Opinion Analysis

Thursday 26 April 2018

Ruairi O Bradaigh

Maintaining ideological purity was more important to him than human life

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

HIS parents set Peter Roger Casement Brady firmly on the road of killing for Ireland. His innate obstinacy and theologically inclined mind were what would make him an implacable opponent of compromise.

His father, Matt, was an IRA veteran who had been badly wounded by a policeman in 1919 and was heavily involved in ceremonies commemorating the Easter Rising. His ex-Cumann na mBan, Irish-speaking mother was also a keeper of the republican flame.

On the morning of February 7, 1940, Matt Brady looked at his watch and told his daughter and his eight-year-old son to kneel and pray for two Irishmen who "now lie into quicklime in Birmingham". (These were Peter Barnes and James McCormack, who were hanged for their alleged role in bombing Coventry and killing five.) Two months later, the little boy was much affected by the funeral cortege through Longford town of Sean McNeela, who had died in a Dublin jail while on hunger strike for political status. Then, two years later, Matt died and was given an IRA funeral.

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