George Oliver Michael Plunkett

(05/07/1894 - 21/01/1944)

George Oliver Michael Plunkett was a republican born on 5 July 1894 at 26 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin. He was the fifth child and second son among three sons and four daughters of George Noble Plunkett, a man of letters, nationalist, and papal count, and Josephine Plunkett (née Cranny).

Plunkett was educated at Belvedere College, Dublin, and Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England, receiving officer training at the latter. His study of dentistry at UCD was curtailed by involvement in the Easter rising and subsequent incarceration.

A captain in the Irish Volunteers, he commanded the so-called ‘Kimmage garrison’, formed of some seventy men enlisted into the Volunteers upon their separate returns to Ireland from Britain to escape wartime conscription, and quartered in the several months preceding the rising on the Plunkett family property at Larkfield, Kimmage, Co. Dublin. It is believed that he and Rory O’Connor set up the controversial ‘Castle document’ on a hand printing press at Larkfield. During Easter week he was attached with fifty-six men of his command to the headquarters garrison in the GPO, which included both his brothers, Joseph Mary Plunkett and John (‘Jack’) Plunkett. After evacuation of the GPO on Friday 28 April 1916, he demonstrated both humanity and courage by first rescuing a wounded British soldier stranded between lines on Moore Street, and then braving hostile fire to retrieve the man’s rifle. Though he was court-martialled and sentenced to death, his sentence (like that of Jack, but not of Joseph, who suffered execution) was commuted to ten-years’ penal servitude.

Imprisoned in England until the general prisoner release of June 1917, he then worked countrywide as a Sinn Féin organiser. Appointed to the IRA general headquarters staff during the 1919–21 conflict, he travelled on inspection tours of IRA units throughout the country. He was arrested in Walkinstown, Dublin, in 1921 and interned until December 1923. He was elected TD for Dublin South–West in the general election of June 1927, and was re-elected in September 1927 and 1932. He was a member of the executive of the Anti-Treaty IRA, and was imprisoned in the Curragh and Arbour Hill. He was released in 1932, and was appointed to the executive of the IRA. He was arrested in 1936 and imprisoned in the Curragh until 1940. He died in Dundalk on 21 January 1944 from a fractured skull, sustained in falling from a horse-drawn trap in Ballymascanlon, where he was living with his family.

Person Photo
Connection with area: Republican who lived in Larkfield Mills Sundrive road. Commanded the Kimmage garrison.