Joseph Michael Stanley, 1890-1950

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Joe Stanley: Printer to the Rising Tom Reilly’s book ‘Joe Stanley: Printer to the rising’ tells the life story of Joseph Michael Stanley or more accurately Joseph Michael Patrick William Catherine Larkin Stanley. Born in Dublin, the son of John and Mary Stanley of Ardbolies, near Clogherhead in Co. Louth, the book concentrates on the period from 1913 to 1923.In 1913 Joe bought a struggling printing works, and in the following years the book records his increasing involvement in the republican movement. His printing works were raided in March 1916 and the presses confiscated. He delivered copies of a handbill ‘The Provisional Government to the Citizens of Dublin’ to the GPO on Easter Tuesday. He was arrested at the end of the week and eventually was imprisoned at Frongoch Concentration Camp near Bala in North Wales. Other prisoners included Michael Collins, Sean T. O’Reilly, Dr James Ryan, Tomas MacCurtain, Terence MacSwiney, Desmond Ryan, W.J. Brennan-Whitmore, Richard Mulcahy, Michael Staines, Oscar Traynor and Dick McKee.All the prisoners were released before Christmas 1916. Returning to Dublin he recommenced printing under his imprint the Gaelic Press. In 1918 he started printing An tOglach for Michael Collins, and again found himself subject to raids from the police. In 1919, frustrated by the confiscation of his presses, he moved with his family to Drogheda where he opened a cinema, this was followed by the opening of a second cinema in Dundalk in the same year. In 1920 he stood for election and was elected to Louth County Council. Following independence in 1921 Joe was back in Dublin getting his printing presses back and resurrecting the Gaelic Press. When the Civil War broke out in 1922 Joe resigned his position in the IRA.

In 1929 he moved to London to take up the post of sub-editor at the Daily Mail, the family remaining in the Clogherhead area. He returned to Ireland in 1935 and the family moved to Drogheda. In 1936 he bought over the Drogheda Argus and Advertiser and he was back in the printing and publishing business, which proved to be very successful. Joe died in hospital in Drogheda in June 1950.

Tom Reilly, Joe Stanley: Printer to the rising. Brandon Press, Dingle; 2005. ISBN: 086322346X.

One Response to “Joseph Michael Stanley, 1890-1950”

  1. Katharina

    Congratulations on a very nice and informative site!

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