The Books

The Military Archives - cover

The Military Archives: A History

In this work, Daniel Ayiotis skilfully explores how the Military Archives developed out of the vision almost a century ago of a handful of far-sighted military and civilians. That small visionary group saw the need to preserve Ireland’s military records. Their vision became today’s outward facing and internationally renowned Military Archives, the place of deposit for records relating to the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence. In exploring its history, he has shown, to quote President Michael D. Higgins, ‘the fundamental importance of the Military Archives towards our understanding of the founding events of the state’ and indeed, of the century that has followed.

Commander Daniel Ayiotis is the Director of the Military Archives and a commandant in the Irish Army, based at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin. Since 1990 the Military Archives has been the statutory place of deposit for the records of the Irish Defence Forces, Department of Defence, and Army Pensions Board under the terms of the National Archives of Ireland Act, 1986.

ISBN: 978-1-913934-33-0
Format: Hardback
Price: €25

A Bitter Winter - cover

A Bitter Winter: The Irish Civil War 1922-23

n this challenging but fair account of the Irish Civil War, Colum Kenny sets out relevant tragic events of 1922 to 1923 in a clear and succinct way. He highlights in graphic detail the main moments of a war between former friends. Arguing that it is not possible to suspend judgement about a dispute that threatened the democratic foundation of the Irish state, and that gave solace to its enemies, he presents a balanced analysis of what happened during those two turbulent years. Referring to activists on both sides such as Michael Collins, Harry Boland, Mary McSwiney and Richard Mulcahy, the author explains that the Civil War was bubbling from early 1922. Reflecting on the lasting bitterness engendered by civil war, a bitterness that broke Arthur Griffith’s heart and contributed to his early death in 1922, Kenny relates the Civil War to current tensions surrounding the future of Northern Ireland.

Dr Colum Kenny BL is Professor Emeritus, Dublin City University, a journalist and an honorary bencher of King’s Inns. Awarded the Irish Legal History Society’s Gold Medal, his books include histories of King’s Inns, an account of Irish emigration to the USA, a biography of Arthur Griffith and most recently, Midnight in London (Eastwood Books).

ISBN: 978-1-913934-37-8
Format: Paperback
Price: €9.99

Ireland's Special Branch: The inside story of their battle with the IRA, 1922-1947

“A gang of police thugs.”
“Renegades and perverted types.”
"Fugh-faced bastards intent on nothing less than grievous bodily harm."

These were just some of the ways in which the men and women of the Garda Special Branch were described by their enemies within the anti-Treaty IRA. What follows in this work is the gripping narrative of the often brutal and violent struggle for supremacy between these two sides.
It explores the foundation and the inner workings of a squad of detectives, initially called the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), based in Oriel House, Dublin, in August 1922 and their transition into what became known as the Special Branch. It further details the history of the turbulent decades which followed, and the regular confrontations with the IRA in which many officers of Ireland would make the ultimate sacrifice.

Gerard Lovett is a retired member of An Garda Síochána and retired as a detective inspector in the Garda Special Branch in 2004. Since then, he was general secretary of the Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association for seven years and was editor of their quarterly magazine Síocháin. He has written numerous articles on police history and has regularly given lectures to historical societies on both garda and RIC history, as well as famous historical murder cases.

