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Portrait of Bulmer Hobson with Padraig Ó Riain

Portrait of Bulmer Hobson with Padraig Ó Riain

Bulmer Hobson (1883–1969) seated at forefront with Padraig Ó Riain standing behind, front facing, three-quarter length portrait

John Bulmer Hobson was a leading member of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) before the Easter Rising in 1916. He founded Na Fianna Éireann in 1902 as a Republican scouting movement, and later served as the editor for the republican newspaper Irish Freedom.

Hobson was member of the IRB, but was kept unaware of the plans for the Rising. He opposed the Rising as he was convinced it would be a failure, instead believing that the Volunteers should employ guerilla tactics. Hobson was kidnapped by the Rising's organisers to stop him from spreading news of MacNeill's order to cancel all Volunteer actions, and held at gunpoint in a safehouse in Phibsborough until events were well underway.

After the Rising, Hobson went into hiding to avoid arrest, a decision which hurt his future political prospects and led many of his former friends and colleagues to turn their backs on him.

He spent the rest of his career in the civil service, working in the Department of Post and Telegraphs. Although he had been one of the most active members of the IRB for years, and was instrumental in the founding of the Volunteers, Hobson took no major role in politics after the Rising, or the subsequent Irish War of Independence.

Padraig Ó Riain served as secretary for Fianna na hEireann, and produced the organisation's handbook, 'An Claidheamh Soluis' ('The Sword of Light').

(Patrick Maume. "Hobson, (John) Bulmer". Dictionary of Irish Biography)

Includes annotation on verso "Padraig Ó Riain (Claidheamh Slouis [sic] manager, sec. of An Fiana) Bulmer Hobson".

Physical description: 1 photographic print : mounted, in mylar. b&w ; 6.8 x 11.1 cm ;

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