Overview This updated edition of Coogan's bestselling history of the IRA now includes behind-the-scenes information on the recent advances made in the peace process. Meticulously researched and featuring interviews with past and present members of the organization, this is a compelling account of modern Irish history. Four 8-page photo sections.
Publishers Description This updated edition of the best-selling history of the IRA now includes behind-the-scenes information on the recent advances made in the peace process. With clarity and objectivity, Coogan examines the IRA's origins, its foreign links, bombing campaigns, hunger strikes and sectarian violence and its role in the latest attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Meticulously researched and featuring interviews with past and present members of the organization, this is a compelling account of modern Irish history.
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Studio: Palgrave Macmillan
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.9" Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Release Date Jan 5, 2002
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Edition Revised, Update
ISBN 0312294166 ISBN13 9780312294168
Availability 0 units.
More About Tim Pat Coogan
Tim Pat Coogan is one of the best known journalists and historians in Ireland. Former editor of theIrish Press, he has written several books, includingWherever Green is Worn (Palgrave), The Troubles (Palgrave), On the Blanket; and bestselling biographies of Michael Collins and De Valera. He lives in Dublin.
Tim Pat Coogan currently resides in Dublin. Tim Pat Coogan was born in 1935.
As Mr. McGivern stated in an earlier comment, this book is a little heavy for the casual reader. However, if the reader is able to plow through the multitude of dates and names, he/she will have a good understanding of what transpired and why.
The IRA and Eamon De Valera Dec 28, 2004
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was formed in 1916 by Michael Collins after the Easter Rebellion. It became the military wing of the Sinn Féin Party. It used terrorism to promote a free Ireland. It was responsible for many bombings, raids, and street battles. The IRA was responsible for the Irish nationalist movement in twentieth century.
The sacrifices of leaders in the 1916 rebellion gave Irish people new hopes for liberation. The Protestants in the North are mostly responsible for the formation of the Ulster volunteers who staged the rebellion. Their resistance to the British government stopped the Home Rule act in Ireland from being passed. What helped keep the IRA alive so long was the fact that land in North Eastern Ireland was handed over to the Protestants who were mainly Scottish and English. When the Catholics fought the Protestants they were partly trying to win back their land. The IRA was never sure if the use of force was appropriate. Usually the use of force caused authorities to respond. Violence attracted many new members to the IRA. Eamon de Valera said, "Resistance means armed opposition to what is undoubtedly the decision of the majority of the people...." He meant that the Republicans should stand aside until a treaty is drawn up. Some people were unsure that the use of force would help Ireland. Many people just saw the use of force as the destruction of public property that made no progress to gain Ireland's freedom. The IRA did nothing to change the world outside Ireland and the outside world did nothing to help or hurt the IRA since the Anglo-Irish war. The IRA had many foreign contacts in European nations but had the most assistance from America. The IRA's contact with Europe was with it's left wing members such as David Fitzgerald or Peader O'Donnell. The Frankfurt congress said they would back revolutionary organizations in Ireland. The IRA was Marxist but called on no help from the communist party. Sean Russell met Joseph McGarity in Ireland in 1929. Their meeting helped further the movement by creating the physical force wing of the IRA. There were two main plans. Tom Barry wanted to seize a town in Northern Ireland. Sean Russell wanted to set of explosives in busy cities. However he did not want to lose any Irish lives or destroy property. They decided that they wanted to use terrorism in England instead of Ireland. The bombing campaign made the situation even worse. The Offences against the State Act became a law on June 14, 1939. This law allowed for imprisonment and detention without trial. A few days later the IRA was declared an unlawful organization. The British army marched through Bodenstown. The IRA did not try to stop the march. Most of the IRA men in the North were catholic. This meant that they were an inferior social, political and economic position. Most of the IRA men in the north were not in support of military attacks. One of the most successful men in Belfast was Jimmy Steele. He spent most of his life in prison and devoted his life to the IRA In southern Ireland only 5% of the population is Protestant. Therefore there was no violence between Catholics and Protestants. Protestants were afraid of Eamon de Valera. Because Protestants in Ireland were severely outnumbered, many of them wanted to stay under British rule in the North. Then the main purpose of the school system in Ireland was to inform students about religion and morals necessary to become a valuable citizen The IRA had connections with the Nazis. Winston Churchill knew that if the IRA used bombs in England they would help the Nazis destroy England. He thought that the IRA