Frank Busteed and Cork IRA with de Valera, Cork
In the 1950′s he was appointed Manager of the Passage West Labour Exchange – retiring from this position (ironically this is where his father’s ancestors first settled in Ireland in the mid 17th century) .
In 1974 (just before his death), the book EXECUTION (based on events around The Dripsey Ambush) was published.
He featured in a number of other books on the period 1919-24.
Brian O’ Donoghue (Grandson)
Information required on the men below: following Volunteers (and buddies of Frank all) –
And also – Sean O Hegarty, Stephen O’Neill, Charlie O’Donoghue, Tadgh O’Sullivan????
UPDATED ACCOUNT BY BRIAN O’DONCHU
Frank Busteed –
Born 23/09/1898, Cork
of mixed -Protestant/Catholic backround.
Grew up in Blarney, Co Cork
Joined Fianna Eireann 1909/1910
Joined the Irish Volunteers in 1917
Assisted in hoisting the Tricolour on top of Blarney Castle, 1917!
Capt. of Blarney Volunteers Company, 1919
Saw two terms in jail (back to back) in 1919.
Vice Commandant of 6th Battalion, Cork No 1 Brigade, 1920
(Commandant of 6th Battalion Flying Column-1921)
He was very active in the battalion area MId -Cork/Nth Cork, Cork City during the War of Independence, in planning manuevres, in ambushes, raids on Brit. Army, intelligence gathering, and in training (and the kidnapping of the spy Mary Lindsay (Feb, 1921)),whose betrayal of an ambush near Dripsey resulted in the execution of 5 Volunteers, and in her own execution and that of her driver), the arrest of British Intelligence Officer Major G. L. Compton-Smith, in Blarney (Apr.1921), intercepting Brit. Intelligence, allegedly, the kidnapping and execution of three active undercover British Intelligence Officers, near Macroom (April, 1922), disabling of key enemy transport lines).
His backround was mixed, religiously and culturally, but he knew both sides of his family well. He grew up in his mother’s house and Nationalist traditions (his father had died when he was 2), though he regularly visited his paternal grandmother, and family, including his 2 older brothers who were brought up by her, in the Unionist tradition. (One of these brothers warned Frank of imminent arrest in 1921, resulting in his escape, while the other later gathered intelligence to assist him in apprehending their mother’s killers – in a raid on her home in March, 1921).
He had served two prison sentences in 1919 (and where he tried to learn Irish), and became Blarney Company Capt. after, and from late 1920 was regularly on active duty with the battalion, sometimes on the run with the battalion, and on his own. During this period he was a Republican Court judge, sitting with 3 others regularly, from 1920 to 22.
During the Civil War he was on the Anti Treaty side, as Commandant of his battalion was involved in many engagements and planning same, seeing action in Co. Cork, Limerick and Waterford.
Commandant of 6th Battalion, Cork No 1 Brigade, 1922
Went to U.S.A in 1924, first Boston, eventually settling in New York for 12 years, maintaining close connection with the Irish community there. He went into business, married and started a family.
After De Valera came to power in 1932 he wanted to return to Ireland, and in 1936 the family settled in Cork City. He became involved in local politics, particularly in organising the Fianna Fail cummans in the city.
In 1941 he joined the Irish Army, as Lieutenant. He was recommended for Capt. in 1943 (he did not take this up). He left in 1946, leaving to allow more time to run a family business, though remaining active in local politics, and involved with former comrades. He had a family of 6 children.
In the 1950’s he worked for local government, and retired from the position of Labour Exchange Manager in 1964.