Frank Roney

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Above: Frank Roney, IRB head centre in Belfast—he claimed that by 1863 his organisation could boast at least 1,000 members in the city. (Ira B. Cross (ed.), Frank Roney, Irish rebel and California labor leader: an autobiography [Berkeley, 1931])

Frank Roney was recruited into the IRB in Belfast sometime in the early 1860s by Carlow native John Nolan. A moulder by trade, Roney was on the left wing of the Fenian movement. In his later memoir, Irish rebel and California labour leader, he wrote of his disappointment at missing the opportunity to meet Karl Marx. Following Stephens’s ousting by the American wing of the Fenian movement in 1866 for prevaricating over staging a rising, Roney continued his organisational activity under the new command. He was arrested soon afterwards and exiled to the US, where he lived out his days as a trade union organiser.

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