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Seán Moylan in His Own Words: His Memoir of the Irish War of Independence

Seán Moylan in His Own Words: His Memoir of the Irish War of Independence

Seán Moylan

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Portrait of one of Cork’s foremost guerrilla leaders, who fought in the War of Independence and the Civil War and was a leading politician in the Fianna Fáil Government for two decades.

Sean Moylan was the Republican military commander in North Cork during the most intense phase of the War of Independence. Thirty years later he wrote an account of his part in that war—and it was placed in the Bureau of Military History along with the accounts of many others.

These memoirs of the people who actually conducted the war were to have been held in a closed archive for a certain period before being opened to the public. That period was extended several times but the material was finally made available in March 2003. Sean Moylan was perhaps the public figure who was most representative of the men who ensured that the British state could not peacefully cast aside the electoral mandate of the 1918 election in Ireland, and who compelled it to concede to force at least part of what it denied to the ballot-box.

He was a carpenter by vocation. There were, of course, soldiers by vocation amongst his colleagues in the war—Tom Barry whom he admired, and Ernie O'Malley whom he took good-humouredly with a pinch of salt being the outstanding ones—but Moylan never became one of them. He went to war from a sense of duty founded in the self-respect of a republican citizen, and then he gave up the business of soldiery.

He later became a Government Minister, having been drawn into politics thanks to the Civil War—being one of those who brought about the resurgence which developed the defeated side in the Civil War into the party which has dominated the state ever since 1932: Fianna Fail. And, when he wrote his memoir of the War of Independence, it was not for publication! He was Minister for Agriculture when he died in 1957.

This is an account of a piece of history by a man who made it. The present work includes Moylan's memoir, along with a number of his speeches and poems.

An epilogue by Brendan Clifford provides the context in which Moylan and his colleagues were forced to win by the bullet what Britain refused to concede to the ballot, and reviews current misrepresentations of the War of Independence

Additional Information

Author Seán Moylan
Publisher Aubane Historical Society
Publication date 23 Jun 2009
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781903497159

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