Remembering Edward Daly
The Irish Revolutionary Edward Daly was executed in Kilmainham Gaol this day in 1916.
Born as John Edward Daly at 26 Frederick Street (now O'Curry street), Limerick on February 25th 1891, Daly was the only son among the ten children born to Edward and Catherine Daly (née O'Mara).
Daly was the younger brother of Kathleen Clarke, wife of Tom Clarke, and an active member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). His father, Edward, was a Fenian (IRB member) who died five months before his son's birth at the age of forty-one.
Daly's uncle was John Daly, a prominent Republican who had taken part in the Fenian Rising and Fenian Dynamite Campaign. It was through John Daly that Clarke had met his future wife.
Daly was educated by the Presentation Sisters at Sexton Street, the Congregation of Christian Brothers at Roxboro Road and at Leamy’s commercial college. He spent a short time as an apprentice baker in Glasgow, before returning to Limerick to work in Spaight's timber yard.
Daly later moved to Dublin where he eventually took up a position with wholesale chemists. In 1913 he moved to Dublin where he lived with Kathleen and Tom Clarke.
In November 1913 Daly joined the newly founded Irish Volunteers. He soon reached the rank of captain. He was assiduous in his study of military manuals and the professionalism of his company gained the admiration of senior officers in actions such as the Howth gun-running of 1914.
In March 1915, he was promoted to the rank of the commandant of the 1st Battalion, he was also a member of the IRB but it's not known when he joined. Like many other of the Rising's leaders, Daly was a member of the Keating branch of the Gaelic League.
During the Easter Rising, Daly's battalion, stationed in the Four Courts and areas to the west and north of the centre of Dublin, saw some of the harshest fighting of the rising. He was forced very reluctantly to surrender his battalion on April 29th by Padraig Pearse.
After the surrender, he was court-martialed and sentenced to death, Daly was executed by firing squad on May 4th 1916, at the age of 25, the youngest to be executed after the rising.
Bray railway station was renamed Bray Daly railway station in his honour in 1966.
Fuair sé bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann