Nearly 2,000 people gave detailed statements to the Bureau of Military History between 1947 and 1957 about their role in Ireland’s fight for freedom. The statements are the recollections of many of those who participated in the 1916 Easter Rising and the War of Independence, 1919-1921. Recently released to scholars and researchers, they allow a much broader view of what actually happened in the fateful decade that led to independence from the British Empire. They offer a remarkable window into a tumultuous era in Ireland’s modern history when men and women rose up against British rule and demanded independence.
The statements examined in the book reflect the views of republican men and women from all facets of society. They were urban and rural dwellers middle and working-class individuals, farmers, labourers and professionals, all of whom, came together in the pursuit of one common goal. Their statements confirm the commitment they gave to the independence cause and are testaments to the courage and determination they displayed in their efforts to achieve a free and independent Ireland.
Eamonn Duggan explores the individual contributions of these remarkable people, and what they add to the history we thought we knew. A fascinating view of a vital period in Irish history, from 1913 to Independence.