This news sheet, the “Official Organ of the Irish Volunteers” priced at 2 pence, was the weekly organ of the IRA which all volunteers were encouraged to read. It was made widely available in Republican ranks in all counties of Ireland.
The first Thompson guns arrived into Ireland late May 1921 and were officially first recorded as used against a British Army troop train in mid June. The IRA and the British at this period were negotiating a Truce which came into effect on 11th July 1921.
Then the IRA news sheet An t-Oglac dated 22nd July openly referred to the Thompson gun and how a large number were now in IRA hands. The paper, only one week after the Truce started between the IRA and the British, boasted in an article headed “Our latest Ally” that a “large number” of guns are now in IRA hands and extolled the attributes of this “quick firing” weapon which can be concealed under a coat (see actual article) .
The British in Dublin Castle were always keen to read the IRA newspaper An t’Oglac – Intelligence officers described it as a “little seditious paper” possession of which in law resulted in a sentence of nine months hard labour.
It was obvious that the article in the paper was written to rattle the British as the Thompson at that time was a new type of ‘super’ gun and the intention was to boost the morale of the IRA volunteers who now had a gun superior to that of the enemy. Later on during the autumn, the Thompson was very evident at IRA training camps where journalists were invited to observe. Then in December during IRA review parade, the Thompson was much in evidence for the cameras.