Why Did They Lie? by Jack Kiernan
– The Irish Civil War, The Truth, Where and When it all Began –
A new book about the Irish Civil War (1922-23) uncovers shadowy events that took place, shedding important light on the very origins of that conflict, where and when it began. It also offers an assessment that challenges certain assumptions about the course of events, the personalities and leadership dynamics involved.
Most people, with any knowledge of Irish history, know that hostilities in the Irish Civil War commenced with the move by the Provisional Government to take the Four Courts in Dublin (held by anti-Treaty forces) towards the end of June 1922. However, most people would be wrong! That is the view of Jack Kiernan, who sets out to investigate the roots of a tragic and bitter conflict that proceeded apace with the emergence of independent Irish statehood.
Growing up in an Irish Midlands town, Jack Kiernan remembers being told by his teachers that “if anything of importance happened in Mullingar, it would have been recorded.”
Bullet holes remnants in the walls of prominent local buildings seemed to give lie to these bland assertions, as did the recollections of older neighbours alluding to “the shooting of unarmed prisoners during the Civil War.”
What he only discovered, much later, was that events of, not just local but national significance had taken place in the town where he grew up. What’s more, they had been recorded, only to be buried deep within the archives – almost as if they had been deliberately covered up!
The evidence that he reveals here, confirms that open hostilities between pro- and anti-treaty forces were already in place, throughout the country, early in 1922 and prior to the events in Dublin. Furthermore, gun battles took place in the town of Mullingar during the month of April 1922, resulting in deaths. Evidence also suggests that British forces, though officially withdrawn, may have fired the first shots.
The events of the Irish Civil War (1922-1923) have cast a long shadow over Irish life. This book sheds important light on a dark chapter in Irish history; a contribution towards the debate that surely must accompany the centenaries of these events, which are now just around the corner.
Why Did They Lie? by Jack Kiernan is published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, as well as from certain bookshops.
Jack Kiernan is an author, historian, retired Irish Army Corporal Fitter Technician and former National Welfare Officer with PDFORRA (the army representative association). He lives and works in Mullingar, the town where he was also born and raised. He has a particular interest in cold cases, unsolved murders and alleged miscarriages of justice.
Is It Me? The Joseph Heffernan Story, first published in 2011, deals with the murder of Mary Walker on a hot summer’s day in Mullingar, in 1909 – a crime that shocked the nation and Joseph Heffernan, who was tried and convicted, paid for it with his life. He would be the last person to be hung in Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol. However, rumours have persisted down through the years that he may have been innocent.
He is also the author of the soon-to-be-published, I Declare Before My God, which deals with the sad and tragic cases, from the 19th century, of a father and son – Brian and James Seery – both of whom were sentenced to hang, in entirely separate circumstances, 24 years apart, both having been convicted on questionable evidence. Further information about these and other projects can be found at the author’s website.