16 Lives John MacBride
orn in Westport, MacBride worked as a chemist. He travelled to America in 1896 and supported the IRB, before emigrating to South Africa, where he became a naturalised citizen of the Transvaal. When England attacked the Boer republics, McBride was commissioned as a major in the Irish Brigade, to aid the Boers in their struggle to maintain independence.
Eventually, he returned to Dublin. There, he married the Irish nationalist Maude Gonne in 1903. He was not a member of the Irish Volunteers, but offered his services to Rising leader Thomas MacDonagh, and was at Jacob’s biscuit factory when that post was surrendered on Sunday, April 30, 1916.
He was executed on May 5 at Kilmainham. He asked not to have his hands tied behind his back, or have his eyes covered, remarking to the priest: “You know, father, I have often looked down their guns before.”
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