyn' letter is intended for Frank Ryan.

I confess I had not read the original when I signed the covering minute forwarding it to you some time ago and had I read it I would have suspected its destination immediately. Apart from the obvious pointers in the letter I have now ascertained that Frank Ryan was born on the 11th September, 1902, and thus the references in the last page to the 'birthday in a few days' and the '41st' fit in perfectly with Ryan's age.

This raises some interesting questions, e.g.

  1. Did Mr. Kerney make an arrangement with Eilis Ryan to send him letters using a decoy name 'Evelyn' which he would transmit to Ryan?
  2. Does Mr. Kerney know Ryan's present address? (Note: On the top righthand corner of the first page is the following by way of a postscript 'Remember me to the Muls when you see them'. If the 'Muls' mean Clissmann (Mulcahy) it would seem as if this letter was intended to go direct to Ryan but this is not necessarily the only conclusion to be drawn from that message).
  3. The letter acknowledged by Eilis Ryan on the 7th Sept. was stated to have been dated the 13th August. I have seen letters that have arrived from the Continent within from three weeks to a month from the date of posting. In this instance however and on the assumption that the letter of the 13th August was from Frank Ryan, it would appear to have come with remarkable dispatch. It was not seen in Postal Censorship and I have been wondering if, by any chance, it could have come in the bag from Madrid and have been passed out in your absence. Alternatively it might have been brought by a member of the crew of one of our ships sailing from Lisbon and smuggled ashore. The only other explanation that I can think of at the moment is that it could have been sent to a covering address and consequently not associated with the Ryans. I have now established beyond doubt that Clissmann is an Intelligence Officer in the German Army (Fitzsimons has identified him from a photograph as being one of the persons who interviewed him). I have an idea that I saw on some document in your office a reference to Clissmann having been in Madrid at some time and if my recollection is correct I would like to see the relevant context.

I am holding the original letter to 'Dear Evelyn'.

Yours sincerely,
[signed] DAN BRYAN

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