Lynch, Diarmuid (1878–1950), revolutionary, was born Jeremiah Christopher Lynch, 10 January 1878 at Granig, Tracton, Co. Cork, son of Timothy Lynch, farmer, and Hannah Lynch (née Dunlea). Educated at Knocknamana national school, he became a sorting clerk at Cork General Post Office (GPO), and having studied at Skerry's College, Dublin, for the British civil service was appointed a boy clerk in London. He emigrated to the USA in March 1896, working initially as a bookkeeper and shipping clerk, and later as an assistant manager, with the firm A. B. Farquhar, where his uncle, Cornelius Dulea, was a partner. He studied Spanish and mechanical drawing with a view to working in Mexico and Peru, but opted to remain in the US and become a naturalised citizen. An active member of various Irish clubs in New York, he served as secretary and president of the Philo-Celtic Society and president of the Gaelic League in New York state, and was involved in a campaign to disrupt theatre performances of plays seen as anti-Irish. From 1907 he used the Irish version of his first name, ‘Diarmuid’.
Returning to Ireland in 1908, he secured employment with McKenzie & Son, suppliers of foodstuffs, in Dublin, where he was introduced to the ‘Teeling circle’ of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) by Seán T. O'Kelly (qv). Moving to Cork in 1910, he served as provincial representative for Munster on the supreme council (1911–16). Visiting the USA in 1914 as a Gaelic League representative with Thomas Ashe (qv), he attended the Clan na Gael convention in Atlantic City, returned to Ireland with £2,000 to buy guns for the Irish Volunteers, and was involved in selecting Fenit beach, Co. Kerry, as a landing site for arms for the Easter rising. Because of his American citizenship he was confined to residing within a five-mile radius of Dublin during the first world war.
Having served in the GPO garrison during the Easter rising, he was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to ten years penal servitude on the intervention of the US president, Woodrow Wilson, because of his American citizenship. Released on amnesty in June 1917, he was appointed Sinn Féin food controller, but was arrested in 1918 and deported to the USA, where he became national secretary of the Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF). Elected to the first dáil for Cork South-East at the 1918 general election, he resigned in August 1920 because of the dispute in the USA between Éamon de Valera (qv) and the FOIF. He supported the Anglo–Irish treaty, but remained in the USA, living at 2366 Grand Concourse, New York, and running an insurance business at 53 Chambers St., New York. He returned to Ireland in 1932 and became involved in preparing the 1916 roll of honour to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the rising. In 1941 he became vice-president of the American Irish Historical Society. On returning to Ireland he lived initially in Dublin and Mallow before settling in Tracton, where he died on 9 November 1950.
He was married secretly in Dundalk prison (24 April 1918) to Kathleen Mary, daughter of Mr and Mrs John Quinn of Celbridge, Co. Kildare. They had no children. His papers are held in the National Library of Ireland.
More information on this entry is available at the National Database of Irish-language biographies (Ainm.ie).