Thomas Brennan (Irish Land League)

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For other people named Thomas Brennan, see Thomas Brennan (disambiguation).

Thomas Brennan (July 1853 – 19 December 1912), born in Beauparc, County Meath, was a founder and joint first secretary of the Irish National Land League and signatory of the No Rent Manifesto.

Following his release from Kilmainham Gaol he left for Omaha in the United States, where he had a successful career as an attorney, in real estate and in insurance broking.


Brennan's address to the crowd at the Tenant Rights meeting at Irishtown, County Mayo on April 20, 1879 that led to the formation of the Land League:[1]

. . . I have read some history, and I find that several countries have from time to time been afflicted with the same land disease as that under which Ireland is now labouring, and although the political doctors applied many remedies, the one that proved effectual was the tearing out, root and branch, of the class that caused the disease. All right-thinking men would deplore the necessity of having recourse in this country to scenes such as have been enacted in other lands, although I for one will not hold up my hands in holy horror at a movement that gave liberty not only to France but to Europe. If excesses were at that time committed, they must be measured by the depth of slavery and ignorance in which the people had been kept, and I trust Irish landlords will in time recognize the fact that it is better for them at least to have this land question settled after the manner of a Stein or a Hardenberg than wait for the excesses of a Marat or a Robespierre.