No. 102 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A20/4 Part 1

Letter from Colonel Dan Bryan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
Frank Ryan - Madrid Correspondence

Dublin, 4 April 1946

With reference to your letter, A.20, of the 19th ultimo,1 I am returning herewith the originals of all the Frank Ryan and O'Reilly2 correspondence from Madrid which you then enclosed. I am refraining from making a final commentary on this correspondence until certain related enquiries are completed, but would in the meantime like to direct your attention to two outstanding matters that arise from my examination of the correspondence.

The first and most important is that Ryan in his letter of the 14.1.'42 could refer to Goertz's contact with the General (O'Duffy). Until now I had assumed for a considerable period, possibly without sufficient reason, that Goertz in 1941 was practically cut off from Germany and at best was only able to get out very few and brief messages. Actually, I am convinced that Goertz did not meet the General until a relatively short period before his arrest. The fact that people evidently in Berlin were aware of this soon afterwards has caused me to revise my views as to the possible amount of information Goertz did get out in the period immediately prior to his arrest. The actual point which is somewhat worrying me not being the fact that there are possibly records in Germany of Goertz's contact with the General but that there may be records in Germany of his relations with other political and even official people of a more unexpected nature. There is always the danger first that the records may exist, and secondly that at some time they may be published or at least become public property.

The3 other outstanding feature of interest in this correspondence is that it finally confirms the fact that Mr. Kearney4 evidently had close contact with some of those people for a number of years of which he did not adequately inform your Department. I am pursuing the Mrs. Clissmann case as it may possibly add much to our information on this particular point.

While on the subject of German activities in Ireland I should also state that information has now come to hand re the association of Seán Russell and the Germans during the period of the IRA bombing campaign in England. This information is to the effect that Russell obtained considerable financial aid from the Germans but that his line of contact with the Germans was known only to himself and a few other people and was handled entirely by Joe McGarrity5 in America.

1 Not printed.

2 Gerald O'Reilly (1903-90), Irish left-wing republican, emigrated to the United States in 1926.

3 This paragraph has been highlighted by a vertical line on its left-hand side.

4 Leopold H. Kerney.

5 Joseph McGarrity (1874-1940), Irish-American activist, leading member of Clan na Gael and President of the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic.

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