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Hosted by Richmond Barracks, the ‘Dublin and the Irish Revolution’ course met online for four weeks over November and December 2020 ...

10 Books about the Irish Revolution

British Army tank in Dublin in 1921

British Army tank in Dublin in 1921

Led by historian Donal Fallon, the group learned about and discussed a different aspect of the period every week, from the gymnasium of Richmond Barracks where leading figures of the Irish revolutionary movement were identified for trial, to the birth of the Irish state five years later.

The course was open to everyone and people in the group were a mixture of students, tour guides, relatives of people involved in the period, and people who just had an interest in the subject. Because we all came from different backgrounds and had different areas of interest, the discussions were lively and wide ranging, and of course there were plenty of inspiring books to discuss. Below are some of the books we talked about.

Kate Chandler, Creative Engagement Lead, Dublin City Council Culture Company.

Enright by Mark O’Sullivan

A novel set in 1921 Tipperary, this tells the story of Royal Irish Constabulary Sergeant, Tom Enright, and his fight with the rebels. A humanising account of these turbulent times.

Citizens by Kevin Curran

Another historical novel, this time travelling between 1916 and 2010. In modern day Dublin, 26-year-old Neil uncovers the accounts of his great grandfather, who filmed the events of Easter Week, and discovers the newsreels still exist.

The Twelve Apostles by Tim Pat Coogan

An account of Michael Collins’ infamous unit of assassins, ‘The Squad’ this book details their activities in the fight for Irish independence, culminating in the events of 'Bloody Sunday' in November 1920.

My Fight for Irish Freedom by Dan Breen

Dan Breen’s memoir gives an account of his role leading the third Tipperary Brigade of the IRA in the Soloheadbeg ambush of 1919 - considered by many to mark the beginning of the War of Independence.

The Easter Rising by Michael T. Foy and Brian Barton

This book draws on many sources to paint a detailed picture of the events leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916, the events of Easter week, and its aftermath.

The Bloodied Field by Michael Foley

Journalist Michael Foley recounts the tragic events at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday 1920, and tells the story of the victims, the police and military personnel, and the families devastated by the events of the day.

Killing at Its Very Extreme: Dublin: October 1917- November 1920, Derek Molyneux and Darren Kelly

This book covers both sides of the conflict in Dublin in the early days of the War of Independence, from raids, assassinations, and the deployment of the notorious Black and Tans and Auxiliaries.

The Victory of Sinn Féin by Patrick Sarsfield O'Hegarty

A first-hand memoir of 1916 to 1923, Patrick Sarsfield O’Hegarty of the Irish Republican Brotherhood shares personal accounts of major players of the time, including Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera.

Ireland's Unfinished Revolution: An Oral History by by Kenneth Griffith (Editor), Timothy O'Grady

In the 1980s, the authors interviewed nine veterans of the Irish Revolution, including members of the IRB, the IRA and Cumann na mBan. This book shares their unique accounts.

With The Sixth Battalion: South County Dublin and the Struggle for Independence 1916-1921 by James Brady

This book describes the activities of the IRA’s 6th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, in the revolutionary period, and the role played by South Dublin’s suburbs, towns and villages in the fight for independence.

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