He went to jail to save his father

Hubert Reynolds was born in St Patrick’s Avenue in 1902 and shortly afterwards his family moved to Queen Street. He followed a family tradition when entering the service of the Railway Company as a 15-year-old in 1917. He was a boy porter and earned 10 shillings for a 60 hour week. From his boyhood, he took an active part in the National Movement and joined Fianna Éireann. During the War of Independence, he was engaged on communications work.

On September 23 1920 his father James’ house was raided in a roundup after the Black and Tan Krumm was killed in the station. James was charged with having ammunition not under effective military control, and also being in charge of a copy of the official organ of the Irish Volunteers, An t-Óglach, dated June 1, 1920, which included among other things instructions for bomb making. James was charged by a district court martial held in Renmore on October 8, but then his son Hubert stepped forward before the court and said that the ammunition and literature were his and so his father was released. When Hubert was asked if he was guilty or not, he refused to recognise the court and he was taken into custody to serve 15 months in prison.

He went to jail to save his father.

On April 8 1921, he was among a group of political prisoners from County Galway who were removed from Galway Jail to Mountjoy Prison on their way to Wormwood Scrubs.

In March 1922, after the Treaty was signed, at a military court of enquiry at Renmore Barracks, regarding the raid on the Grammar School, it was found that Hubert Reynolds, OC Fianna, Galway, did not take part in the raid, but went there for the sole purpose of calling it off, as the raiders were members of the Fianna. He was released ‘Without a stain on his character’. This trial by his countrymen may well have taken place in the same room where he was tried by the British authorities in October 1920.

In 1967 Hubert retired from CIE, having spent 50 years working with the company. He was the last man to hold the post of foreman at Loughrea station — he had worked in Loughrea since 1922. He took inordinate pride in the fact that the Loughrea and Attymon Company was, at the time of his retirement, the only surviving ‘spur’ branch line in Ireland and was the only line in the British Isles on which ‘mixed trains’, ie, combining passenger and goods were operating. Hubert was very active in GAA circles in Loughrea for many years.

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