Volunteer Lieutenant David Brennan

Volunteer Lieutenant David Brennan (aged about 27) of Tullaha near Broadford, Co. Limerick (Keeltane near Freemount)

Date of incident: 21 June 1920

Sources: II, 22, 23 June 1920; Denny Mullane’s WS 798, 12-13 (BMH); Timothy O’Shea’s WS 1213, 4 (BMH); James M. Roche’s WS 1225 (BMH); IRA Memorial, West Limerick Brigade, Newcastle West.

Note: Along with Volunteer William Danaher, David Brennan was severely burned when Volunteers destroyed Dromcolliher courthouse on 21 June 1920. Brennan was brought to a friendly house in north Cork immediately after the incident, but very soon died of his injuries. Former Volunteer Denny Mullane, captain of the Freemount Volunteer Company, remembered this incident and the indirect involvement of members of his company: ‘Through some unexplained cause a premature explosion took place [in Dromcolliher courthouse] while members of the burning party were inside the building. The roof was blown clean off, and of the four inside, only Seán O’Farrell escaped. [Patrick] Buckley was burnt to a cinder; Dave Brennan and Billy Danegher [sic] were taken away alive, but both died later. One of the victims, Dave Brennan, was removed to Nicholas Kenneally’s house in Kieltane [also Keeltane], Freemount, where he died and was buried at midnight in Knawhill cemetery near Freemount. The Volunteers turned out to guard the house and funeral, one of whom, Mick Madden (R.I.P.), brought the coffin from Newmarket under a load of straw.’ See Denny Mullane’s WS 798, 12-13 (BMH).

Brennan was a member of the Broadford Company of the Third Battalion of the West Limerick Brigade. He was one of the eight children of the widowed Tullaha farmer Bartholomew Brennan and worked as a farm labourer at the time of the 1911 census. Oddly, Bartholomew Brennan and David’s older brother Matthew had listed themselves as coopers in the 1901 census, when four sons co-resided with their already widowed father.

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