Passage West Collection 5: The Journeys of Frank Busteed, IRA, Co. Cork- Ireland, America & The Emergency

Frank Busteed grew up in Blarney. He was Vice-Commandant and subsequently Commandant of the 6th Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade. He was heavily involved in the War of Independence and Civil War in Cork, fighting on the Anti-Treaty side in Passage West, Rochestown and Douglas during the Battle for Cork in August 1922. He was also allegedly involved in the Cobh shootings in March 1924.  

Photographs of Frank Busteed as a young man:

Frank pictured on the right above.
Frank is on the left above.

Frank left for America in June 1924 and this photo shows the annual ball of the Cork IRA Reserves held in New York in 1931.

He returned to Ireland in 1934, serving as a Lieutenant in the Irish National Army from 1941-1946. This button probably dates to that period.

His connection with Passage West was renewed when he became Manager of the Labour Exchange in 1953 until his retirement in 1963.

Frank Busteed’s grandson, Brian O’Donoghue, who holds a BA in History from UCC, has written his biography, published in 2022 as part of the Decade of Centenaries special edition of the Journal of the Blarney Historical Society, available in shops in Blarney, Tower, Donoughmore, Cloghroe and Whitechurch.

His personal effects, including his ‘Webley-Fosbery’ self-cocking revolver, a framed photo of which is shown here, have been donated by his family to Cork Public Museum. This type of revolver was produced by Webley & Scott from 1901 until 1924. The production run was fairly low making these particular revolvers relatively rare. 

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