My Fight For Irish Freedom: Dan Breen's Autobiography
by Dan Breen
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The story of the man who fired the first shot in the War of Independence, leader of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade. In 1919 a group of young men barely out of their teens, poorly armed, with no money and little training, renewed the fight, begun in 1916, to drive the British out of Ireland. Dan Breen was to become the best known of them. At first they were condemed on all sides. They became outlaws and My Fight for Irish Freedom describes graphically what life was like 'on the run,' with 'an army at one's heels and a thousand pounds on one's head'. A burning belief in their cause sustained them through many a dark and bitter day and slowly support came from the people. Dan Breen is widely recognised because of his involvement in the ambush and killing of two RIC policemen at Soloheadbeg - a political and historical controversy widely regarded as the act that started the War of Independence. Alongside his comrades in the Third Tipperary Brigade of the IRA, Dan Breen became one of the most infamous and controversial IRA leaders of his generation. With the Civil War over, Breen went to prohibition America, and ran a speakeasy. He returned to Ireland to become a politician, and was the first Republican to enter the Free State parliament. For more than thirty years he represented Tipperary, becoming its most popular and longest serving legislator.
- Mercier Press, January 1981
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