Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF), the
American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic (AARIR),
the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the
Irish Press (Dublin, Ireland),
the Irish Republican Prisoners and Soldiers Dependents Fund, and the
Celtic Cross Association are among the many Irish American organizations
that worked to support and fund Ireland's fight for independence.
This collection primarily consists of materials and documents from
the AARIR, but it also contains documents from other Irish American
organizations that relate to the administrative and fund raising
activities in which Irish Americans engaged. Additionally, there are
numerous Irish American newspapers, clippings, and pamphlets which
document the struggle for an Irish Republic.
John Byrne was born circa 1866 on a small farm 25 miles south of Dublin near Asford, Wicklow County, Ireland. In 1906 Byrne
moved to Los Angeles, California and became instrumental in helping to fund the Irish nationalist movement. Friends of Irish
Freedom (FOIF) emerged in California in 1916, becoming the state's primary Irish American organization. Its main purpose was
to gain independence for Ireland. John Byrne was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern California chapter of the FOIF and
worked to promote the cause by writing letters and distributing pamphlets. When the FOIF of California merged with Eamon De
Valera's newly founded American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic (AARIR), Byrne became the Secretary-Treasurer
of the Los Angeles chapter. Although returning only once to Ireland, John Byrne devoted his life to the Irish nationalist
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Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University
Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission
to publish or quote manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the
Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the
owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of
the original materials. Use of digital files from or derived from these
collections is restricted to research and educational purposes.