16 Lives: John MacBride, by Donal Fallon
16 Lives: John MacBride
John MacBride was, in 1903, at the age of 32, one of the most famous Irish Republicans alive. Donal Fallon takes the reader through MacBride’s role as a major in the second Boer War leading the Irish Brigade. He relates how MacBride met and married Maude Gonne in Paris. On the face of it, it was a marriage made in Gael-heaven – Kathleen Ní Houlihan marrying Cúchulainn. Instead, it was chalk marrying cheese. By 1916, MacBride had largely ceased his active involvement with militant republicanism. He only learned about the Rising when he saw Thomas MacDonagh and the Volunteers on Easter Monday on Grafton Street. The book is well-written and will be enjoyed by the general reader and the serious student. The author makes good use of the Military Archives to piece together what happened inside the garrison at Jacob’s factory leading to the surrender and McBride’s execution.