Joseph Burke joined the Oranmore Company in the Galway Brigade of the Irish Volunteers in 1914. He fought under the command of Liam Mellows during the Easter Rising and was involved in attacks on RIC Barracks in Oranmore and Clarinbridge, as well as the agricultural station in Athenry. He was interned in Dartmoor, Lewes and Pentonville Prison until his release in June 1917. He subsequently rejoined the Oranmore Company and participated in the War of Independence. Burke sided with the republicans during the Civil War and was interned between September 1922 and October 1923.
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