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The pubs are closed now because of the danger of Covid-19, but did you know that in the past were they even more dangerous places, full of intrigue?

Speaking at the launch of his latest book author Eddie Bohan said: "In her long struggle for independence, Ireland had one vital weapon that the British neither possessed nor fully appreciated and, as the shots of her battle for Independence rang out, the rebel forces perfected its use with deadly consequences.

Eventually Ireland acquired almost 15,000 of these weapons. Some of them fell into Britain’s or her agents’ hands, some remained neutral, but the vast majority were in Irish Nationalist hands and, without them, Ireland might not be as free, as she is today.

That weapon was the Public House and its ammunition was the publican, the building itself where the licensee traded and the bar staff who maintained this weapon.

Without the public house Ireland could well be still part of the British Empire".

Kilmainham Tales M.D. Mícheál Ó Doibhilín added, while presenting Eddie with a bottle of Proclamation Whiskey which commemorates the printing of the proclamation issued at Easter 1916, "In this overview of the role of alcohol in the war for Irish independence, author and historian Eddie Bohan traces the vital place of the Irish pub as a meeting place, a safe house and even as banker for the  Irish revolution. This is a unique book, which examines the forces behind Ireland's long revolutionary history in a fresh and unique way". 

Further details and to buy here

A special new book in the 'Weapons of ...' series
Written by weapons expert Kieran McMullen, author of the acclaimed "Weapons of the Easter Rising" and "Weapons of the Irish War of Independence", this new book looks at one of the most successful engagements by the IRA during the War of Independence, and considers the weapons and tactics engaged in by both the IRA and the Crown Forces.
Kieran examines the wepaons brought to the attack by both sides, and discusses their value in the contect of the battle, and gives examples of their uses.
He looks in particular at the tactics employed, and considers how these were affected by the weapons used by both sides.
This book is launched to mark the 99th anniversary attack, in the absence of teh usual conference which Kilmainham Tales co-sponsors. 
"Weapons of the Custom House Attack 1921" complements and expands on Kieran's two previous books, and the trio will be essential parts of the library of any student of the period.
Because of the Covid lock-down, Kieran has been unable to travel to Ireland to launch this book, but hopes to undertake a tour of talks on the subject later in the year.
The book is available to buy here
a unique new book from Joni Scanlon
A Sacrifice of the Heart
       A new and compelling biography which delivers a new insight into the life of Gearóid O’Sullivan, a  central figure of the Irish independence movement who played a key role in the rise of the Irish Republic. 
       A Sacrifice of the Heart offers a fresh Irish hero to bw iscovered and a new, accessible form of biographical storytelling, which places the reader with Gearóid as he participates in all of the important events of this tumultuous period, including the  1916 Rising, the harrowing Charge of the O’Rahilly down Moore Street, the War of Independence,  the Irish Civil War, and the creation of an independent Irish nation.
       Even readers who know little about the rebellion years will come away with a greater understanding  of modern Irish history as viewed through the life of this remarkable man and an appreciation of this  often-overlooked founding father of the Irish nation. Includes rare photos and a specially commis-  sioned map of the 1916 Rising and Moore Street Battlefield.
Further details and to order here

 Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to cancel the proposed launch of“Weapons of the Irish War of Independence” , the long-awaited follow-up to "Weapons of the Easter Rising" by Ame"rican weapons specialist Kieran McMullen.

In this book Kieran once again demonstrates his encyclopaedic knowledge of historical weapons and, in combining it with his proven writing skills, has produced another accessible and comprehensive overview of the weapons used in the struggle to create a free and independent Ireland.

These two books combined constitute a unique encyclopedia of     the weapons used on all sides during the Irish struggle for independence in the period 1916-21, and are a must for every student of the period.

Click here to purchase "Weapons of the Easter Rising" and/or here "Weapons of the Irish War of Independence". 

We are delighted to announce our latest publication - "The Great Liberties Whiskey Fire" by Las Fallon.

    This is Las' second book with us (his other is "The Firemen's Tale") and is sure to be another winner. 

    Las tells the story of the day - or, rather, night, in 1875 when thousands of litres of burning whiskey flowed like lava through the streets of the Liberties area of Dublin, threatening to totally destroy the remnants of the old city, and the lives of its residents.

