The Fight for Dublin, 1919–1921

Urban Warfare in the Irish Struggle for Independence


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About the Book

In Dublin, the War of Irish Independence (1919–1921) was an intense and dirty battle between military intelligence agents. While IRA flying columns fought the British Army and the Black and Tans in the countryside, the fighting in Ireland’s capital city pitted the wits of IRA commander Michael Collins against the cloak-and-dagger innovations of British Intelligence chief Colonel Ormonde de l’Épée Winter. Drawing on detailed witness statements of Irish participants and documents and biographies from the British side, this history chronicles the covert war of assassinations, arrests, torture and murder that climaxed in the Bloody Sunday mass assassination of British intelligence officers by IRA squads in November 1920.

About the Author(s)

Joseph McKenna is a retired local studies librarian, with over 30 years’ experience, working in the Central Library in Birmingham, England. He formerly sat on the City Council’s Conservation Advisory Areas Committee.

Bibliographic Details

Joseph McKenna
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 282
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8441-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4206-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
List of Abbreviations x
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Preparing for War 17
2. British Intelligence in Ireland 1914–1918 24
3. Establishing an Irish Intelligence Service 30
4. Eliminating the G Men 50
5. Special Branch Strikes Back 78
6. Military Intelligence and the Paramilitaries 91
7. Winter Arrives 111
8. Dublin Special Branch—The Murder Gang 123
9. Bloody Sunday, November 21, 1920 147
10. Hardy, King and Igoe 174
11. IRA Active Service Units 205
12. Burning the Custom House 216
13. The Road to Peace 232
Appendix I—Intelligence Staff and The Squad 239
Appendix II—Known or Suspected British Agents 241
Appendix III—Known or Suspected Touts 243
Appendix IV—British Secret Service Men and Others Assassinated or Wounded on November 21, 1920 246
Appendix V—Members of G. Division, Dublin Metropolitan Police, Shot and Killed by The Squad 249
Chapter Notes 251
Bibliography 265
Index 269