Irish America’s role in the 1916 Rising was much more than just financial. One important facet of Irish-American involvement was that many of the leaders of the rebellion had travelled extensively or lived in the United States, and some were even American citizens. Both Thomas Clarke and James Connolly had made lives for themselves for a period in the US and about a half dozen others, including Joseph Plunkett and Sir Roger Casement had made visits to and tours of the United States. In fact, John Devoy, the founder of Clan na Gael, instigated and took part in
Roger Casement’s attempt to gain German support for Irish freedom after the breakout of World War I. The Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF) was founded a few weeks prior to the 1916 Rising ostensibly to promote the cause of Ireland in the United States.
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