Mayo Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Major John MacBride

John MacBride was born at The Quay, Westport, Co. Mayo in 1865.

He joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and was associated with Michael Cusack in the early days of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). He also joined the Celtic Literary Society through which he came to know Arthur Griffith (founder of Sinn Féin) who was to remain a friend and influence throughout his life. Beginning in 1893, MacBride was termed a "dangerous nationalist" by the British government. In 1896 he went to the United States on behalf of the IRB. On his return he emigrated to South Africa where he fought against the British in the Boer War.

During the 1916 Rising, MacBride offered his services to Thomas MacDonagh and was appointed second-in-command at the Jacob's factory. For his part in the Rising, MacBride was executed by the British on 5th May, 1916, two days before his fifty-first birthday. Facing the British firing squad, he refused to be blindfolded, saying "I have looked down the muzzles of too many guns in the South African war to fear death and now please carry out your sentence." He is now buried in Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin.