Frank Ryan

Politician + Editor + Collectivist
Born 1902

Frank Ryan was a prominent member of the Irish Republican Army, editor of An Phoblacht, leftist activist and leader of Irish volunteers on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

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1902 Birth Born in 1902.


1922 - 1927 6 More Events
1929 27 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1929 Ryan was appointed editor of the Republican newspaper An Phoblacht, where he worked alongside Geoffrey Coulter, his assistant. … Read More
1930 28 Years Old In May 1930 Ryan spent several weeks in the US, addressing Irish conventions, where he witnessed the start of the Great Depression, and the ravages of unemployment.
1931 29 Years Old In 1931 he was imprisoned for publishing seditious articles in An Phoblacht. … Read More


1933 31 Years Old In 1933, Ryan, along with George Gilmore and Peadar O'Donnell, proposed the establishment of a new left-republican organisation to be called the Republican Congress. … Read More
1935 33 Years Old In 1935, Ryan established two publishing concerns, the Cooperative Press and Liberty Press, to circumvent the difficulties in publishing left-wing material. … Read More
1936 34 Years Old O'Donnell due to his age and Gilmore with a broken leg were not in a position to return to Spain to fight. Despite his deafness in late 1936 Ryan travelled to Spain with about 80 men he had succeeded in recruiting to fight in the International Brigades on the Republican side. … Read More
1937 35 Years Old He was seriously wounded in March 1937, and returned to Ireland to recover. … Read More
On his return to Spain, he again served in the war until he was captured by Italian troops fighting for the Nationalists in March 1938.
He was then transported to Berlin, and met up with Seán Russell on 4 August 1940.
Although Operation Sea Eagle was first postponed after being shown to Hitler on 6 September 1941 and then ultimately cancelled, Ryan's part in planning continued up to its cancellation. … Read More


1942 40 Years Old Once a feared invasion of Éire by US Troops stationed in Northern Ireland in 1942 failed to materialise, Ryan was dropped as a possible mission specialist in further covert Abwehr and Foreign Ministry plans and operations.
1943 41 Years Old He was approached late 1943 for his opinion on the feasibility of a "Geheimsender" (secret transmitter) propaganda operation in Ireland for broadcast to the United States, but the plan never reached fruition. … Read More
1944 42 Years Old 1 More Event
Ryan was given the cover name "Richard II" (Russell had been "Richard I"), and he was listed in the Abwehr (Intelligence) files as "Frank Richard". This protected him from the Gestapo, who might have been very interested in a former officer of the International Brigades, but they had no access to the Intelligence files until 1944.
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