Unable to use water to extinguish the conflagration, Captain Robert Ingram of the Dublin Fire Brigade devised an innovative plan, both original in concept and daring in execution, to tame the flames and save he Liberties and, possibly, the whole city.

Allegedly, some thirteen people lost their lives in the fire - not through injury but by over-indulgence in golden nectar that flowed through the streets of the Liberties! Las questions this number, and looks in detail at what is known about the deaths that did occur.

Copiously illustrated with contemporary illustrations, this is a fascinating and timely read.

Pictured (above) Author Las Fallon deiivering the first copies of "The Great Liberties Whiskey Fire" to the retail shop in Teeling Whiskey Distillery and (right)  to the Irish Whiskey Museum.
For further details and/or to order a copy of "The Great Liberties Whiskey Fire" click here.

Copies may also be purchased in the retail shops of:
Teeling Whiskey Distillery 13-17 Newmarket Dublin 8, 
The Irish Whiskey Museum, 119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, (opposite Trinity College)

For Fans of Jimmy Wren's Artwork

. Jimmy Wren, Born in Dublin and son of James Wren who at the age of 17 served in the GPO during the Rising, 

Jimmy is an accomplished Irish Historian and Writer, having written and illustrated such major works as 'Villages of Dublin', and produced a series of Biographical Dictionaries of the men and women of 1916 - 'GPO Garrison Easter Week 1916',  'Four Courts Garrison Easter Week 1916' & 'Heuston's Fort Easter Week 1916'- the story of the gallant fight put up bu the men of the Mendicity Institution during the Easter Rising.

All these books are long out of print - snapped up by historians and admirers of Jimmy's artwork alike. Recently, however, a box of some 30 copies of "Heuston's Fort" was discovered and Kilmainham Tales purchased it. We are now delighted to be able to offer these last few copies for sale.

The book is a mine of information, as anyone who has read Jimmy's other two books will know. But this book is different - it  tells the story of this famous battle in the Easter Rising of 1916, and is written by three Grandchildren of combatants. 

Read more about this informative book and/or buy here.
Battle of Moore Street
Cath Shráid Uí Mhórdha

A bi-lingual history of the final battle of the Easter Rising in the words of those who were there.

Stair dhá-theangach chath deiridh Éirí Amach na Cásca i bhfocail iad siúd a bhí i láthair.

"To give a relatively small street in Dublin's City Centre the title of "Birthplace of the Republic" may seem audacious, bold or even brazen, but anyone who reads Ray Bateson’s account of Moore Street and its pivotal role in the 1916 Easter Rising cannot but be convinced, not only that the title is justified, but that the story of Moore Street must take its rightful and prominent place in our history, especially when the 1916 Rising is being discussed".
  So wrote Cllr. Nial Ring, in the Introduction of this unique book launched in Dublin's iconic Mansion House by Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha on December 11th.
  Read more here, and/or buy the book (at €12.50 per copy) here.

Éist le agallamh fé'n leabhar seo a craoladh ar Raidió na Gaeltachta
an cóip, maille postas.
per copy, plus postage.
"B’fhéidir go mbreathnaíonn sé dána, dínáireach fiú, an teideal “Áit Bhreithe na Poblachta” a thabhairt ar shráid sách beag i mBaile Átha Cliath. Ach duine ar bith a léann cuntas Ray Bateson ar Shráid Uí Mhórdha agus an pháirt lárnach a bhí aige in Éirí Amach 1916 ní fhéadfadh sé ach a chreidiúint go bhfuil ní hamháin an teideal cóir, ach gur cheart do Shráid Uí Mhórdha á háit cheart thábhachtach a ghlacadh sa stair, go háirithe nuair a bhíonn Éirí Amach 1916 á phle".
  Sin a scríobh Cmhrlr. Nial Ring ina Réamhrá do'n leabhar sainiúil seo a sheol Árd Mhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath Mícheál Mac Donncha ina theach íocónach féin ar 11u Nollaig.
  Léigh tuille anseo agus/nó ceannaigh an leabhar (ar €12.50 an cóip) anseo.
Éist le foilsitheor Mícheál Ó Doibhilín ag labhairt faoi an leabhar seo agus an scéal taobh thiar de'n leabhar seo ar an clár raidió "An Chearta" a craoladh ar Raidio na Gaeltachta anseo. Craoladh seo ar Domhnach 14 Eanáir 2018.

