Michael O'Hanrahan

Michael O'Hanrahan
Michael O'Hanrahan
Micheál Ó hAnnrachain
Michael O'Hanrahan.JPG
Michael O'Hanrahan
Born 17 March 1877(1877-03-17)
New Ross, Ireland
Died 4 May 1916(1916-05-04) (aged 39)
Kilmainham Jail, Dublin City, Ireland
Allegiance Irish Transvaal Brigade
Irish Volunteers
Years of service 1913 - 1916
Rank Vice-commandant
Commands held 3rd battalion
Battles/wars Easter Rising

Michael O'Hanrahan (Irish: Micheál Ó hAnnrachain) (March 17, 1877 – May 4, 1916) was an Irish rebel who took an 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).[2]

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]

The Easter Rising

He was second in command of Dublin's 2nd battalion under Commandant Thomas MacDonagh, though his role as such was usurped by the last minute addition of John MacBride to the battalion (as, one could argue, was MacDonagh's). He fought at Jacob's Biscuit Factory, though the battalion saw little action throughout Easter week, as the British Army largely circumvented their position.

O'Hanrahan was executed by firing squad on May 4, 1916. His brother, Henry O'Hanrahan, was sentenced to penal servitude for life for his role in the Easter Rising.[3]

Wexford railway station is named in commemoration of O'Hanrahan, as is the road bridge over the River Barrow at New Ross.


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