The Irish-American Dynamite Campaign

A History, 1881–1896

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About the Book

In the 1880s, Clan-na-Gael, an extremist Irish-American organization that succeeded the Fenian Brotherhood, initiated a dynamite campaign against Britain in a bid to bring about Irish independence. Throughout England, explosions rocked government, military and police targets, including the Tower of London, London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. This detailed study chronicles the origins, operations and aftereffects of the campaign, especially its heavy infiltration by spies, informers and agents of a rogue British Secret Service. By exploring the overlooked areas of the operation’s history, this volume reveals how, in a bid to discredit the Irish National Party in Parliament, those most entrusted with Britain`s security were themselves complicit in the bombings.

About the Author(s)

Joseph McKenna is a retired local studies librarian, with over 30 years experience working in the Central Library in Birmingham, England. He formerly sat on the City Council`s Conservation Advisory Areas Committee.

Bibliographic Details

Joseph McKenna
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 52 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6896-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9042-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

List of Initialisms viii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

 1. Rossa’s Campaign Begins 15

 2. Combating the Dynamitards 21

 3. The Gallagher Campaign 28

 4. The Featherstone-Dalton Campaign 61

 5. The Railway Explosions 68

 6. The Case of John Daly and James Egan 72

 7. The Bombing of Scotland Yard 89

 8. London Bridge Is Broken Down 95

 9. The Bombing of the Tower of London 99

10. The Bombing of Parliament 105

11. Aftermath and the Admiralty Explosion 112

12. The Jubilee Plot 119

13. The Parnell Commission 128

14. The Special Men 143

15. The Daly Case Reexamined 148

16. Questions in the House 156

17. Release of the Dynamitards 169

18. The Bell Plot 172

19. A Last Throw of the Dice 174

20. A Spiritual Reawakening 178

21. Tying Up Loose Ends 183

Appendix A. Home Office Papers Concerning the Daly-Egan Case 187

Appendix B. List of Convicted Dynamitards 196

Chapter Notes 197

Bibliography 201

Index 203