Seán Mac Stiofáin

Life
1928-2001; b. John Edward Drayton Stephenon, Leytonstone, E. London, 17 Feb. 1928; m. Protestant from Belfast; entered building trade as labourer, 1944; conscripted for RAF, 1945; national service; involved in Irish organisations in Britain; learnt Irish; m. Maire, from Rochestown, Cork; joined IRA during 1950s campaign; arrested following IRA raid on Felsted (Corp) Public School Armoury; sentenced with Cathal Goulding and Manus Canning to three years; moved to Ireland on release and rejoined wife; objected to Marxist ideology of Goulding and IRA; traditional militarist aims found sympathy with Northern members; autobiography, Revolution in Ireland (1975); alleged to have participated in unsuccessful attack on Crossmaglen RUC Station, Aug. 1969; flown by RAF to London with Martin McGuinness and four others and agreed ceasefire with British Govt. in 1972, delivering demands to William Whitelaw at private meeting there, viz., ‘for the whole people of Ireland acting and voting as a unit to devide the future of Ireland’, and for the British Govt. ‘to give an immediate declaration of its intent to withdraw from Irish soil’ by 1st Jan. 1975; RTÉ interview with MacStiofáin resulted in sacking of RTE Authority; arrested, 19 Nov., and sentenced to six-months imprisonment following ceasefire breakdown at Lenadoon, Belfast; went on hunger-strike before trial (‘I will be dead in six days. Live with that.’) and visited in hospital by John Charles McQuaid and later by Dr. Dermot Ryan; transferred to Curragh after failed attempts to rescue him by IRA squad disguised as priests; replaced as leader in1973 on ending 57 day hunger strike; ended on orders of Army Council; d. 18th May (aetat 73; b.1928); survived by Maire and dgs. Catherine, Moira, Sinead.

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Notes
Sean Garland was captured with IRA papers including a draft of a military plan authored by Mac Stiofáin with evidence of the influenced of EOKA on Mac Stiofáin. (See Roy Johnston, review of Thomas Hennessey, Northern Ireland, in Books Ireland, March 2006.)

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