John Mc Bride

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John Mc Bride was from County Mayo and son to the local shopkeeper in Westport. Originally he studied Medicine but later became a Chemist. He joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and later became involved with Michael Cusack in the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). He joined the Celtic Literary Association (CLA) where he befriended Arthur Griffith and whom influenced him for the rest of his life.

In 1896 he went to the United States of America on behalf of the IRB and later emigrated to South Africa where he fought on behalf of the Boers in the Second Boer War, even raising with the help of an Irish-American an Irish brigade. He was commissioned as a major in the army and given Boer citizenship.

Mc Bride was not involved in the Irish Volunteers like many other rebels and was made second in command of Jacob's biscuit factory to Thomas Mc Donagh during the Rising. He was executed in Kilmainham, like many of his fellow rebels on May 5, 1916.

After the Boer war he had went to Paris where he married Maud Gonne in 1903. WB Yeats loved Maud deeply (a love unreciprocated) and Yeats therefore detested Mc Bride intensly. Yeat's coming to terms with Mc Bride in his poem, Easter 1916 is a beautiful and fitting end to Mc Bride's life, where he laments:

"This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vain-glorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born."

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