Ballincollig Cork School of Music student Kate O’Shea who played ‘The Lark in the Clear Air’ at the launch of Diarmaid L Fawsitt’s archive. Photos: Brian Lougheed

A multi-Fawsitted man

The personal archive of nationalist, civil servant and key Anglo-Irish Treaty advisor Diarmaid L Fawsitt has been made available to the public.

Born near Blarney Street on Cork’s northside in 1884, Fawsitt was active in cultural, industrial and nationalist circles, including the Celtic Literary Society, Sinn Féin, the Gaelic League, Cork National Theatre Society, and especially the Cork Industrial Development Association.

In November 1913 he attended the inaugural meeting of the Irish Volunteers in Dublin and was inducted into the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The following month he was one of the co-founders of the Cork Corps of the Irish Volunteers at City Hall, later becoming chairperson of the Executive.

During the War of Independence, Arthur Griffith sent Fawsitt, as consul and trade commissioner of the Irish Republic, to the USA to be based in New York. A friend of Michael Collins, he was also a technical advisor for the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations in 1921-22. Later, he was a senior civil servant in the Department of Industry and Commerce, and a judge of the Circuit Court.

Fawsitt’s archive comprises a large collection of over 2,000 documents, such as correspondence, diaries, photographs, news clippings, articles, speeches, lectures, and ephemera related to his public service and involvement in many causes and organisations. The archive is of high quality and was kept with care by generations by the Fawsitt family.

The newly accessible archive, which was painstakingly listed, numbered and arranged by archivists at Cork City and County Archives Service, is now available for public access. It is hoped it will be a major research asset for historians of the revolutionary period and 20th century Ireland. The opening up of the archive to the public has been made possible through Cork City Council’s 1920-1923 commemoration programme and national Decade of Centenaries government funding. The archive was donated to the Archives in 2019.