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A foundation member of the Coventry Communist Party, he moved to Birmingham in 1922 and became secretary of the branch there.
Emery was arrested that very year for the part he played in a raid on the Birmingham Arms Factory to supply arms to the Irish Republican Army.
Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921, the IRA in the 26 counties which were to become the Irish Free State, split between supporters and opponents of the Treaty. The anti-Free Staters used the name Irish Republican Army (IRA), or in Irish Óglaigh na hÉireann. Unlike during the 1950s and 1960-90s, the IRA was widely supported in Britain amongst trades unionists, even officially. Members of the newly formed Communist Party of Ireland even fought within the IRA.
In June 1922 there were raids on a number of coal mines in Britain when explosives and detonators were stolen but, as the civil war in Ireland turned against the IRA, with the British state supplying all requests from the Free State for munitions and even armoured cars and aeroplanes, by the end of the year IRA operations in Britain had come to an end and by 1923 the civil war had been won by the Free State.
Amazingly, Emery was given bail, but he fled to Ireland from whence he made his way to Russia and was never heard of again.