David Neligan

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David Neligan (1899–1983), known by his soubriquet "The Spy in the Castle", was an important figure involved in the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921, and subsequently became Director of Intelligence for the Irish Army after the Irish Civil War (June 28, 1922 – May 24, 1923)

Early life

David Neligan was born at Templeglantine, Limerick, where his parents, David and Elizabeth Neligan, were National School Teachers.

Against his father's wishes, Neligan joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1917, and was recruited into the G Division in 1919. In May 1920, Neligan's elder brother Maurice (1895–1920), an Irish Republican Army member and friend of Michael Collins, persuaded him to resign from the DMP.

After his resignation, Neligan had returned to his native County Limerick. Shortly after, his brother Maurice was killed in a motor cycle accident, near their home in Templeglantine. In the meantime, Neligan received word from a family friend that Michael Collins wished to meet with him in Dublin. Collins persuaded Neligan to rejoin the DMP, and provide information to the Irish Republican Army. Along with Eamon Broy and James McNamara, he acted as a valuable agent for Collins and passed on reams of vital information.

In 1921, Collins ordered Neligan to let himself be recruited into MI5. He used this as an opportunity to memorise their Oath of Allegiance, passwords, and the identities of their agents. All of this was passed on to Collins. After Broy and McNamara...
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