Michael O'Hanrahan

Michael O'Hanrahan

Michael O'Hanrahan
Native name Micheál Ó hAnnrachain
Born (1877-01-16)16 January 1877
New Ross, Ireland
Died 4 May 1916(1916-05-04) (aged 39)
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, Ireland
Years of service 1913–1916
Rank Vice-commandant
Commands held 3rd battalion
Battles/wars Easter Rising

Michael O'Hanrahan (Irish: Micheál Ó hAnnrachain; 17 March 1877 – 4 May 1916) was an Irish rebel who was executed for his active role in the 1916 Easter Rising.


Born in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, he was the son of Richard O'Hanrahan and Mary Williams. His father appears to have been involved in the 1867 Fenian rising.[1] The family moved to Carlow where Michael was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers’ School and Carlow College Academy. On leaving school he worked various jobs including a period alongside his father in the cork-cutting business.[1] In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and in 1899 founded the League's first Carlow branch and became its secretary.[1] By 1903 he was in Dublin where he was working as a proof-reader for the Gaelic League printer Cló Cumann. He published journalism under the by-lines 'Art' and 'Irish Reader' in several nationalist newspapers, including Sinn Féin and the Irish Volunteer. He was the author of two novels A Swordsman of the Brigade (1914) and When the Norman Came (published posthumously in 1918).

Political involvement

In 1903 he became involved in Maud Gonne and Arthur Griffith's campaign against the visit of King Edward VII to Ireland.[1] The encounter with Griffith led O’Hanrahan to join the newly formed Sinn Féin. He also became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. In November 1913 he joined the Irish Volunteers. O'Hanrahan was later employed as an administrator on the Volunteers headquarters staff.[1] He was made quartermaster general of the 2nd Battalion. He and the commandant of the 2nd Battalion Thomas MacDonagh became close friends.[1]

1916 Easter Rising

He was second in command of Dublin's 2nd battalion under Commandant Thomas MacDonagh. He fought at Jacob's Biscuit Factory, though the battalion saw little action other than intense sniping throughout Easter week, as the British Army largely kept clear of the impregnable factory dominating the road from Portobello Barracks on one side and Dublin Castle on the other. When in May the situation became desperate O'Hanrahan told his c/o MacDonagh they "were inviting destruction of the factory by incendiary shells, and also of the surrounding thickly populated area".[2] MacDonagh ordered a breakout amidst the chaos and confusion. O'Hanrahan led "with some difficulty" the garrison out of the factory through New Bride Street gate.[3]

O'Hanrahan[4] was executed by firing squad on 4 May 1916 at Kilmainham Jail.[5] His brother, Henry O'Hanrahan, was sentenced to penal servitude for life for his role in the Easter Rising.[6]


Wexford railway station is named in commemoration of O'Hanrahan, as is the road bridge over the River Barrow at New Ross. O'Hanrahans GAA Club Carlow was founded in 1919 and is still, consistently, one of the top teams in the County.



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 http://www.nli.ie/1916/pdf/9.3.pdf
  2. Irish Bureau of Military History WS 995 (Eamon Price); Townshend, p.249.
  3. Irish Bureau of Military Affairs WS 376 (Padraig O'Ceallaigh) tr.Patrick O'Kelly.
  4. Others on that day were: Ned Daly, Willie Pearse, Joe Plunkett. Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh had already been executed on 3rd; MacBride died on 5th.
  5. Brian Barton, "From Behind a Closed Door. Secret Court Martial Records of the Easter Rising", (Belfast 2002).
  6. 1916 Rebellion Handbook, p. 281.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 4/16/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.