Format: Paperback
Price: €20.00

Kimmage: An Illustrated History

At the foundation of the State in 1922, Kimmage was just a crossroads (KCR), with farmland all around. Then thousands of houses were built by Dublin Corporation in the 1930s, which brought life to the area. In earlier times, Kimmage had many limestone quarries, and the huge clay pits serving an important brick factory were later filled in to create Eamonn Ceannt Park and its cycling velodrome. The old Larkfield Flour Mill was used by Eamon Ceannt and Joseph Mary Plunkett to train Volunteers leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising and is now the site of Supervalu Shopping Centre on Sundrive Road. Until recent years, Kimmage Manor was a major seminary for the Holy Ghost Fathers, and part of their extensive farm was later redeveloped for St Mary’s Rugby Football Club. There are also numerous soccer and GAA clubs throughout the locality. The Passionist Fathers of Mount Argus came to the area in the 1850s, led by Fr Charles, who became a saint in 2007. Big employers in the 1950s included McEntaggart Motor Assembly, later taken over by British Leyland, and the Astor Cigarette Factory, both now the extensive site of Leo Pharma. Dublin Dairies was a major distributor of pasteurised bottled milk to households. Nowadays, Kimmage is very settled and mature, but can boast of a colourful history.

Format: Paperback
Price: €16.99

You Will Dye at Midnight: Threatening Letters in Victorian Ireland

Victorian Ireland was global champion of threatening letters. This book reveals the murky world where tens of thousands of these letters and notices were nailed to barn doors or sent by penny post, intimidating, giving ‘fair warning’ and terrorising the recipients. These victims were sometimes landlords, land agents and land grabbers. Equally, they could be small farmers disputing land occupancy with neighbours. This book examines the nature, extent and context of this unusual trend. It investigates who sent threatening letters and why they sent them. It also delves into who received such unwelcome correspondence and what action they took, giving new insights particularly into 19th-century rural Ireland.
Donal McCracken has been an academic for over 30 years. As a faculty dean for 15 years after 1994, he did much to advance the transformation and black advancement in the humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where he is now an emeritus professor. He has published extensively on Irish history (including on the southern African Irish diaspora), on media history and on botanical and environmental history

Format: Paperback
Price: €20.00

The Terror War: The Uncomfortable Realities of the War of Independence

During the Irish War of Independence the British and the Irish sides often reflected one another. Both the Irish and the British did well in some areas, and were deficient in others. But both sides used terror – murder – burnings – shearing women’s hair – to intimidate the Irish population. British Field Marshal Henry Wilson said of the Black and Tans: ‘It was the business of the government to govern. If these men ought to be murdered, then the government ought to murder them.’ Michael Collins could equally chillingly say: ‘Careful application of terrorism is also an excellent form of total communication’. The actions of the British and Irish frequently mirrored one another – an uncomfortable reality of the War of Independence. This book examines the trauma of the times – both the exceptional and the ordinary – through a diverse range of topics.
Joe Connell is an author, historian and regular contributor to Irish media, including Newstalk's Talking History and History Ireland magazine. This is his second book with Eastwood, following on from The Shadow War in 2019.

Format: Paperback
Price: €20.00

Midnight in London: The Anglo-Irish Treaty Crisis 1921

During the night of 5–6 December 1921, Irish delegates at Downing Street signed an agreement to end the War of Independence and create a new Irish state. This is the story of that fraught deal, and of the events and people behind it. The story is told from original sources and eyewitness accounts, and brings to life the Treaty that sparked a civil war but made modern Ireland. Irish negotiators were under great pressure in London. For nearly two months Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and three others faced some of the most powerful men in the British Empire, including Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. Griffith and Collins saw the Treaty as a stepping-stone to greater freedom. Both were dead within a year. Colum Kenny turns a spotlight on the key issues and problems they faced, examining why Éamon de Valera stayed away and what the delegates themselves achieved. Ireland was already partitioned when the talking started. The choice was whether or not to fight on for some kind of republic – or accept Britain’s offer of limited independence. Why and how the deal was done is laid out fairly here, for any reader with an interest in Irish history.
Dr Colum Kenny BL is Professor Emeritus, Dublin City University, a journalist and an honorary bencher of King’s Inns. Awarded the Irish Legal History Society’s Gold Medal, his books include histories of King’s Inns, an account of Irish emigration to the USA, a biography of Arthur Griffith and most recently, Kenmare: History and Survival (Eastwood Books).

