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Author: James McCormick
 ISBN: 978-1-908056-38-2. 56 pp + Cover. A5. Cover colour, text black and white. €6 + p&p

This is a unique book – and, in the story of the burning of the Custom House in Dublin on 25 May, 1921 – a vitally important one.

While many of the participants in the attack have left witness statements and referred to it, never before has a group of them discussed it in this depth … or honesty.

In 1973 author James Mc Cormick - then an avid student of Irish history - spent a year in Ireland inter-viewing surviving old IRA members, twelve of whom took part in the Customs House attack, as part of his research for his MA in History at Loyola University, Chicago. 

Subsequently, James delivered just one paper based on his research notes of his interviews with these twelve. Now it is published here for the first time.

Here are the recollections and details of the actual participants distilled into this one paper, which contains much detail that is new, and clarification on some points, all in raw and honest statements.

While recent releases of pension files etc. have been significant, James’ work stands the test of time. Some discrepancies between what we now know and what is here may be the interviewees’ memories, but others are due to the successful secrecy that surrounded the planning of this successful attack but, even with these, this remains brutally honest recollection of one of the IRA’s most significant actions during the War of Inde-pendence, and one that contributed mightily to its conclusion. It is a book which captures the spirit of the time, and of the attack. The secrecy surrounding the planning, the mistakes … and the ultimate triumph.

This is an essential addition to any library on the burning of the Custom House 1921 and on the War of Independence, and a wonderful behind-the-scenes and front-of-house exposé of what really happened on May 25, 1921, as seen by those who were there.

 
 
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