Gun runner and escaped prisoner - Austin Stack's road to the Dáil

A prominent figure in Kerry Gaelic Athletic Association and republican circles, Austin Stack was arrested following the failed attempt to land arms in from the Aud in April 1916 and was sentenced to penal servitude for life. Following his release in 1917 he became joint secretary of Sinn Féin and an executive member of the Irish Volunteers. Stack was elected MP for Kerry West in the December 1918 general election while incarcerated in Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast.  Within the republican movement, he gained further notice for his leadership in a series of prison strikes. In April 1919 he was transferred to Strangeways, from which he escaped in October. As minister for home affairs, Stack was responsible for the republican court system.