ISBN: 978-1-913934-19-4
Format: Paperback
Price: €9.99

Kenmare: History and Survival

This is the story of a remarkable man’s efforts to help starving people during the Irish Great Famine. It reveals their terrible experiences inside and outside one of the national ‘workhouses’ and throws new light on the relationship between class, religion and poverty in Ireland before independence. John O’Sullivan (1807-1874) was an independent-minded priest who clashed with bishops and landlords. He kept journals that have not been published. The author mines these and other sources, including eyewitness accounts, UK archives and Kerry’s workhouse minutes, for new insights into aspects of Irish society, including politics, proselytism and the status of women.
Dr Colum Kenny BL is Professor Emeritus, Dublin City University, a journalist and an honorary bencher of King’s Inns. Awarded the Irish Legal History Society’s Gold Medal, his books include histories of King’s Inns, an account of Irish emigration to the USA and, most recently, a biography of Arthur Griffith.

ISBN: 978-1-9139341-5-6
Format: Paperback
Price: €20.00

Faith and Fury: The Evangelical Campaign in Dingle and West Kerry 1825-45

The work of the Church of Ireland evangelicals in West Kerry between 1825 and 1845 was widely hailed as a model of a successful missionary campaign; it evoked, however, a passionate reaction from local Catholic priests. The missionaries wished to entice the Irish-speaking people of the Dingle peninsula away from what they saw as superstition and enthralment to Rome, while priests objected to what they saw as inducements offered to Catholics to convert. As new mission schools and churches were built, the war of words between clergymen of both persuasions was fomented by rival newspapers, reaching a climax in a notorious libel case of March 1845.
In this study, Bryan MacMahon gives a comprehensive overview of the origins and progress of the conversion campaign and the responses to it. The narrative brings the personalities involved into vivid focus and records the long-lost voices and values of those on both sides of the bitter divide.
Bryan MacMahon is an author and historian whose previous books include The Great Famine in Tralee and North Kerry (2017) and Ascend or Die: Richard Crosbie, Pioneer of Balloon Flight (2010). He has contributed to a range of historical journals, including History Ireland, Dublin Historical Record and The Irish Sword.

ISBN: 978-1-9139341-2-5
Format: Paperback
Price: €20.00

A Want of Inhabitants: The Famine in Bantry Untion

In the idyllic setting of Bantry Union, thousands of the poorest inhabitants starved to death in the decade of the 1840s. Little is known about the sequence of events of the famine in the Union and how this tragedy unfolded. Many people living in West Cork today think that the ravages were less severe in Bantry than in neighbouring Skibbereen Union. Not even the geographical extent of the Union is clearly known. We do know there was no happy ending. This vital work, combining archival research and social history, seeks to lay bare the factors that led inexorably to catastrophe.

Geraldine Powell is an author, psychiatrist, a graduate of the UCC Local History Master’s programme and a member of Bantry and Cork historical societies. Her work has been published in CHAS, the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society.

ISBN: 978-1-8380416-4-9
Format: Paperback

Fermanagh: From Plantation to Peace Process

This comprehensive history charts the major events that have shaped county Fermanagh from the days of the Ulster Plantation. Margaret Urwin looks particularly at the recent conflict in Fermanagh, detailing every death. Using official, declassified British and Irish government documents, the book examines how the Irish state co-operated with its British counterpart on border security. It also explores the validity, or otherwise, of claims of ‘ethnic cleansing'.

Margaret Urwin has worked with Justice for the Forgotten/Pat Finucane Centre for many years, advocating for families of victims of the Northern conflict. She is a graduate of The Open University and holds an M.A. in Local History from NUI, Maynooth. She is the author of several works, including A State in Denial: British Collaboration with Loyalist Paramilitaries.

ISBN: 978-1-8380416-3-2
Format: Paperback

A Difficult Birth: The Early Years of Northern Ireland, 1920–1925

On the eve of the centenary of the foundation of the Northern Ireland state in 2021, this significant work examines the major political developments of this short and momentous period in Irish history. By necessity, it also explores the multi-faceted nature of the communal violence that blighted the North in its early years. The author concludes by investigating the 1925 findings of the Boundary Commission, as well as assessing the legacy of what was to become Northern Ireland.

