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Announcement :: Education
Irish Republican historian to speak on 1950's IRA Border Campaign
29 Nov 2007
The Irish Freedom Committee would like to remind friends in Chicago that renowned Irish Republican historian and author Ruan O'Donnell will be speaking this coming Monday evening Dec 3rd at Northeastern Illinois University on his new book, on the 1950's Border Campaign by the IRA.
Ruan O'Donnell to speak in Chicago Monday Dec. 3rd - 1950's IRA Border Campaign

Ruan O'Donnell is the head of the History Dept. at the University of Limerick and has written extensively on the history of the Irish Republican movement. He is widely regarded as an authority on the history of Robert Emmet.

The Chicago Cumann of the Irish Freedom Committee will remember his riveting address at our graveside Easter commemoration last year.
";> Irish Freedom Committee Easter Commemoration Chicago 2006

Details below - All are welcome to attend! Link to Directions below also.

(Note for transportation assistance please email us at Saoirse (at) )

Ruan O'Donnell to speak in Chicago Monday Dec. 3rd - 1950's IRA Border Campaign

Location: Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. Chicago, Student Union Room 003 (lower level)
Date and Time: Monday, 12/3/07, 7pm. Admission is free.

A new book by Dr. Ruan O'Donnell of University of Limerick throws new light on highly controversial events in the 1950s. O'Donnell, Head of the History Department at UL, draws upon numerous interviews with key protagonists to analyze the secret history of the IRA during the Border Campaign, 1956-62. 'Operation Harvest', as the campaign was known, is best known for the deaths of Sean South and Fergal O'Hanlon in Fermanagh in January 1957, both of whom were soon immortalized in song. However, the IRA suffered its greatest losses since the Civil War on 11 November 1957 when five men perished in a premature explosion at Edentubber, County Louth. Two of the men, George Keegan and Patrick Parle, hailed from Wexford and were members of that county's 'Vinegar Hill' column based in border safe houses in Louth and Monaghan.

This book traces the re-birth of the IRA in Wexford between 1953 and 1956 when the Border Campaign commenced, as well as the specific circumstances that led to the deaths at Edentubber. It is the most comprehensive and explicit case study of a modern IRA brigade area ever published. Account is taken of the views of many leading republicans of the period, including former members of the Army Council. Ex-IRA men recount for the first time how they organized, recruited and trained in order to mount attacks on the British Army and RUC in the North of Ireland. Eye witness accounts of several operations are noted, some of which conflict with official reports of the incidents.

O'Donnell discusses allegations that George Poyntz, revealed as a high level IRA infiltrator during the 'shoot to kill' scandal of the mid-1980s, was working for British Intelligence as far back as the 1950s. The disputed causes of the Edentubber disaster are explored in unprecedented detail.

New information on the activities of such well known republicans as Sean Garland, Phil Flynn and Seamus Swan is included. 'From Vinegar Hill to Edentubber, The Wexford IRA and the Border Campaign' will be published in November 2007.


The Irish Freedom Committee
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