Pain, Trauma, and Memory in the Irish War of Independence: Remembering and Contextualising Irish Suffering
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These are the visceral recollections of Daniel Breen, born into a family of eight in Donohill, Co. Tipperary in 1894, of the brutal conflict that changed the course of his life. Breen was six years old when his father died. His mother supported the family working as a midwife. At age seventeen, Breen secured employment at a railway station. During his youth, Breen absorbed ideas about the need for Irish independence from his mother. In 1912, he was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood and, in 1914, the Irish Volunteers. In his later life, he served as a Fianna Fáil politician. Breen’s experiences of conflict made a lasting impression. Three decades later, he recorded his memories for posterity in an oral history interview conducted by the Bureau of Military History (BMH).