Dr Alan Parkinson is a university history lecturer and the author of numerous publications, especially in the areas of modern Irish political history and the social history of modern London. His publications include: Belfast's Unholy War Friends in High Places: Ulster's Resistance to Irish Home Rule, 1912–14 Election Fever: Ground-breaking Elections in Northern Ireland.

ISBN: 978-1-8380416-2-52
Format: Paperback

Clare and the War of Independence

The IRA Volunteers of County Clare were pioneers of the tactics of guerrilla warfare. In 1919, with the moral support of Dr Michael Fogarty, Catholic Bishop of Killaloe, they took on the vastly superior forces of the Crown. Through their successful ‘hit-and-run’ tactics, the IRA undermined and paralysed British rule in the county until the truce finally came on 11 July 1921. In this comprehensively researched and scholarly work, the author tells a story that highlights the particular role of the men and women of Clare in the national conflict, which offers unique insights into the major events, successful ambushes, Black and Tan reprisals and controversial IRA executions during the national struggle for independence.

DR JOE POWER is an award-winning historian of County Clare. His publications include: A History of Clare Abbey and Killone; The GAA in Clare Castle 1887–1987, for which he won the McNamee award; A History of Clare Castle and its Environs; and Clare and the Great War. He has written extensively on various aspects of County Clare history, which have been published in a range of local historical journals.

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-9-2
Format: Paperback

Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence

In 1919, the revolutionary Irish government launched an audacious plan to finance a counter-state in open defiance of British rule in Ireland. Half the money was to be raised in Ireland and half in America. This start-up government was determined not only to replace the British administration in Ireland but also to implement its own industrial and financial policies, including establishing a national bank. It was imperative that the domestic funding campaign succeed. Without funds, the counter-state government would be doomed to failure. A financial ‘Ho Chi Minh Trail’ was established; couriers secretly began distributing three million promotional leaflets throughout the country and carrying subscriptions to Dublin. The money was laundered into bank accounts and converted into gold using a ‘gold exchange network’. This is the untold history of the fight for the revolutionary government’s funds, the bank inquiry that shook the financial establishment and the first battle in the intelligence war.

Patrick O’Sullivan Greene, from Killarney, Co. Kerry, has been an activist investor for almost twenty years, was an award-winning equity analyst, and a qualified Chartered Accountant. More interested in business than pure finance, he expresses his entrepreneurial spirit through roles as a co-founder, director, mentor, and sometimes investor, in start-up companies. Patrick has worked in Dublin, London, New York and France.

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-8-5
Format: Paperback

Different and the Same: A Folk History of the Protestants of Independent Ireland

This work explores the folk history, traditions and narratives of the Protestant minority in the Republic of Ireland. The author investigates the cultural, rather than simply faith-based, aspects of the group, incorporating issues of identity, custom and belief in a study that took place with the support of the National Folklore Collection.

Deirdre Nuttall is an author and academic from New Ross, Co. Wexford. She studied folklore and archaeology at UCD and took a master’s degree in social anthropology at the University of Durham, before returning to UCD to complete a PhD in folklore/ethnology. She has carried out research in Ireland, Newfoundland and Guatemala.

ISBN: 978-1-913934-11-8
Format: Paperback

Portlaoise: An Illustrated History

Around the year 1548, the English built a fort in the Laoghaise (or Leix) region to guard against attacks on the Pale. In 1556 Queen Mary 1 decided on the plantation of the Irish territories, by confiscating their land and giving it to English settlers, calling the area Queen's County and stipulating that Fort Leix (Port Laoghaise) be renamed Mary Burgh. In this work, author and local historian Joe Curtis explores the visual history of Portlaoise as it developed up to the modern age, covering various aspects of religion, education, health, business and law and order along the way.

