Johnny Meehan & the Spanish Civil War

Johnny Meehan & the Spanish Civil War

Lopera,  Southern Spain,  28  December  1936. The Irishmen were making their way uphill when the Junker planes reappeared. As they sprinted for the cover of an olive grove, a bullet whizzed into Gerry Doran’s upper arm. Moments later, a chunk of shrapnel slammed into...

The San Patricios and the Mexican War of 1847

In the winter of 2001, I chanced to stay with friends of friends in the affluent suburb of San Ángel outside Mexico City. It was my first time in Mexico and, at my hosts suggestion, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. My attention was drawn to a marble...
The Irish Defenders of Rorke’s Drift, 1879

The Irish Defenders of Rorke’s Drift, 1879

The defence of Rorke’s Drift in South Africa has captured the imagination since the moment the battle was over, not least with the 1964 movie ‘Zulu’. It marked a rare moment of redemption in the Anglo-Zulu War, one of the more shameful episodes in British colonial...
The Flag of the Easter Rising

The Flag of the Easter Rising

On Easter Monday in April 1916, Padraig Pearse and his cohorts hoisted two tricolour flags outside the GPO in Dublin. ‘In the name of God and of the dead generations’, declared Pearse’s Proclamation of the Republic’, ‘Ireland, through us, summons her children to her...

Men in Tights – The Battle of the Boyne 1690

MEN IN TIGHTS – THE BATTLE OF THE BOYNE 1690 On a warm and sunny summer afternoon, I am walking across the River Boyne at Oldbridge, County Louth, when I chance upon an old codger taking his hound for a stroll. We strike up a conversation, about a ruined shell of a...