In a Time of War: Tipperary 1914–1918


John Dennehy

A vivid and captivating history of the profound impact of the Great War on daily life in Co. Tipperary, between 1914-18. John Dennehy explores every aspect of life in the county during a time of great upheaval, ultimately setting the scene for the political convulsions that followed in 1918.

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In this vivid and captivating new history, Clonmel native John Dennehy explores the profound political, economic, military and social impact of the Great War on one Irish county: Tipperary. Little has been written on the impact of the war on everyday life – food prices, the role of women, soldier suicide, foreign refugees. It was a time of contested loyalties at home and unparalleled brutality abroad, and while the ordinary citizens were well aware of the bloody toll, thousands continued to enlist. And if men moved to fight, women mobilised to help, playing a central role in all aspects of the home front from fund-raising to training in first-aid, all contributing to the emergence of women’s freedoms in Ireland after the war. Yet the insensitive handling of recruitment and the aborted attempt to impose conscription ensured there would be no successful transition from war to peace in the county, and Tipperary emerged radicalised and divided from the conflict.

The dramatic general election of December 1918 and the battle for independence that followed, muffled the trauma and emotion Tipperary experienced during the First World War, and set the scene for the political convulsions to follow. This is the story of that time.

  • A vivid and compelling history of life in Co. Tipperary during the First World War
  • The story of recruiting, the economy, the home front, politics and conscription, told from the perspective of the ordinary Irish citizen
  • A microcosm for the impact of the Great War on Irish society as a whole

Table of Contents


1 Vista
The first month of the war in Tipperary and how it was felt on the ground

2 Woodenbridge
Political tensions over the postponement of home rule and the decision to endorse recruitment into the British army

3 The Central Council for the Organisation of Recruiting in Ireland
The start of the recruiting campaign and the early warning signs

4 The Department of Recruiting, Conscription and Farmers’ Sons
Fears that conscription will be introduced and the criticisms made of farmers and the middle classes that terminally damaged recruiting efforts

5 Patterns and Motivations
Who enlisted in the army, why and where?

6 Home Front
Everyday life in Tipperary during the war

7 Economic Change
How the war saw a boom in some sectors and decline for others

8 The Decline of the Irish National Volunteers and the IPP
The deteriorating fortunes of the Irish Parliamentary Party

9 The Conscription Crisis and the Irish Recruiting Council
How the 1918 conscription crisis reshaped the political landscape and laid the groundwork for Sinn Féin’s rise


About the Author

John Dennehy is a journalist from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He gained his PhD in history at University College Cork and has contributed to several publications on the subject of Tipperary during the First World War.