#OTD in 1894 – Birth of nationalist revolutionary and politician, Dan Breen, in Grange, Donohill, Co Tipperary.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

One of the most famous fighters in the fight for Irish freedom, Dan Breen is born in Co Tipperary. He was an iconic IRA figure in both the War of Independence and also the Civil War.

Breen was involved in what is accepted as the first action of the War of Independence 1919-1921 when with Sean Treacy and others, he ambushed and killed two RIC constables James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell, both of them Catholic and reputedly popular in the community in what has become known as the Soloheadbeg Ambush (Co Tipperary.)

In his memoir, My Fight for Irish Freedom Breen outlines what happened at the ambush:

‘Hands up!’ The cry came from our men who spoke as if with one voice. ‘Hands up!’ In answer to our challenge they raised their rifles, and with military precision held them at the ready. They were Irishmen, too, and would die rather…

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