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‘Step Together!’: Ireland’s Emergency Army 1939-46, as told by its Veterans


Donal MacCarron
Foreword by Lieutenant General G.-J. McMahon (Former Chief of Staff, Irish Defence Forces).

Ireland adopted a neutrality policy during the Second World War which was locally known as ‘The Emergency’. At the outbreak of the war, Irish defence forces were in a poor state; hence the creation of the Emergency Army.

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ISBN: 9780716526193 Categories: ,


‘A very attractive book – almost an album, so strong is it in photographs, themselves powerful in nostalgia…’ – Books Ireland

This fully illustrated oral history is an anecdotal and often funny account of the time based on the author’s interviews with the men who served in ‘The Emergency’ giving immediate accounts of recruitment, training and serving in the army. It includes the national ‘Call to Arms’, basic training, the equipment; ‘Shoots’ by coast artillery and in the Glen of Imaal; flying the planes; social events; the ‘down’ side; ‘major manoeuvres’ and parades and finally ‘Stand-down’.

The illustrations contain rarely seen black and white photographs of the army taken at the time.

About the Author

Donal McCarron was a teenage volunteer in the Local Defence Forces (LDF) in Ireland in 1941. He attended school in the CBS and studied civil engineering and architecture at UCD. His godmother was the well-known Sister Nicholas Griffey. Donal McCarron was then stationed in Lahinch as part of the Local Defence Forces on July 10, 1943 when the USAAF B-24 Liberator plane “Travellin Trollop” crash landed on the beach. He returned to the Clare seaside resort in 1993 and spoke at the unveiling of a plaque to mark the 50th anniversary of the crash landing.