The opening shots of the War of Independence were fired by the Third Tipperary Brigade of the IRA, led by the charismatic Sean Treacy. He was a gifted guerrilla fighter and an inspirational leader. This book is a major re-evaluation of Sean Treacy and of the personalities and events which kick-started Irelands march towards freedom.
Joe Ambrose brings a new perspective to the Tan War, suggesting that the roots of Tipperary’s militancy went back to the nineteenth century when the Young Irelanders and Fenians fought romantically in the hills and valleys of the county. He shows how the indecision which governed Tipperary’s participation in the 1916 Rising gave way to out-and-out conflict and war.
Sean Treacy and the Tan War covers the exploits of the Flying Columns, IRA intelligence gathering, the role of women in the fight, and the horrors of Croke Parks Bloody Sunday recalled for the first time by a man who witnessed the carnage at first hand as a member of the Tipperary team.
“This book is the story of the violent attempt that a substantial section of Irish Society made to bridge the gap between their ideals and the actual world in which they lived and died.” – Joe Ambrose
Excerpt from Chapter 5: The Enigma of Sean Treacy
‘Dying before the contradictions of age and life assailed him, Sean Treacy represented to those who survived the Tan War an image of idealistic, brutal youth. Because he died before the Civil War, he was idealised in their imaginations as the very essence of what a free Ireland could be and what a free Irishman should be.’