Seán MacDiarmada Biography.
Seán MacDiarmada was born on January 1883 in the townland of Corranmore, a few kilometres outside the village of Kiltyclogher. He was educated at Corracloona National School which he left in 1902 at the age of nineteen. After a short period of working as a gardener in Edinburgh he returned to Leitrim in 1904 and went to a nightschool in Tullynamoyle, near Dowra, to study book-keeping and Irish. It was here he met Master Pat McGauran a native Irish speaker and scholar who Sean’s interest in Irish History, language and culture.
He then went to live in Belfast, where he worked as a tram conductor on the Belfast Tramways System. While in Belfast he joined the Dungannon Clubs and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). In 1908 he moved to Dublin as Sinn Feín’s national organiser and befriended IRB activist Tom Clarke. In 1912 he was appointed manager of the newspaper ‘An Saoirseacht’ or ‘Irish Freedom’. MacDiarmada travelled the country tirelessly recruiting members for Sinn Feín, establishing new branches as well as speaking in public. After one such meeting in Tuam, Co Galway in May of 1915 he was arrested under the ‘Defence Of The Realm Act’ for publicly discouraging men from enlisting with the British Army to fight in the First World War against Germany. He was imprisoned in Mountjoy Prison where he served four months and was subsequently released after public outcry.
In April 1916 he fought in the ‘Easter Rising’ and was one of the seven signatories to sign the Proclamation of Irish Independence. Following arrest after the Rising he was court-martialled and sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at 3.45am on May 12th 1916 in the stonebreaker’s yard in Kilmainham Gaol.