‘No middle path’: The Civil War in Kerry
The violence and divisions caused by the Civil War in County Kerry in 1922-23 were more vicious, bitter and protracted than anywhere else in Ireland.
For generations, the fratricide, murder and executions in Kerry have been synonymous with the worst excesses of the brutality and mayhem which followed the split over the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.
In this new analysis of the conflict in his native county, Owen O’Shea offers new insights into the misery and mayhem of 1922-23, from the perspectives of combatants as well as their families and the wider civilian population.
Based on newly researched archive accounts and testimonies, the immense trauma, hardship, poverty, ill-health and psychological scars of the families of those killed and injured is explored for the first time.
Also presented is a catalogue of the intimidation, destruction, crime and lawlessness which severely affected civilians who had no involvement in the war but suffered greatly, sometimes losing their lives.
No Middle Path offers an engrossing account of the terrible events in Kerry and of some of the darkest days in Irish history as well as their shocking and enduring legacy.
PRAISE FOR ‘NO MIDDLE PATH’
“Nowhere was the hatred greater, the conflict more brutal, than in Kerry, as is detailed in this superb study, which offers an even-handed, detailed and well-written account of the war and its aftermath in the county.”
Dr. David McCullagh, historian and author (RTÉ.ie)
“One of the best [books] the Decade of Centenaries has produced”
Donal Fallon, historian and author
O’Shea’s account is even-handed, wears its deep research lightly and is overlain with a fittingly sombre tone. It should be compulsory reading for any generation that takes for granted the imperative of democracy or is inclined to glamourise political violence from any juncture in history.”
Mick Clifford, Irish Examiner
“[The] Civil War and its aftermath are considered by O’Shea, with sensitivity and respect together with an obvious expertise in the available secondary and newly released primary source material. All of this is presented in an engaging and clear prose style. O’Shea with this volume hopes to present an unbiased and straightforward account of some of easily the most tragic events in his county’s recent history. He has achieved his set task admirably in what amounts to one of the best publications on Kerry’s Civil War experience, but also one of the best volumes produced in this decade of centenaries.”
Dr. Thomas Earls Fitzgerald, theirishstory.com