The IRA in Kerry 1916-1921 by Sinead Joy

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The IRA in Kerry 1916-1921 by Sinead Joy

Postby diarmuid on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:28 pm

Hi there,

First post here, very interesting site.

It's only relatively recently that I started to be interested in Irish history, especially around the period 1900 - 1925.

After reading a book for the first time, I like to read reviews and opinions about it before going back to read it again. I find that it helps me to put the information in place better.

I really enjoyed this book, but I can't find any reviews or opinions about it anywhere.

Have any of ye read it? What did ye think?

Next one on my list is "From public defiance to guerrilla warfare : the experience of ordinary volunteers in the Irish War of Independence 1916-1921 /. Joost Augusteijn"

Anybody got any opinions about that one, I'm hoping that at least some of it will be like The IRA in Kerry, but on a national level.
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Re: The IRA in Kerry 1916-1921 by Sinead Joy

Postby michaelcarragher on Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:43 pm

Diarmuid,

Glad you like the site. I, too, think it's very good.

Like you, I enjoyed The IRA in Kerry, in part because Kerry's one of my favourite places and I'm a regular visitor. Sinead Joy writes well and her book's an easy read.

Some will denigrate this book as "revisionist", and Ms Joy in her Introduction makes it quite clear that she is indeed questioning the traditional version of history. The whole business of revisionism is dealt with elsewhere but to make my own position clear I believe that unless history is revised in every generation it stultifies into mythology. However, Ms Joy is not one of those who write out of bombast or to court controversy or attention, and she backs all of her claims up with evidence, frequently quoting IRA men to support claims that among the genuine sincere patriots was more than a fair share of oafs, land-grabbers and villains.

Particularly interesting was her chapter "Likeable Tans and Unlikely Rebels", partly because it's always interesting to find stereotypes dismantled, partly because it's rather amusing to see this happening with sacred cows; yet she makes it clear that taking the force as a whole, the Tans were indeed "brigands, burglars and thieves"--and often a lot worse.

Speaking of Tans, did anyone else see Denis Johnston's Guests of the Nation in the National Concert Hall last Sunday? It stayed close to the short story, though the "guests" were British soldiers rather than Black and Tans, and it was absolutely wonderful (I thought), though a good deal of the emotion came from the RTE Concert Orchestra's accompaniment (It's a silent film).

If you liked this book, Diarmuid, you might also enjoy Thomas F Martin's The Kingdom in the Empire: A Portrait of Kerry During World War One.
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