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In the 1940s and 1950s Ernie O'Malley travelled around Ireland interviewing survivors of Ireland's struggle for Independence. These interviews, now being made available to the public for the first, time give a fascinating insight into the times and the people who fought. Many of those who were interviewed were unwilling to talk - even to their own families - about their experience, but because O'Malley was such a well-respected figure they consented to be interviewed by him. This book includes accounts of activities in many parts of Mayo and neighbouring parts of Roscommon and Sligo and most of those interviewed also fought against the Free State in the civil war. The key events described took place in the early months of 1921 in places such as Kilmeena, Tourmakeady and Carrowkennedy.
For the first time in published form 'The Men Will Talk to Me: Galway Interviews' chronicles the experiences of the Galway-based survivors of the War of Independence and the Civil War, recorded in the hand-written notebooks of Ernie O'Malley. Many of the individuals would not talk about their experiences, even to their own families, but were willing to talk to Commandant General O'Malley, the senior surviving Republican military commander, who took on the task of preserving the memories of these participants. The resulting O'Malley notebooks provide an unrivaled insight into this important period of Irish history, including the attack on Clifden and life 'on the run' for the Galway IRA volunteers.
County Kerry saw many of the most vicious episodes in both the War of Independence and the Civil War. Many Republican survivors of these events were reluctant to speak about their experiences, even to their own family. However, they were willing to talk to Ernie O'Malley, who was the senior surviving Republican military commander from the period of those struggles. By transcribing O'Malley's notebooks, where he recorded these interviews, Cormac O'Malley and Tim Horgan have made available previously unpublished first-hand accounts of Kerry's role in the fight for independence. The interviews provide an unrivalled insight into this important period of Irish history, including controversial incidents such as the Ballyseedy massacre, the battle at Headford Junction and executions by the Free State forces.