Sé An Cheárta clár ealaíona seachtainiúil RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, léirithe agus láithrithe ag Cearbhall Ó Síocháin. Domhnach 1.15in.

An Cheárta is RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta's weekly arts programme, produced and presented by Cearbhall Ó Síocháin. Sunday 1.15pm.

Available In:
Hodges Figgis,
Dawson St.,
Dublin 2:
Books Upstairs,
17 D'Olier St, Dublin 2;
Books.ie at
or any good bookshop. If they don't have it ask them to order it in.
We launched "MAY 25 - burning of the Custom House 1921" on June 21, in the Irish Labour History Society, Beggars' Bush to a full house.

Éamon Ó'Cuív was the guest speaker, Mícheál Ó Doibhilín the MC, and Liz Gillis the guest of honour!

It was a swelteringly hot evening, which ensured that the water, mineral water and chilled white wine were all firm fvourites with the attendees.

It was great to see so many familiar faces - but also so many new ones present. 

Rather than give a full account of the night it is simpler to link to Pól Ó Duibhir's blog here where he reports on the night - and reviews the book. 

Pól and James Langton both photographed the event and we reproduce Pól Ó Duibhir's photos below. James Langton's are here. As will be seen by these there was much one-to-one discussion between the attendees and the speakers.

One unusual feature was an extra version of the book - in cake! Created by Aisling Whelan of Icing on the Cake by Aisling Whelan, this was possibly the first time when an author had to eat her words at her own book launch! The cake was as popular as the book, and all agreed it was as good.

We are grateful to all who attended on such a warm evening, but especially to our Guest Speaker Éamon Ó Cuív who spoke so passionately about the book and the events in it.

We are proud to have added this book - and author - to our collection. Liz Gillis, of course, has six previous best-selling history books to her credit, and has worked for over eight years with publisher Mícheál Ó Doibhilín to bring this book to fruition.
Liz Gillis has written the first comprehensive history of perhaps the most important event in the irish War of Independence - the burning of the Custom House.

This account puts the attack in context and explains in great detail the events of the day and its aftermath.

This book is unique inasmuch as it tackles a subject which many have claimed to have been a disastrous failure. Liz explains the objectives, the context, the planning and the consequences in detail.

The book is now available to buy direct from us here.

Now available in major bookshops, including:

Hodges Figgis in Dawson Street, Dublin
is the first to stock this great book - and even have some signed copies so, don't delay and get yours quick!

Books Upstairs, D'Olier Street is quick to follow suit.

Alan Hanna, Rathmines is the latest to stock our complete range.

If you can't get to any of these stockists, check with your local bookseller - if they don't have what you want ask them to order it in. Available from either their regular suppliers or from us here.

Books.ie stock this online at 


'Burning of the Custom House' commemorative badge
A special badge has been produced to commemorate the burning of the Custom House on May 25, 1921.

Retailing at only €5 (plus p&p) it is available here

On May 25, 1921 the IRA launched one of its largest and most audacious operations when it attacked Dublin’s Custom House, the heart of the British administration in Ireland.

Many still view this as a military failure that destroyed the IRA’s Second Battalion in Dublin but, over the last number of years, this view has grown to be challenged.

Now it can be argued that the operation was, in fact, a success which probably helped bring about a truce and the subsequent Treaty negotiations.

Liz Gillis (historian and author of six books on Ireland’s early 20th century revolutionary period) and Mícheál Ó Doibhilín (author of four books and publisher of books on Irish history) organised a full-day a conference in the Custom House, Dublin on the burning of the Custom House, Dublin, 1921, on Saturday, May 27 2017.

This attack was a pivotal moment in the War of Independence and, less than seven weeks later, a truce was arranged between both sides as England called for peace talks.
Speakers including historians Seán Hogan (author), Las Fallon (two books), Paul O'Brien (eight books), Liz Gillis and Mícheál Ó Doibhilín presented the results of their research into the attack and its consequences.

Topics included the attack itself, the role of the Fire Brigade, a military analysis of the attack, fire as a weapon in the War of independence, and what it was like to be in the building during the attack.
A panel discussion with the speakers concluded each session. Report here
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