Peadar Kearney who wrote the lyrics of the Soldier’s Song (Amhrán na bhFiann) was a native of Dublin, Ireland. The Soldier’s Song is the Irish National Anthem. Kearney also composed several other songs including, ‘Down by the Glenside’ and ‘The Tri-coloured Ribbon’. He was a founder of the Irish Volunteers and fought in the Easter Rising of 1916.
Peadar Kearney was born on Lower Dorset Street, Dublin on December 12th 1883. Having left school at age 14, he trained as a house painter. He was a member of the garrison which fought at Jacob’s biscuit factory during the 1916 Easter Rising. He later fought in the War of Independence which ended with signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December on December 6th 1921.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty established Ireland as a self-governing Free State. It was ratified by 64 votes to 57 by Dáil Eireann on January 7th 1922. When those opposed to the Treaty lost the vote, they walked out of parliament led by Éamon de Valera. They took up arms in opposition to the treaty and civil war ensued. Peadar Kearney supported the democratic decision of the people and served under Michael Collins during the Civil War. He was with Michael Collins at Béal na mBláith when Collins was assassinated on August 16th 1922. Following the death of Collins, Kearney abandoned politics and returned to house painting.
Peadar Kearney, who wrote the lyrics of what is now the Irish National Anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann, died at the age of 59 in the year 1942 On This Day.