This landmark study of the life of republican leader Liam Mellows brings together letters, speeches, political writings and captured IRA documents to explore his short but dramatic life.
Mellows was at the forefront of the republican movement in Ireland from its inception. Following the Easter Rising, he spent four years as the IRA’s representative in New York, attempted to import arms into Ireland, was jailed, and – worst of all – branded an informer by the Mayor of New York.
Arriving back in Ireland in 1920, Mellows was responsible for the importation of arms for the republican forces during the Independence struggle. Bitterly opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, he became an implacable opponent of Michael Collins, and his role in helping form the anti-Treaty IRA in 1922 contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Mellows’ execution in December 1922 was among the most divisive acts of the new Irish state, and he remains an enigmatic icon for Irish republicans. Liam Mellows, Soldier of the Irish Republic, examines his beliefs, his fraught personal relationships and political betrayals, and sheds new light on his struggle in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.