TRAYNOR, Oscar. AIKEN, Frank. & OTHERS. Invitation Card with Interesting Signatures. The invitation was issued Miss Dolan to attend a ceremony at Áras An Uachtaráin for the presentation of the Red Cross Perpetual Trophy. Reception in the grounds of Áras An Uachtaráin, 24th, July, 1943, at 4pm. Cream card, four pages octavo, folded, printed in green. Eire harp embossed on upper cover. Signed by Oscar Traynor, Daniel McKenna, Frank Aiken, Proinnsias Ó Fathaigh, E Devlin, Thomas Bouchier Hayes, Mrs Dunphy?, Martin O’Sullivan, Lord Mayor, etc.
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In very good condition. In 1943 was the first time the Trophy was presented. The trophy designed by Percy Oswald Reeves (1870-1967) who was an enameller, metalwork and designer who in 1943 had retired after decades teaching at the Metropolitan School of Art. According to newspaper reports 1500 people attended the event, on Saturday afternoon. The Cork team won the Trophy. Those in attendance included Members of Government, Ministry of Defence, Members of the Council of State, Chief of Staff and high ranking
Officers of the Army and the Marine Service as well as Divisional Leaders of the Red Cross as well as
representatives from the Oireachtas, Gardai, Universities, Local Defence Force (LDF), Air Raid
Precautions Wardens (ARP) and members of the Knights of Malta.
Oscar Traynor (1886-1963) Minister for Defence 1939-1948 and again from 1951-1954. He had been a
TD for Dublin serving as a Republican candidate from 1925-1927 and again from 1932-1961 for
Fianna Fáil. He had been active in revolutionary politics took part in the 1916 Rising and War of
Independence, he was on the Anti-Treaty during the Civil War. He also served as Minister for Justice
Daniel McKenna (1892-1975) Chief of Staff of the Irish Army in 1943. He was given a commission in
the National Army in 1922 as Colonel Commanding. He became a Colonel in 1923. After a career
holding many position he became Major General and Chief of Staff in 1940. He retired having attained
the rank of General in 1948.
Frank Aiken (1898-1983) a native of Armagh, he studied Irish in Omeath where he joined the Irish
Volunteers, later forming a company in South Armagh, before becoming commandant of the 4th
Northern Division of the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence. He tried to avert the
Civil War, was involved in negotiation of the Collins-De Valera Pact. He joined the Anti-Treaty forces
and was active and imprisoned during the Civil War. Appointed IRA Chief of Staff he issued the order
to dump arms in May 1923. He was a founder member of Fianna Fáil. During ‘The Emergency’ he was
Minister for Co-ordination of Defence Measures in Eire. He was later Tánaiste 1965-1969. His wife
was Chairperson of the Dance Committee that raised money for the Irish Red Cross during the 1940s.
Proinsias O’Fathaigh [Frank Fahy] (1979-1953) became involved in Revolutionary politics through the
Gaelic League. The Galway native was part of the Four Courts Garrison in 1916. Arrested in 1916 and
again in 1918, he was elected as a Sinn Féin candidate, he would remain a TD for the remainder of his
life. In 1943 he was Ceann Comhairle, a position he held from 1932 until 1951.
Thomas Bouchier Hayes A surgeon, who was active with Howth Branch of the Irish Red Cross. His
son was David Bouchier Hayes, Professor of Surgery at the RCSI.
[L4 File A]
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