Leo McCormack (sometimes spelled McCormick) was one of several military-trained volunteers whose expertise contributed greatly to the level of skill in the newly organized IRA of the early 50's.
He was born in Dublin but emigrated to England like many young Irishmen of his day. There he joined both the British Communist party and enlisted in the Commandos. On account of the latter, when he returned to Dublin and joined the IRA, he became training officer for the brigade and quickly made the GHQ staff. He was unemployed and is said to have had "no prospect" of getting a job, either from his politics or the economic climate or both. For this reasonTony Magan appointed him as a full-time organizer; a position in which he would travel the country on a small pension from the movement and the charity of local supporters, organizing, training, and coordinating local units. In 1953, while making a tour of the 6 counties, he discovered the sentry at Gough Barracks was unarmed, which led to the famous raid in 1954. By the time the raid happened however, he was serving a four year sentence in Crumlin Road Jail for "possession of documents." He had served out his sentence when Operation Harvest began, but the state decided to intern him for the duration of the campaign. While in jail he earned a degree in accounting. He was released in 1962 and had no further involvement in the movement.