In the late 1940s, THE KERRYMAN newspaper published four books in paperback at a reasonable price. “Limerick’s Fighting Story” , “Kerry’s Fighting Story”, “Dublin’s Fighting Story” and
“Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story.” Each volume was attributed to “the men who made it” and each contributor was identified by name. As women, and indeed children, suffered and contributedto the struggle, it’s unfortunate that they do not to seem to have had their say in the books’ circulation.
The period covered from about 1910 to the Truce in 1921. And those who told their stories had been comrades united in the national liberation struggle.
We had the Limerick and Kerry books in the house at home and I borrowed the other two from Howth Library and I had read them all by the mid 1950s. They were written in plain English prose and verses from the time were interspersed with the stories.
I had wondered why they had not been repeatedly reprinted as primary sources but when I found out that THE KERRYMAN had been swallowed up by the Independent Newspaper Group
headed by a Knight of the Realm, I thought I knew the reason.
You might have knocked me down with a feather when I discovered that they HAD ALL been reprinted by the Mercier Press.
But apparently it was thought necessary to add introductions by academics. I can’t imagine why. The stories are simply told.
The late Peter Hart, whose “THE IRA AND ITS ENEMIES” essentially recycles Dublin Castle lies comprehensively refuted in 1920-1921 , introduces Rebel Cork’s story.
If, during the 1940s any of the stories in the series was challenged I’d like to know of it. And I imagine that Eoghan Harrisand/or Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Professor Lord Bew or Roy Foster would know of it.