The Life and Times of Michael Staines’

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Figure 1 Michael Staines in the early 1920s Commissioner [Gar14]

The purpose of this study is to present a biographical account of Michael Staines, best known as the first Commissioner of An Garda Siochána the study intends to provide a written account of his life and his contribution to the formation of the new state both as a politician, revolutionary and freedom fighter during the war of independence. He also filled important organisational roles in during Sinn Fein’s election victories in the lead up to the first Dáil, where he was elected himself as a Sinn Fein TD. He fought in the Easter Rising and was interned in Frongoch, where he became leader of the prisoners there

He also played a vital role in keeping the peace during the truce, and got involved in other important work, such as the National Aid Association, and the re organisation of the Volunteers after the failure of the rising.

He got involved in the formation of the new Police Force; his peacekeeping roles during the truce made him the natural choice of becoming the first commissioner of the newly formed Garda Siochána.

However his position as commissioner was short lived and he was forced to resign due a mutiny among the new recruits. He had a very inconsistent political career, successful in the early years, but struggled to succeed in politics in the new state as it developed into a modern western democracy

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