The Comeraghs "Gunfire & Civil War": The story of the Deise Brigade IRA 1914-1924
ISBN : 9798648235076
The story of the Irish War of Independence and Civil War in Dungarvan & West Waterford in the words of the veterans.This important work was originally published in 1980 under the title 'The Comeraghs Refuge of Rebels'. In 2003 a revised and expanded version was published under the title 'The Comeraghs Gunfire & Civil War' The 2020 edition has been further updated with additional content including notes from the original interviews and 31 photos. The book's importance derives from it being compiled using the first-hand accounts of the County Waterford veterans who participated in the struggle for Irish Independence. Among those who contributed their papers and allowed themselves to be interviewed were active participants Pax Whelan, Mick Mansfield, ‘Nipper’ McCarthy, sisters Margaret and Lena Keating, Molly Power, Katie (Mother) Kent, Sonny Cullinane, Larry Meehan, Jim Kirwan, Ned Kirby, Billy Walsh, Donal (Duck) Whelan and many more.In 1970 Seán Murphy was appointed as Pension Officer for County Waterford. By chance, his job put him more in contact with the veterans as he was required on a four-yearly basis to visit all who were in receipt of an IRA pension from the Dept of Defence. In a short time, he got to know them all and earned their respect. He listened to their accounts of service during the Irish War of Independence and if they had any written documents, he arranged to copy them for his files. The material for this book was compiled at a time when the struggle in Northern Ireland was approaching a peak and memories of the Irish Civil War were fresh. As a result, many local historians were reluctant to engage with documenting the Irish War of Independence & Civil War. Fortunately for posterity, Seán Murphy & his wife Síle were not daunted and they assembled a very readable, well-researched account of the struggle for freedom in Waterford. The book chronicles the formation of the Irish Volunteers and subsequently the formation of the Deise Brigade IRA. Attacks on police barracks, ambushes at Piltown, Durrow, Pickardstown, and The Burgery are documented as is the brief 'Truce' period before brother fought against brother in the Irish Civil War. The book also includes detailed reports of engagements & activities of the Deise Brigade including lists of participants. This book is a brilliant exploration of the activities of the Deise Brigade, highlighting the role of the landscape and the intimate knowledge of the local terrain that the brigade members were able to exploit. The interaction between the local community and the Brigade is an important part of the story of the War of Independence in Waterford and it is well documented in this book. To mark the centenary of events in 1920 Waterford County Museum and the Waterford Commemorations Committee are grateful to Seán & Síle Murphy for giving us the opportunity to support them in getting this wonderful work republished. A portion of profits from this book will be used to support the work of the volunteer-run Waterford County Museum.