Book Preview: Blood on the Banner

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Book Preview: Blood on the Banner

Postby brendan on Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:19 pm

Pádraig (Bannerman on here) asked me to review his book which is due for release this week. See below.

Blood on the Banner is a new book covering the history of the Clare Republican movement up to the end of the Irish Civil War. The book is rich in detail and provides sufficient context and background information to make it of interest to anyone with an interest in Early Modern Irish history or the history of the County Clare.

From the outset it is clear that the author has a radical but well argued message, proven by his willingness to name all of the Auxillaries and Black and Tans from the County Clare, something that goes completely contrary to the received history of the time. The author extends this approach to a frank assessment of the politcal and religious establishment, including many who were nominally pro independence, and their role in countering and later subverting the republican ideals expressed in the 1916 proclamation and the 1919 Democratic Programme.

However, this is not just a book of facts and figures. The author tells the story of the struggle for Independence, and brings alive the story of those involved in the fight for an independent Irish Republic. He conveys the strength of character of those involved, men and women who fought and overcame a strong imperial power. But this is a human story and the frailties of those involved are exposed, whether it be the misfire of a shotgun that spoiled an ambush or the divisions that threatened to split the Republican movement in Clare from its earliest days.

The book does not dwell on the 'bigger' national struggle except where it is necessary to provide a context for local actions and reprisals. The author shows how the movement that has emerged from the people rather than one that was driven by a few strong, national, personalities.

The emotive force and passion of those involved in the fight for freedom is conveyed through first hand accounts and at times carries the reader along with the sort of spirit that must have motivated those involved, an idealism and growing commitment that was fueled by British actions.

But this build up is not about driving republican sentiment, it is a precursor to the emotive impact of the Truce, Treaty and Civil War, in which former comrades carried out actions that the British were unwilling to.
The Civil War period is carefully addressed and sticks to the facts of what happened rather than a particular viewpoint. While the author seems to be more in favour of Republican idealism than pragmatism he is careful to present both sides of the story.

On the whole this is an accessible and worthwhile read and certainly a strong contribution to understanding the experience of the fight for Irish independence.

Blood on the Banner, by Pá�aig Óg� R�irc is published by Mercier Press

<<Edited to fix formatting>>
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Re: Book Preview: Blood on the Banner

Postby Dave Mooney on Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:27 pm

The Book Launch for "Blood On The Banner - The Republican Struggle In Clare" By Padraig Og O Ruairc. Published by Mercier Press. Will take place in The Ennis Bookshop, 13 Abbey Street, Ennis, Co. Clare on Friday 27th February at 6.30 p.m. T. Ryle Dwyer historian and columnist for the Irish Examiner will be the guest speaker. All are welcome.

For those who cannot attend but would like to purchase a book they are available online at

Turns out the majority of Mogh Roith will be there.

Nice review Brendan, I might actually read it :P

Dave Mooney.
Mogh Roith- Historical Living History Group.
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