Peadar Bracken

(23/01/1887 - 19/01/1961)

Peadar Bracken (23 January 1887 – 19 January 1961) stands as a prominent figure in Ireland’s tumultuous history, deeply entwined with the events of the 1916 Rising and the subsequent struggle for independence.  Peadar commanded the Kimmage Garrison leaving Sundrive Road on Easter Rising 1916. Born in Sragh, Tullamore, Bracken was the second son of Joseph Bracken and Anne White, both renowned sculptors. His early involvement in nationalist activities and the desire for Irish independence shaped his destiny.

In 1914, Bracken was elected Captain by the Tullamore Company Irish Volunteers, later appointed Commandant of the Athlone Brigade area by none other than Patrick Pearse. A key moment in history credits Bracken, along with comrade Seamus Brennan, for firing the first shots of the 1916 Rising in Tullamore, acting under the orders of Pearse himself. Bracken assumed command during the uprising, leading the critical GPO garrison outpost at O’Connell Bridge, Dublin.

Before his revolutionary exploits, Bracken’s journey was marked by involvement in the Gaelic League and recruitment into the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1904. His emigration to Perth in 1911 was short-lived, returning in 1914 upon learning of the formation of the Irish Volunteers. Bracken’s leadership skills were recognized as he was elected Captain and later appointed Commandant.

The Tullamore Incident in March 1916, where Bracken and Brennan fired shots in self-defense, set the stage for the upcoming Rising. During the rebellion, Bracken held crucial positions, commanding the Kimmage Garrison and later becoming the OC O’Connell Bridge. His involvement extended to post-Rising activities, imprisonment in Kilmainham Gaol, and subsequent reorganization of the Athlone IV Brigade.

Beyond 1916, Bracken’s commitment to the cause remained unwavering. He held various positions, such as First Commandant of the Offaly IRA Brigade, and contributed significantly during the War of Independence. Bracken’s life unfolded with political engagements, imprisonment, and service, making him a central figure in Ireland’s pursuit of sovereignty.

Peadar Bracken passed away on 19 January 1961, leaving behind a legacy of resilience and dedication to the Irish cause. His contributions spanned political, military, and civilian roles, making him a symbol of the indomitable spirit that characterized Ireland’s struggle for independence.

Person Photo
Connection with area: Irish republican, he was officer in command of the Kimmage Garrison in the 1916 rising