Gill, Peter Edmund (d. 1892), newspaper editor, was probably born in Tipperary. Nothing is known of him prior to 1857, when he founded the Tipperary Advocate and Nenagh Commercial and Agricultural Adviser, publishing it from an office in Chapel Lane, Nenagh. It soon became the leading paper in north Tipperary and was strongly nationalist in tone, preaching self-government, civil and religious liberty, and tenant right. It was described by a hostile resident of Nenagh to R. R. Madden (qv) as the organ of the local Young Ireland party. Gill was never a member of the IRB but was active in several proto-Fenian organisations; he was president of the Tipperary Club, which was associated with the National Brotherhood of St Patrick, a Fenian body, and was a member of the William Smith O'Brien monument committee. In November 1861 he followed the funeral cortège of Terence Bellew McManus (qv) in Dublin. However, he was too eccentric and independent-minded to join the organisation outright. In his readership and in his later political challenges he appealed to exactly the same poor, frustrated, nationalist class as the Fenians did, and they therefore saw him as a threat. His first challenge came during the summer of 1863, when he used his paper to lay plans for a series of great outdoor patriotic meetings at various locations throughout Tipperary. This was seen as treading on IRB territory. James Stephens (qv) headed off this challenge by utilising the considerable local influence of the Fenian C. J. Kickham (qv). Two years later Gill used his oratorical skills to stand in the Tipperary by-election of February 1865 as an independent nationalist in opposition to the liberal Charles Moore. His election pamphlet began: ‘Have you heard the glorious news, says the Shan Van Vocht / P. E. Gill is going to stand / As leader in the land / Ireland's freedom to demand’ (Legge, 98). John Blake Dillon (qv), campaigning for Moore, who was supported by the catholic hierarchy, observed that the tory landlords were using all their influence for Gill, with the intention of detaching the people from the priests. Moore topped the poll in a particularly low turn-out; Gill achieved a respectable 909 votes. At the general election four months later he stood again for Tipperary against Moore and Dillon, and again got just over 900 votes. He brought an unsuccessful petition against the other candidates, alleging bribery and corruption.
His eccentricity and imprisonment for debt in 1866 made him an easy target, and the Fenian paper the Irish People frequently derided him. However, he continued to flirt with the movement, and was an organiser of the banquet at the Rotunda, Dublin (21 October 1867), for the radical priest Fr Patrick Lavelle (qv), which had a heavy Fenian attendance. Two years later he was the leader of a group of activists who put forward the Fenian felon Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (qv) as a candidate in the November 1869 Tipperary by-election against the liberal catholic lawyer Denis Caulfield Heron (qv), a champion of tenant right and an advocate of amnesty for Fenian prisoners. Rossa won narrowly in a low turn-out but, as a convicted felon, he was disqualified. In 1874 Gill stood himself for the last time in Tipperary against two home rule candidates and John Mitchel (qv), also standing as an independent nationalist. Gill polled just over 600 votes but immediately made a speech heralding Mitchel's glorious victory, and when Mitchel was disqualified, he begged him on behalf of the electors of Tipperary to stand again.
Gill continued to run the Tipperary Advocate successfully until 1889, and was active in the land league. He died in Dublin, 21 July 1892.