Edward O'Brien (Irish republican)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Edward O'Brien
Nickname(s) The Quiet Man [1]
Born September 18, 1974
Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland
Died 18 February 1996(1996-02-18) (aged 21)
London, England, UK
Allegiance Provisional Irish Republican Army
Years of service 1992–1996
Rank Volunteer
Unit Wexford Brigade

Edward O'Brien (18 September 1974 – 18 February 1996) was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteer.


O'Brien grew up in Gorey, County Wexford, with his parents and two siblings. As a child he attended the local national and secondary schools.[1] A keen sportsman, he was a member of St Enda's GAA Club where he played football and hurling and also played for Gorey Rangers soccer club.[1] He also was regarded as a talented boxer, and worked in a bakery.[1]

Active service

Having joined the IRA in 1992, he was described in an Irish Republican memorial book as a thoughtful and strong-willed young man who very serious about his commitment but frustrated about not playing a more active role in Irish republicanism.[1] Soon after he went to England to engage in paramilitary activity in an active service unit.[1] Documents later recovered from O'Brien's residence indicated he was working for the IRA in Britain early as August 1994, collecting information on targets, and assembling bomb-making equipment during a seventeen-month ceasefire.[2] O'Brien may have been responsible for a planting a bomb in a London telephone box on 15 February 1996 that was later deactivated by the police.[2]


O'Brien died on 18 February 1996, when an improvised explosive device he was carrying detonated prematurely on a number 171 bus in Aldwych, in the West End of central London.[3][4] The 2 kg semtex bomb detonated as he stood near the door of the bus.[2] A pathologist found O'Brien was killed "virtually instantaneously" from "massive injuries", and it also caused seven injuries to passengers and the driver.[2][5]

O’Brien was the first IRA volunteer to lose his life following the Docklands bombing nine days earlier that signaled the end of the "cessation of military operations" ordered by the IRA leadership in 1994.[6][7] A subsequent police search of his London address discovered 15 kg of semtex, 20 timers, 4 detonators and ammunition for a 9 mm Walther revolver, along with an incendiary device. The Walther pistol was discovered on him after his death.[2][8]

O'Brien is buried in St Michael's Cemetery in his home town of Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Tírghrá, National Commemoration Centre, 2002, paperback); p. 361; ISBN 0-9542946-0-2
  2. ^ a b c d e Bennetto, J. Dead IRA man 'had hit-list' of bomb targets. The Independent, 17 April 1996.
  3. ^ "Bomb blast destroys London bus". BBC News. 18 February 1996. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  4. ^ English, Richard (2003). Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA. Pan Books. p. 291. ISBN 0-330-49388-4.
  5. ^ BBC News
  6. ^ Peadar Whelan. "Ed O'Brien remembered". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  7. ^ IRA Man: Talking with the Rebels by Douglass McFerran ( ISBN 978-0275955915), page 8
  8. ^ Lost Lives, ISBN 1-84018-504-X

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Edward_O%27Brien_(Irish_republican)&oldid=841168030"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_O'Brien_(Irish_republican)
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Edward O'Brien (Irish republican)"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA