The Irish Republican Brotherhood 1914 – 1924


John O’Beirne Ranelagh


May 2024

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This captivating book delves into the secretive world of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and its profound impact on Ireland’s political landscape between 1914 and 1924. With the aid of new documentation, Ranelagh unravels the true influence of the oath-bound society without which the 1916 Rising might never have taken shape.

For Michael Collins, the IRB was the true custodian of the Irish Republic, and the only body he pledged his loyalty to, but its legacy remains obscured by its intense secrecy. This book re-introduces the IRB as the organisation that created and furnished the IRA, influenced the result of the critical 1918 election, and changed the face of Irish history.

From Éamon de Valera’s recollections of how he first learned of the Treaty to narratives from Nora Connolly O’Brien, Emmett Dalton, and others, testimonies from key figures paint a vivid picture of the IRB’s inner workings and external influence.

A fascinating exploration of secret societies, political manoeuvres, and personal sacrifices, The Organisation casts new light on a pivotal chapter in Ireland’s quest for independence.

About the Author

John O’Beirne Ranelagh is a television executive, producer, and author of history and current politics. Born to an Irish father, James O’Beirne Ranelagh, who was in the IRA in 1916 and later fought on the Republican side in the 1922–24 Civil War, and an American mother, Elaine Lambert Lewis, who became the noted author E. L. Ranelagh, John Ranelagh was born in New York and moved to rural Ireland following his parents’ 1946 marriage. He read Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford, and later obtained a Ph.D. at Eliot College, University of Kent. Ranelagh has written several books, and was created a Knight First Class by King Harald V of Norway in 2013.