Tipperary Archive

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John Sharkey War of Independence Collection


John Sharkey War of Independence Collection


Photographs and documents collected and produced by John Sharkey primarily during the War of Independence. Also includes some family photos, an autograph album, scrapbook and various documents


The Sharkey Collection. Seán (John / Jack) Sharkey, intelligence officer with the 3rd Tipperary Brigade was an avid photographer and took this collection of photographs during the War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War. His collection also includes documents and an autograph album from Tintown. The photographs consist of images of flying columns, training camps and individual members of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade, with some rare photographs of Dan Breen’s wedding in 1921.
John Sharkey, son of James Sharkey, a Clonmel Jeweller was born in 1900. The family lived at 44 Gladstone Street, Clonmel. The albums contain some family photos and views of the area around Clonmel. John was sent to Radcliffe College in England to be educated with the intention of preparing him for the Indian civil service. He was accepted into Oxford at the age of sixteen but was persuaded by family to defer his entry for a year. He returned to Clonmel where he became involved in the Sinn Féin movement in the aftermath of the Easter rising 1916. As at the time many jewellers had a photography service he was able to remain undercover throughout the War of Independence. The material was kindly loaned to Tipperary Studies by his son, Neil Sharkey, who also has the original box brownie camera which John used to take his photographs.
The collection has three photograph albums, the green album was the property of Seán Sharkey’s brother Jim who emigrated to the USA in 1918. Many of the photographs are duplicates of those found in the red album (Seán Sharkey) which was confiscated and damaged by government troops during the Civil War. The green album was returned to Ireland on Jim Sharkey’s death and as many of the photographs are in better condition than Seán’s copies both images have been reproduced here.


John Sharkey


Digitised by Tipperary Studies


1919 to 1921


Tipperary 3rd Brigade


© Neil Sharkey


English and some Gaeilge


Digitised images and documents


John Sharkey archive


Clonmel and South Tipperary

Collection Items

Red album first page
first page of album. Name and address and date. John Sharkey, 44 Gladstone Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. May 1921

Head and shoulder Image of a young woman titled Irene. Irene Sharkey, sister of John Sharkey. Black and white. 1921?

Group of cattle in Suir near the Turn of Abbey
Group of cattle in Suir near the Turn of Abbey. Clonmel. 1922. Black and white image

In the Bagwell Glen
Young man reading in wooded Glen near Clonmel Possibly John Sharkey. 1921. Black and white image

Man walking on rough track
Back of a man walking along a rough track in a rural area. 1921. Black and white image

View of Clonmel from the Suir. 1921. Black and white image

Two mile bridge Clonmel
Two mile bridge Clonmel from the Suir. 1921, Black and white image.

John Sharkey Military Service pensions certificate 1935
John Sharkey Military Service pensions certificate November 1935. Document

Clonmel tennis grounds
Photo of Clonmel tennis grounds, taken for E. O'Malley for projected ambush of R.I.C. divisional officers. Black and white image

James Sharkey
Head and shoulder Image of James Sharkey. Black and white image. B. 1863. D. 1948.
View all 125 items

Collection Tree