would supply the Nazis with U-Boat fuel. The British were unsure weather or not Ireland was a neutral. Great Britain approved Eamon de Valera's constitution in 1937. De Valera stated, "Our territory will never be used as a base for attack on Great Britain." He told the German ambassador that Ireland was going to stay neutral in any war unless they were attacked first. The Germans responded by saying that they would not hurt Ireland or Irish trade in any way. However, Germany was not going to stop Great Britain from taking over Ireland. . The IRA was supposed to only be used against the Northern administration. Christoir O'Neill said, "The aim of the Army is simply to drive the invader from the soil of Ireland and to restore the sovereign independent Republic proclaimed in 1916. To that end, the Policy is to prosecute a successful military campaign against the British forces of occupation in the Six Counties." Sometimes splinter groups set off bombs in the streets or fired shots without the IRA's approval. The British rely on the Special Air Services (SAS) to fight the IRA. This is Britain's special unit of commandos. These people are trained for extreme situations. They do things like wait in a hole for days, to see if the suspect will show up. In 1986 they killed eight IRA men who were on the most wanted list. There is the possibility of peace between the IRA and the British. The Downing St. Declaration was published in the end of 1993. Sin Fein didn't accept or reject it. Peter Brooke, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said, "the British have no selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland, their primary interest is to see peace, stability and reconciliation established by agreement among all the people who inhabit the island....." The IRA is mostly a political organization and is attached to the party Sinn Fein who is seeking to gain Ireland's independence through talks and negotiations. However, there is still a war over who gets to control Northern Ireland. Irish Home Rule will always be an issue. However, for the most part Ireland is a peaceful place where saints, scholars, drunkards, blasphemers, priests, publicans, and machine minded politicians will always get along with each other.
Biased May 19, 2004
I enjoyed the book and its detailed treatment of the events and history of the IRA....However, am I the only reader to offended by the way in which Coogan would describe for example, the death of an IRA man whose own bomb blew up in his face as a tragic event, yet would seemingly gloss over events like the Birmingham Pub Bombings, were many innocent civilians lost their lives?
A Word of Caution! May 7, 2004
Fair Warning: Tim Pat Coogan's "The IRA" is a lengthy, serious and highly detailed work of Irish history. It will be certain to disappoint the casual reader. The subject matter is grim. It encompasses the history of the Irish Republican Army from the early 1920's to the present-depressing- day. The several reprintings virtually guarantee some repetition in the text. The glorious years of the Easter Rising (1916-1921) are not central. IRA military heroics from that era are basically ignored. Instead "The IRA" commences at the end of the Irish Civil War and the dawn of the Irish Free State circa 1922 and leads up to the present -depressing- day. "The IRA" is exhaustively researched with supporting anecdotes and interviews galore. It is rich in detail. There is no doubt that one is reading true and accurately reported happenings. Author Coogan obviously possess a wide range of contacts in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. He must not lack for friends and drinking companions! This reviewer knows first hand that he is an entertaining -and credible- speaker. However "The IRA" is far too long. Given the interesting subject matter, it is strangely dry. One might wonder, given the reprintings, why a sharp penciled editor has not stepped in to reshape the copy. Nonetheless the SERIOUS (!) student of Irish affairs will be satisfied. Works such as this are essential to an appreciation of the history of the troubled island. Yet, the final word on Mr. Coogan's findings must be a pessimistic one. There have been so many false starts, false promises, broken treaties, broken dreams, dead ends, double dealing, lying, spinelessness and outright treachery in the past decades. One wonders if there will ever be a peaceful resolution to "The Troubles" in Ireland. One wonders further if the players in the capitals of Washington, London and especially Dublin have given up. "The IRA" does absolutely nothing to dispel that grim notion; in fact it reinforces it. Leon Uris wrote in "Ireland A Terrible Beauty" that "there is no future in Ireland-only the past repeating itself". Those who THINK they are interested in Irish history are better advised to try Coogan's "Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland" first. Those who KNOW they are so intrigued may tackle this weightier tome-and add stars to the rating above. At least the Big Fellow's life had a definite beginning, middle and end.
A Gripping and Thorough History Nov 19, 2002
Coogan presents possibly his best work of his career in "The IRA." He puts forth a painstakingly researched, and thorourghly gripping account of the temultuous history of this controversial organization. Originally less than half the size of its now overwhelming 800 plus pages, Coogan has updated his history up through the Good Friday agreements, never stumbling a bit. This is a must read for anyone interested in modern Irish history.