One of the first pupils at St. Enda’s College, Rathfarnham, Frank Burke was a favourite of Patrick Pearse, who remarked that he had “the daring of Cúchulainn”. Burke followed Pearse into the IRB and was a co-founding member of the Irish Volunteers in 1913. Along with other past pupils of St. Enda’s, he enrolled in E Company of the 4th Dublin Battalion, and helped to manufacture explosives and munitions in advance of the Easter Rising. During Easter week, he was stationed in the GPO, taking up a position “beneath the tri-colour at the Prince’s Street corner”, as he later recalled. After internment at Stafford jail, he returned to Dublin to assume a teaching post at St. Enda’s, where he later became principal. He enjoyed remarkable success on the sporting field, winning three All Ireland Football Championships and two All Ireland Hurling Championships with Dublin, as well as four Dublin County Championships with his club, the Collegians. He was also present in Croke Park on Bloody Sunday, 21st November 1921, as part of the Dublin team which played Tipperary. He took part in a number of operations during the War of Independence, including arms raids and attacks on police barracks, and rose to the position of second lieutenant of E Company.
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