From public defiance to guerrilla warfare: the experience of ordinary volunteers in the Irish war of independence, 1916-1921
Political events in the period between the 1916 Rising and the Truce of 1921 are well documented, but the experience of Volunteers at local level has not been extensively analysed before now. As a result it has so far been impossible to provide a satisfactory explanation for the fact that the IRA was so much more active in the South-west than in other areas. Augusteijn is the first to compare the way in which ordinary people in various parts of the country became involved with the IRA and what they did once they had joined. He examines the interaction on a personal level between the IRA, Crown Forces, and the population of five different counties: Derry, Dublin, Mayo, Tipperary and Wexford, and concludes that the form this interaction took played a crucial role in the extent to which violence was used. He thus provides an insight into the reasons why some young men became increasingly willing to use violence, and offers a new explanation for the dominance of south-western units in the War of Independence, on the basis of their actual experiences. He then reappraises the impact of the less well known units in the North, East and West which have so far been widely ignored. This book uses only original sources (many previously unused) including police reports, internal IRA communications and many reminiscences as well as the large number of interviews with rank-and-file Volunteers carried out by the author.
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This is a very interesting book. As an international observer of the Irish War of Independence the author has no inherent prejudices in commencing. The book examines regional conflict in five separate counties of Mayo, Tipperary, Derry, Wexford and Dublin. As such it can be seen as a complement to more recent county-specific works on both the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. The organisation and operation of the IRA in each county is analysed as is how guerrilla warfare developed in each county. The specific county conditions that assisted or hindered the progress of ancillary services such as the Dáil courts and the British forces in the locality is also analysed. There is a very interesting and readable summary chapter together with a final addendum on the social composition of the IRA in each area.
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PUBLIC DEFIANCE 19161918
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Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary
Robert William White
Limited preview - 2006