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-7-8
Format: Paperback

Strandhill: An Illustrated History

Strandhill, the largest coastal village in Sligo, has long been a much-loved destination for tourists, the surfing and water-sports community and for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. It is also a place of immense historic interest with a rich and varied past that local author and journalist Peigin Doyle explores in this beautifully illustrated work. Containing previously unseen archive photographs and images, this is a work that will long be treasured by locals and visitors alike. Peigin Doyle is an author, journalist and PR consultant based in Sligo. Her specialist areas are history, heritage and archaeology. She has previously published in these areas for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and for Wordwell Books.

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-4-7
Format: Paperback

Kilkenny: City of Heritage

This is an expertly researched but accessibly written history of the streetscapes and buildings that define Kilkenny itself. This fully illustrated work explores the three stages of the development of the city, through its Medieval, Georgian and Victorian ages. Divided into those three sections, this highly informed and timely work is aimed at the dedicated local history readership alongside the tourist market.

Pat Dargan is an architect, historian, author, and member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-1-6
Format: Paperback

The Shadow War: Michael Collins and the Politics of Violence

Insurgencies are as psychological and political as much as military. In the War of Independence, the Irish needed to remain active for longer than the nerves of liberal Britain could stand, and they succeeded. Irish governance, rather than military victory, was always the goal. If success can be defined as doing more with less, then Michael Collins must be counted as among the great guerrilla planners of the twentieth century. He understood the limits of what could be achieved by violence – and when to forgo violence for negotiation.

Joseph E.A. Connell Jnr is the author of Dublin Rising 1916 and Who’s who in the Dublin Rising 1916, published in 2016 by Wordwell. He writes a regular column in History Ireland and is a regular contributor to Newstalk’s Talking History programme.

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-0-9
Format: Paperback

Burncourt: A History

Burncourt is a rural area in Co. Tipperary. The name derives from the burning of the Everard Mansion in 1650. This was done by Cromwell or, as local lore has it, by Lady Catherine Everard, who did not want the castle to fall into Cromwellian hands. The castle was never reoccupied and now lies as an imposing ruin on the landscape. Burncourt is an area where history abounds. Yet we can never know the full story of a place; all that can be provided are glimpses into the past. In this work, author Rose M. Cleary allows us to look at how the area developed and evolved, and how it was shaped by its rich history. This is Burncourt.

Rose M. Cleary is an author, archaeologist and native of Burncourt. She worked in the Archaeology Depart­ment in UCC for many years, spe­cialising in Irish prehistory. She has been involved in archaeological field work, excavations and the surveying of archaeological sites across Munster. She has published extensively on many aspects of Irish archaeology, in­cluding the excavations at Burncourt Castle.

ISBN: 978-1-916137-5-5
Format: Paperback

The Emergency: A Visual History, 1939-1945

In September 1939 the Second World War broke out. The fact that Ireland remained neutral in the conflict is well known. What is far less well-known is that from 1939 onwards Ireland prepared to defend itself from invasion. Combining many previously unseen photographs and documents and with a text based on research in Defence Forces and official archives, this book is an illustrated photographic and documentary history of the military and defensive preparations made by Ireland’s Defence Forces during the Second World War, what became known officially only as ‘The Emergency’.

John Gibney is the author of A Short History of Ireland (Yale), Ireland and the Popish Plot (Palgrave), The United Irishmen (Pen & Sword) and an author in the 16 Lives series (O’Brien Press). He is a regular contributor to History Ireland magazine and RTE Radio and is Assistant Editor of the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series. Michael Kennedy is the Executive Editor of the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series. He is a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, a Research Associate of the Centre for Contemporary Irish History at Trinity and a Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University. He was formerly an adjunct Professor of History at University College Dublin. He is a regular commentator on radio and television on modern history and current affairs. Commandant Daniel Ayiotis is the Director of the Military Archives

ISBN: 978-1-9161375-3-0
Format: Paperback