Echoes of Their Footsteps - Volume I

The Quest for Irish Freedom 1913-1922


Book Details

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Vital Statistics:

408 pages long, hard cover bound on an 8 1/2 by 11" format, 214 pictures, graced by an original watercolour on the front cover. The book concludes with a 27 page index (triple column) that includes names of Volunteers mentioned, place names, county Brigade and Battalion information, and themes addressed in the book.

Notes to the Reader

“We do not recognise any boundary except the one given to us by God, where the high sea kisses the foreshore of our native land.”

Spoken by Joseph Reddin, last surviving officer of the Offaly Brigade “Tribute to Patriot Dead,” Westmeath Independent, 5 September 1970, p. 4


Kathleen Hegarty Thorne has presented a survey history of the IRA written not in streams of words, but in concise entries, sequentially ordered. The beauty of this sort of format was that she didn’t have to expound forever on specific events but could simply stroke the canvas with the facts and let the reader airbrush the landscape and blend various hues onto the blank spaces. Thus, she determined to make the main crux of the book a running historical calendar of events about the IRA (interspersed with various tidbits of notable Irish happenings), punctuated with articles detailing the various hunger strikers and placing those articles alongside the time period during which they lived.

In the process of amassing all the minute pieces of information and spotlighting the important persons of the time, she also determined that an article about each of the men who held the Chief of Staff position in the Republican Army would be a valuable addition to the story. Some of these men were Chief for only a few days before circumstances changed. Others had a profound effect on the happenings in Ireland during their tenure.

To the reader she explains the unusual construction of this book, begs forgiveness if every event is not included or fully explained, but sincerely hopes that this accounting will endear many of these men and women to your hearts, and that in generations to come, their story will remain vibrant and valued. They challenged the formidable powers of an empire and sometimes their own government with all that their limited resources could bring to bear. They persevered, cried out, cursed the status quo, and suffered severely for a cause they believed in, and strode through their daily challenges with such grit and determination that their footsteps echo down through the ages and pages of history.