New book commemorates Civil War in Limerick

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Executive Librarian Michael Maguire, Mayor Francis Foley and County Librarian Damien Brady at the launch of “The Inevitable Conflict”.

A NEW book on the Civil War in Limerick has just been produced by Limerick City and County Library Service as part of the local authority’s Decade of Centenaries programme for 2022.

‘The Inevitable Conflict: Essays on the Civil War in County Limerick’ comprises thirteen original essays authored by professional and local historians, along with PhD students from Mary Immaculate College.

They employ a wide range of traditional and newly released archival resources to shed new light on the experience of the Civil War in  Limerick, the strategic importance of which cast it as one of the principal theatres of the conflict’s conventional phase.

Receiving the first copy of the book, Mayor Francis Foley said it provides a remarkable historical and photographic record of the Civil War in the city and county.

“While we get sometimes overlooked in the retelling of the narrative on a general basis, this publication provides a wonderful accompaniment to that overall story which has framed our lives since.”

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Drawing on the extensive newsreels by Pathé News and photographer William D. Hogan, who was embedded with the Free State Army, it provides a remarkable photographic record of the most visually documented event in the county’s revolutionary history.

Limerick Librarian Damien Brady said: “We are very proud to have produced this very fine volume as a contribution to the 2022 Decade of Centenaries programme. I would like to express my gratitude to my library colleague, Seán William Gannon, who did such an exceptional job of coordinating and editing the book.”

Among the contributors are:

Dr Matthew Potter, Curator of the Limerick Museum, who examines the Civil War through the prism of local politics in Limerick.

Stephen Kelly and Dr John O’Callaghan, who trace the war’s course through the city and county respectively.

John Dorney analyses the Limerick casualty figures and explores the civilian experience where problems with food supply, public transport, and physical harassment became commonplace.

Professor Linda Connolly focusses on female casualties, uncovering many long-forgotten tragic cases of injury and death.

Benjamin Ragan explores the place of the supernatural in Civil War Limerick, presenting a variety of stories of perceived paranormal activity.

Sharon Slater examines public entertainments in the context of everyday life proceeding with a rather surprising degree of normality.

Dr Brian Hughes, Dr Gemma Clark, and Dr Seán William Gannon explore the Limerick loyalist experience of civil war.

Thomas Toomey draws on his vast collection of oral histories to explore friendships amongst East Limerick IRA that survived the Civil War split.

Siobhán English examines the afterlives of Limerick’s Civil War generation through the lens of the Military Service Pensions Collection.

An e-version of ‘The Inevitable Conflict’ can be downloaded from Limerick City and County Council’s Decade of Centenaries site on Limerick.ie.

Print copies can be acquired through Limerick City and County Library Service’s Local Studies Department. [email protected] or telephone 061 557727.