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  • Writer's pictureStephen Callaghan

T/Sergeant Michael Broderick

Michael Joseph Broderick was the eldest son of Laurence Broderick and Annie Broderick (née Killen). He was born at Cappacur, County Galway on 3 December 1914.

Laurence married Annie in the Roman Catholic church at Portumna, County Galway on 7 February 1910. Both their professions were given as farmers. The 1911 census records Laurence (aged 40) and Annie (aged 31) along with Laurence’s mother Catherine Mitchell (nee Smyth) and her second husband Michael Mitchell.

Michael joined the Defence Forces on 25 April 1939, and was transferred to the Volunteer Force, where he was posted to the Artillery Corps. The Volunteer Force was similar to a militia. Upon joining Michael was recorded as being 5 foot, 6 inches tall with dark coloured hair and blue eyes. He gave his previous trade as a farmer.

Michael Broderick in Corporal uniform 1940

Private Broderick was promoted to Corporal on 15 July 1939 having completed NCO training. Issues with recruitment in the Volunteer Force saw it transformed into a regular army unit and this say Michael as a regular soldier from 14 August 1939. He was later promoted to Temporary Sergeant on 25 June 1940.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, a state of emergency was declared in Ireland and the Emergency Powers Act 1939 was passed, giving the government complete control of the country. During this period Michael was with the II Field Artillery Regiment which was based in Collin’s Barracks, Cork. Throughout the Second World War, Ireland remained neutral, however was sympathetic towards the allies. T/Sergeant’s Broderick’s farming background was still part of his life, and he was granted agricultural leave from 17 May 1941 to 13 June.

Michael's emergency medal.

Sustaining injuries apparently from horses, he was discharged from the army as medically unfit for further service on 3 January 1945 after 5 years and 254 days’ service, his character was described as ‘very good’. For his service during the Emergency he received the Emergency medal with two bars.

Michael returned to his native Galway and married Margaret Mooney on 10 November 1948 in the Catholic Church at Tynagh, County Galway. Margaret had been a nurse in England during the Second World War. They moved to Banagher, County Offaly where they ran a shop. Michael became a postman. He was obviously proud of his service during the ‘Emergency’ as he wore his ribbon for the Emergency medal on his uniform. They later moved to Birr and lived on the Green. He is still remembered in Birr as the ‘postman’ and for having a great interest in Irish music.

Michael died on 27 October 1982 at Tullamore Hospital, County Offaly and was buried in Kilcorban cemetery, Galway.

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