Liam Lynch: To Declare a Republic
General Liam Lynch was a key figure in the Irish Revolution, and remains one of the most celebrated of his era. In this long-awaited new biography, historian Gerard Shannon delves into a wide array of archival material to create a detailed, nuanced portrait of a hugely significant and influential figure in Irish history.
General Liam Lynch was a key figure in the Irish Revolution, and remains one of the most celebrated of his era. In this long-awaited new biography of Lynch, the first in nearly forty years, historian Gerard Shannon delves into a wide array of archival material to create a detailed, nuanced portrait of a hugely significant and influential figure in Irish history.
Liam Lynch’s republicanism was shaped both by his upbringing in Limerick and the aftermath of the Easter Rising when working as a shop assistant in Cork. By the time of the Irish War of Independence, Lynch was in the role of O/C of the IRA’s Cork No. 2 Brigade and planned several prominent guerilla actions against British forces. Adamantly opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, regarding it a betrayal of the Irish Republic, Lynch became the Chief-of-Staff of those in the IRA against the settlement. Yet he remained determined to find a compromise with former comrades, which left him little prepared for the outbreak of the Irish Civil War in June 1922. Lynch would die before the end of the bitter conflict – mortally wounded following a dramatic pursuit by Free State forces across a mountain in south Tipperary – yet his controversial leadership of the IRA during the eleven-month civil war continues to shape his legacy today.
1. ‘Quiet and gentle and you didn’t notice him much’ (1892–1916)
2. ‘We have declared for an Irish Republic’ (1917–18)
3. ‘I have started something that will shake up these fellows’ (1919)
4. ‘I would not wish to be born in any other generation but this’ (1920)
5. ‘That bloody shop assistant was here’ (January–July 1921)
6. ‘Thank God I am left alive to still help in shattering the damned British Empire’ (August 1921–March 1922)
7. ‘Would we could even get back all our glorious dead’ (April–June 1922)
8. ‘How could all our dreams have been so blighted’ (June – October 1922)
9. ‘Fight on to the last man’ (November 1922–March 1923)
10. ‘I’m glad now I’m going from it all’ (Late March–Early April 1923)
About the Author
Gerard Shannon is a historian from Skerries in north county Dublin, with an MA in History from the DCU School of History and Geography. Gerard has written numerous articles and done talks on key figures of the Irish revolutionary period. He works as a civil servant in Dublin city.
Praise for Liam Lynch: To Declare a Republic
‘This excellent biography will hopefully bring his story to a new generation, and is well worth reading for everyone interested in Irish history.’ – David McCullagh, RTÉ
‘This is a superb biography, so deeply researched and fluently written that it could also serve as a general history of Ireland’s revolutionary period.’ – Andrew Lynch, Sunday Business Post
‘… a satisfyingly human portrayal of a man normally either demonised or mythologised in Irish history.’ – John Dorney, The Irish Story