The Dead of the Irish Revolution Eunan O'Halpin, Daithi O Corrain

Publication date:
27 Oct 2020
Yale University Press
720 pages: 254 x 178mm
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The first comprehensive account to record and analyze all deaths arising from the Irish revolution between 1916 and 1921

“A monumental new book [and] an incredible piece of research. . . . Formidable, authoritative and handsomely produced, The Dead of the Irish Revolution is a fitting memorial.”—Andrew Lynch, Irish Independent

“Will surely serve as the indispensable reference work on this topic for the foreseeable future. . . . A truly remarkable feat of close scholarship and calm exposition.”—Gearoid O Tuathaigh, Irish Times Weekend

This account covers the turbulent period from the 1916 Rising to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921—a period which saw the achievement of independence for most of nationalist Ireland and the establishment of Northern Ireland as a self-governing province of the United Kingdom. Separatists fought for independence against government forces and, in North East Ulster, armed loyalists. Civilians suffered violence from all combatants, sometimes as collateral damage, often as targets.
Eunan O’Halpin and Daithí Ó Corráin catalogue and analyze the deaths of all men, women, and children who died during the revolutionary years—505 in 1916; 2,344 between 1917 and 1921. This study provides a unique and comprehensive picture of everyone who died: in what manner, by whose hands, and why. Through their stories we obtain original insight into the Irish revolution itself.

Eunan O’Halpin is Bank of Ireland Chair (1999) of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin. Daithí Ó Corráin lectures in the School of History and Geography, Dublin City University.

“A sobering book for anyone who views the partition of Ireland as a reasonable compromise. And even more sobering for anyone who might wish to set about dismantling what was established then.”—Colm Tóibín, Financial Times

“Draws on published work, including memoirs, contemporary newspaper reports and
accounts of participants...Detailing those killed in the conflict and the best information on how the deaths occurred.”—Charles Lysaght, Studies

“A highly significant work...Eunan O’Halpin and Daithí Ó Corráin have succeeded admirably.”—Dr. Rory Finegan, An Cosantóir

“An extremely important work that makes a very significant contribution to our understanding of the revolutionary period...An absorbing read”—Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, History Ireland

“As close to a comprehensive picture of the human costs of this complex violence as we are ever likely to have...The sheer detail and complexity of the stories recorded here helps to break down and undermine simplistic historical narratives of this period.”—Stephen Hopkins, Cercles

“The authors of this important new study of the fatalities of the Irish revolution, succeed magnificently in combining the statistics and the stories, in a volume that will surely serve as the indispensable reference work on this topic for the foreseeable future. It is a truly remarkable feat of close scholarship and calm exposition, based on an exhaustive mining of a wealth of primary source material.”—Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Irish Times Weekend

“A monumental new book [and] an incredible piece of research...Formidable, authoritative and handsomely produced, The Dead of the Irish Revolution is a fitting memorial.”—Andrew Lynch, Irish Independent

“I have read many books about that period, but none exposes like this book does the raw callousness and bigotry and pure hapless human blundering that energised that violence.”—Malachi O’Doherty, Belfast Telegraph

“Without intending to be iconoclastic, takes a more granular approach, bringing the reader face to face with those who paid the ultimate price in the conflict. Clearly written, and based on hitherto unknown material recently released by the Irish Military Archives, it makes for riveting but emotionally taxing reading.”—Rory Rapple, The Tablet

“Mesmerising reading...Eunan O'Halpin and Daithi O Corrain have followed up leads in a vast range of official and unofficial sources...Their book also conveys, as few historical records succeed in doing, the sheer cumulative sadness, as well as the intermittent heroics, of those revolutionary times - an achievement hitherto left to the realms of memoir and fiction.”—Roy Foster, New Statesman

"A truly remarkable piece of work, on a heroic scale. It forms a complex, illuminating narrative of the lived experience of armed conflict, the nature of insurgent forces and their relationship with the people, and the
operations of the security forces. Exceptional."—Charles Townshend, author of Easter 1916

"Promises to be the outstanding volume of the decade of commemorations."—Tom Bartlett, editor of The Cambridge History of Ireland

"Unique and powerful. A towering monument to all those who died as a result of the Irish Revolution."—Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History, University College Dublin

"This astonishing work intimately documents the deaths of the Irish Revolution. It will transform scholarship on the period."—Margaret O’Callaghan, author of British High Politics and a Nationalist Ireland