Liam Lynch: To Declare a Republic
Signed By The Author
General Liam Lynch was a key figure in the Irish Revolution and remains one of the most celebrated IRA leaders of his era. His republicanism was shaped both by his upbringing in Limerick and by the aftermath of the Easter Rising. By the time of the War of Independence, Lynch was in command of the IRA’s Cork No. 2 Brigade and masterminded some of the most important actions against British forces, such as the Fermoy arms raid and the daring kidnapping of British General Cuthbert Lucas.
Adamantly opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, regarding it a betrayal of the Irish Republic, Lynch became chief of staff to the IRA men who opposed the settlement. Yet he remained determined to find a compromise with former comrades, which left him little prepared for the outbreak of the Irish Civil War.
Lynch would not live to see the end of the bitter conflict – he was mortally wounded following a dramatic pursuit by Free State forces across a mountain in south Tipperary – yet his controversial leadership of the IRA during the eleven-month Civil War continues to shape his legacy today.
In this long-awaited and fascinating new biography, the first in nearly forty years, historian Gerard Shannon delves deep into a wide array of archival material to create a detailed, nuanced portrait of a hugely significant and influential figure in Irish history.
1. ‘Quiet and gentle and you didn’t notice him much’ (1892–1916)
2. ‘We have declared for an Irish Republic’ (1917–18)
3. ‘I have started something that will shake up these fellows’ (1919)
4. ‘I would not wish to be born in any other generation but this’ (1920)
5. ‘That bloody shop assistant has been here’ (January–July 1921)
6. ‘Thank God I am left alive to still help in shattering the damned British Empire’ (August 1921–March 1922)
7. ‘Would we could even get back all our glorious dead’ (April–June 1922)
8. ‘How could all our dreams have been so blighted’ (June – October 1922)
9. ‘Fight on to the last man’ (November 1922–March 1923)
10. ‘I’m glad now I’m going from it all’ (Late March–Early April 1923)
About the Author
Gerard Shannon is a historian from Skerries in north county Dublin, with an MA in History from the DCU School of History and Geography. Gerard has written numerous articles and done talks on key figures of the Irish revolutionary period. He works as a civil servant in Dublin city.
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