Released to mark the 100th anniversary of the sacking of Dubin and the capture of Kevin Barry, Killing at its Very Extreme. Dublin: October 1917 – November 1920, details pivotal aspects of Dublin’s War of Independence, the ramping up of the intelligence war and the upsurge in raids and assassinations. Vividly depicting mass hunger-strikes, general strikes, prison escapes, and ruthless executions by the full-time IRA ‘Squad’, amid curfews and the functioning of an audacious alternative government. The intensity builds as the reader is embedded into Commandant Dick McKee’s Dublin Brigade to witness relentless actions and ambushes.
Killing at its Very Extreme lays bare many myths about key players from both sides. The tempo escalates with the deployment of the notorious Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, as well as a host of cunning political and propaganda ploys. Desperate plights and horrific reprisals are portrayed, the effects of mass sectarian pogroms and killings. The sacking of Balbriggan, the killing of Seán Treacy, the death of Terence MacSwiney, and the capture and execution of teenager Kevin Barry are all described in graphic detail. As in the authors’ previous works the pulsating tension, elation, fear, desperation, hunger, the mercy and the enmity leap from the pages. The harrowing circumstances suffered by those whose sacrifices laid the bedrock for modern Ireland, and whose own words form the book’s primary sources, are recounted in unflinching detail.
Killing at its Very Extreme provides an unprecedented overview of Dublin during the War of Independence. With many new angles, it draws the reader into Dublin’s wartorn streets to witness to the lethal machinations of the intelligence war, brutal assassinations and subsequent horrific reprisals. The frustrations felt by the British as they tried to contain such a well-executed and multifaceted rebellion are described in spellbinding detail. Never before has an account of the War of Independence portrayed how events transpired in Dublin – from both the perspective of the ordinary footsoldiers and Irish civilians, in such an accessible and unflinching way. It will also reveal, for the first time, the input of so many overlooked characters whose rightful laurels have been misappropriated to far more prominent players. The authors have written an unforgettable account of events crying out to be told yet overlooked by many.