Historic Irish Volunteers’ donation made to National Museum of Ireland
Family of Commandant Galligan donate Baton and Papers to the State
The family of a senior member of the Irish Volunteers, who was involved in the Howth gun-running of 1914, has donated artefacts of historical signficance to the Irish State.
The Asgard Baton of Commandant Peter Paul Galligan was donated by his family to the Asgard collection at the ‘Asgard’ building, in the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History.
His namesake and great-grandson, Peter Paul Galligan, was on hand to make the donation as was his son, Colm Galligan.
The baton was one of a number issued to the Irish Volunteers ahead of the delivery of weapons by the Asgard yacht into Howth on 26 July 1914. This was in anticipation of attempts by the authorities to seize the arms.
The Asgard , which belonged to Erskine and Molly Childers, was used to transport 900 of these rifles and ammunition to the Irish Volunteers in what was a turbulent time in Ireland’s past.
Galligan was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Irish Volunteers. He was their Wexford Commandant during the Easter Rising of 1916, cycling there from Dublin to ensure volunteers in the area rose to support those in Dublin. When the volunteers disbanded he cycled back to Cavan but was arrested at the family home.
He was sentenced to death for his involvement in the Rising, but this was changed to five years penal servitude.
In addition to the donation of this historic baton to the Asgard collection at the National Museum of Ireland, the letters written by Cmdt Peter Paul Galligan to his family during his imprisonment, and other papers, have been donated by the Galligan family to the National Library of Ireland.