No. 72 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A20/4 Part 4

Letter from Colonel Dan Bryan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Dublin, 16 January 1946

Russell - Ryan Case1

As promised the other day I enclose a statement on the above.2 It is not in as complete or satisfactory a state as I would like, but when speaking to you I thought it was in a more advanced state of preparation. Unfortunately neither of the officers who were au fait with the details of this problem are available. Although I am now sending you this report I am continuing the examination of this question and will probably send you a better drafted and possibly more complete one in a few days. You can take it that all the main or salient facts of Ryan's and Russell's careers, as known to us, are embodied in the attached report. I also feel convinced that although more detailed and complete data may later become available it will only confirm and expand the outline account submitted herewith.

With regard to Ryan's case you will note that a number of letters are mentioned, the originals of which are obviously in Mr. Kerney's possession in Madrid. I think it is important from your point of view that these originals should be brought to Dublin as soon as possible.

You will remember that last year after a certain member of my staff had been in Madrid, I spoke to you about this matter. You will also remember I then told you that not only should these originals be recovered, but that a further effort should be made to obtain from Mr. Kerney all the information at his disposal re Russell and Ryan and Irish-German activities. I did this because certain remarks Mr. Kerney had made indicated that he knew much more about German activities in Ireland than I or you had been previously aware of.3

This member of my staff4 is also unfortunately not available at present, but as far as I can remember now, and speaking subject to correction, these remarks indicated that Mr. Kerney not only knew more than we did about Frank Ryan, but also had seen him in the intervening years. This information of course only confirmed previous information at my disposal which indicated that Mr. Kerney had on one occasion agreed to see Frank Ryan. The source of my information was, however, unable to confirm if they had actually met at that time.5

1 See DIFP VI and VII for further details, in particular the introductions to both volumes.

2 Not printed.

3 This sentence has been highlighted by a line in the right hand margin.

4 Captain Joseph Healy (1900-63), Professor of Spanish, UCC. A member of the Reserve who was recalled to service during the Second World War and attached to G2 (Military Intelligence).

5 This paragraph has been highlighted by a line in the right hand margin.

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