November 24, 1942

Peadar Kearney, the lyricist responsible for the Irish national anthem “A Soldier’s Song,” died on this day in 1942. Kearney joined the Gaelic League in 1901 and the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1903. He taught night classes in Irish and one of his students was to-be playwright Sean O’Casey. Kearney’s early republicanism led him to cofound the Irish Volunteers in 1913. His rebel songs were very popular with the Volunteers. Aside from the Irish national anthem, he penned “Down by the Glenside” and “Erin go bragh.” However, Kearney would leave politics after the death of close friend, Michael Collins.

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