Hɪsᴛᴏʀʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Dᴀʏ – 24ʀᴅ Mᴀʀᴄʜ 1923

Sean Dowling (1896 – 1988).

We are going to profile some of the lesser known participants who attended the Executive meetings in the Bleantis and the Nire. By and large they were men who did not follow a political path after the Civil War. One of these was Sean Dowling.

Seán Dowling (1896 – 1988) was born in Dublin into a republican family. He attended Padraig Pearse’s school St Enda’s, where Willie Pearse, Con Colbert and Tomás MacDonagh were also teachers. He joined the Volunteers, becoming a member of the 4th Battalion, which covered the south west of Dublin. He studied English at UCD under Tomás MacDonagh and later he enrolled in the Dental School and qualified as a dentist in 1920.

He was out in Easter Week and during the War of Independence he became Officer Commanding of the 4th Battalion. Seán opposed the treaty, but was not eager to commit to armed opposition. Cathal Brugha called on him and persuaded him to join in the occupation of O’Connell St. Later as Director of Organisation he was a member of the Army Executive and attended the meetings at Bliantas, Nire Valley and Poulacappal.

In 1924 he set up a dental practice in Baggot Street. He married Joanna McCarthy in 1930 and had eight children. He remained a republican all his life but sought to heal the wounds of the civil war. He served on many committees most importantly as chairman of the Kilmainham Jail Restoration Society.