Book Review: Will of iron or heart of stone? Biography explores life of Civil War hero Liam Lynch

Gerard Shannon’s impressive book on the anti-Treaty figurehead argues the case for his grim determination to see the struggle out to the bitter end

Liam Lynch: ‘The people are simply a flock of sheep to be driven any way you choose,’ he is alleged to have commented

“We have Dev, sir!” That was the cry of an Irish Free State soldier after his troops shot an anti-Treaty leader in the Knockmealdown Mountains on April 10, 1923. It was an understandable mistake, since the tall, bespectacled, austere-looking man did indeed bear a passing resemblance to Eamon de Valera.

However, he quickly put them right. “I am General Liam Lynch, chief-of-staff of the Irish Republican Army,” he declared. “Get me a priest and doctor, ...