National Army Soldier (Captain) Daniel J. O’Brien


National Army Soldier (Captain) Daniel J. O’Brien (aged 27) of Castleview, Macroom (recently residing in Dublin), (Carrigaphooca Bridge near Macroom)

Date of incident: 16 Sept. 1922

Sources: Death Certificate (Slieveragh District, Union of Macroom), 16 Sept. 1922; CE, 18, 22 Sept. 1922; FJ, 18, 19, 20, 21 Sept. 1922; Evening Herald, 18, 20 Sept. 1922; Belfast Newsletter, 18 Sept. 1922; Derry Journal, 20 Sept. 1922; II, 21 Sept. 1922; SS, 23 Sept. 1922; Kilkenny People, 23 Sept. 1922; Longford Leader, 23 Sept. 1922; Connaught Telegraph, 23 Sept. 1922; Connacht Tribune, 23 Sept. 1922; Ulster Herald, 23 Sept. 1922; Fermanagh Herald, 23 Sept. 1922; Strabane Chronicle, 23 Sept. 1922; FSS Cork Civil War Deaths; MSPC/2D120 (Military Archives); Boyne (2015), 185-86; Keane (2017), 99-101, 306, 394; http://www.irishmedals.ie/National-Army-Killed.php (accessed 7 July 2017); Carrigaphooca Bridge Memorial.


Note: Six soldiers of the National Army including Daniel J. O’Brien were killed on the spot and a seventh was mortally wounded when a powerful road mine exploded as they were in the process of trying to disable and remove it a short distance from Carrigaphooca Bridge near Macroom on Saturday, 16 September 1922. See CE, 18 Sept. 1922; http://www.irishmedals.ie/National-Army-Killed.php (accessed 7 July 2017). Daniel O’Brien was interred in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin on 20 September. See FSS Cork Civil War Deaths. 

In 1901 Daniel O’Brien was one of the eight or nine children of the National Teacher Julia O’Brien of Inchinashinagane in Macloneigh parish near Macroom. Listed as the household head, she may already have been a widow, as she was described in the 1911 census. Her eight co-resident children in 1901 (five daughters and three sons) ranged in age from 1 to 12. Daniel O’Brien (then aged 6) was her second son. By the time of the 1911 census, when she still resided in the same townland, she had only four of her now nine children co-residing with her. Daniel was not among them any longer. Rather than Julia O’Brien having given birth to a ninth child between 1901 and 1911, the likelihood is that a ninth child was simply not resident in 1901.  

Daniel O’Brien had held the rank of captain in the 32nd Battalion of the First Dublin Brigade in the National Army under Colonel Commandant Thomas Keogh. The place of O’Brien’s death was given in his pension file as Clonfadda near Macroom, though it is correct to say that he was killed in the road-mine explosion at Carrigaphooca Bridge on 16 September 1922. He had been an engineering instructor with the Wexford County Council in civilian life. He contributed £2 10s. per week to the support of his widowed mother Julia O’Brien, described in a Civic Guard report of 24 March 1924 as ‘a very respectable lady’. She was denied a dependant’s allowance or other gratuity because, as a former National Teacher, she was in receipt of an annual pension of £130 per annum. See MSPC/2D120 (Military Archives).

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,