For seven hundred years the British occupied Ireland, stealing its land, looting its meager wealth, enacting extraordinarily punitive taxes, and imposing a famine on its inhabitants.
On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a handful of rebels commandeered buildings around Dublin City and fought the British army to a standstill for nearly a week.
Almost immediately after their surrender, fourteen of the leaders were shot in the breaker’s yard of Kilmainham Gaol. Sixteen men in all were executed for their uprising against the British.
With the elimination of the 1916 leaders, another generation of revolutionaries rose to take their place.
This cadre was led by Eamon de Valera, a senior commandant who escaped execution because of his natural-born American citizenship, and Michael Collins, who would soon rise to hold the positions of Minister for Finance in the first Dáil and Director of Intelligence for the Irish Republican Army.
Collins’s reign as a revolutionary was short—a lively six years, between the Easter Rising and his death in an ambush on August 22, 1922.
But during that short period of time, he led a bloody guerrilla war that is now textbook for all emerging revolutionaries, much studied by the likes of Mao Tse-Tung and Yitzhak Shamir, who would later become the seventh prime minister of Israel. (Shamir’s nom-de-guerre, interestingly enough, was “Michael.”) For the first time, the British became the hunted—and they did not like it. Michael Collins, against impossible odds, had beat the British at their own game of intimidation. One of Collins’s cohorts and co-conspirators was a fourteen-year-old Dublin boy he met in the General Post Office during Easter Week. His name was Eoin Kavanagh.
This is their story.
Dermot McEvoy, Jersey City, New Jersey, 2014
Wit, craic, and maxims from the Emerald Isle’s most famous descendents including JFK, Ronald Reagan, St. Patrick, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, George Carlin, Brendan Behan, Michael Collins, de Valera, Tug McGraw, and many more!
In this lively and wide-reaching collection Dermot McEvoy gathers together some of Ireland’s most famous lines from its most famous (and infamous) residents.
But just who are the Irish, exactly? They are freedom fighters (the British call them “terrorists”), slave-owners, master politicians, relentless defenders of their religions, gay, straight, liberal, reactionary, victims of a famine, and mercenaries in the name of imperialism. They are expert businessmen, singers, outlaws, movie stars, writers, poets, priests, highwaymen, beggars, gypsies, gangsters and athletes. They are drunkards, teetotalers, modest, extravagant, and always shocked by the whole thing. They are inspirational and infuriating. They are funny and they are cynical. They are extraordinarily talented and remarkably venal. They are tough, adaptable, and the ultimate survivors. They are bewildering. They are infuriating.
And whatever they are, there is a certain wisdom to it all. So dive in and discover new lines and classic quotes from your favorite Irish men and women!
In his brilliant second novel, Dermot McEvoy sweeps his readers into the midst of one of the most heated political races in New York City history, where an unlikely player decides to make her presence known. First it hits the papers that the Virgin Mary has appeared to Jackie Swift, an affable G.O.P. congressman with a couple of nasty habits. She then appears in a dream to Wolfe Tone O’Rourke, a liberal political consultant who is still haunted by the ghost of Bobby Kennedy, whose death he feels responsible for.Swift uses the Virgin, soon styled “Our Lady of Greenwich Village,” to put a strong anti-abortion spin on his current run for office, which immediately polarizes Greenwich Village. O’Rourke, beset by his many demons, sees something familiar in the Virgin’s dancing eyes and the line of her smile and decides to run against Swift with the campaign slogan “NO MORE BULLSHIT.” With help from unlikely characters like Cyclops Reilly, a one-eyed newspaper columnist for the Daily News, and Simone “Sam” McGuire, O’Rourke’s pretty, no-nonsense assistant, Tone is sent on a transcontinental journey that forces him to confront his own ghosts and dig deep into his family history, all to answer one burning question: What does Our Lady of Greenwich Village really want him to do?
On August 22,1922, Michael Collins was assassinated at Beal na mBath in County Cork. Known as “The Bill Fellow,” the charismatic Collins was thirty-one years old and the leader of the Irish Free State. In the previous six years he had been a busy man: He fought in the 1916 Easter Rebellion, invented the IRA, financed the new Irish state, assassinated the entire British Secret Service in Dublin and negotiated the treaty that drove the British out of twenty-six counties of Ireland for the first time in seven hundred years.
Terrible Angel, Dermot McEvoy’s witty, suspenseful, and lightening-paced romp through the streets of New York, finds Collins 70 years after his bloody death desperately seeking to make amends for his violent life by completing one last worldly mission; springing a wrongly accused Irishman from the clutches of the U.W. Immigration and Naturalization Service, The British MI-5 and a certain life sentence in a British jail.