Bracken, Peadar

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Bracken, Peadar

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  • Bracken, Peter

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Peadar Bracken was born in Tullamore in 1887. A lifelong nationalist, he joined the Tullamore branch of the Gaelic League in 1902 and was recruited into the IRB in 1904 at the age of 17. A stone-cutter by trade, he emigrated in 1911 to Perth in Western Australia where he joined his brother Denis in the stone-cutting business there. On hearing of the formation of the Irish Volunteers in 1913, Peadar returned to Tullamore and was elected by the Tullamore Volunteers as their First Captain. In November 1914, he was arrested along with 45 others for his involvement in the Geashill Cattle Drive. Due to the fact that he had discharged a fireream during the melée, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment in Mountjoy Gaol but only served two.

In 1915 he was appointed First Commandant of the newly formed Athlone IV Brigade. In March 1916, he was a key figure in the Tullamore Incident and fired ‘the first shots’ in the affray. He and Seamus O’Brennan subsequently went on the run. During the 1916 Rising, he held key positions in the heart of the fighting, as OC O’Connell Bridge and holding the GPO until surrender. He was released from Kilmainham Gaol in June 1916 and immediately reorganised the Athlone IV Brigade. During the War of Independence he was appointed overall Commandant of No 1 and No 2 Offaly IRA Brigades and Staff Officer to IRA-HQ. He was interned in the Curragh Camp in 1921 but was released in October of that year. Following the establishment of the Free State, he was appointed first clerk of the courts for Tullamore and later to Daingean, Clara and Ferbane. In 1934 he was appointed commissioner for oaths and in the 1940s he served as staff officer with the Tullamore Local Defence Force. His military pension application was approved in 1940 and he was awarded medals for his involvement in the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. He died in January 1916.


Tullamore, Co.Offaly
Perth, Western Australia

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ISAAR (CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, 2nd edition (2011)

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November 2016




O'Bracken, F., 'Peadar Bracken Irish Freedom Fighter 1916-1921', The Universal Publishing Group (2016)

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