Book Review

Kilmichael – the dangerous business of digging for facts about a still-contested ambush

Eve Morrison was threatened and misled when researching the 1920 IRA ambush in West Cork that left 18 RIC men dead and injured

On November 28, 1920, on the road between Macroom and Dunmanway in West Cork, Tom Barry’s flying column lay waiting for two lorries carrying 18 men from the Royal Irish Constabulary’s Auxiliary Division, killing all but two of the men

Writing about the 1920 Kilmichael ambush can be a dangerous business. While researching this book, Eve Morrison warns, she was “verbally threatened, actively misled more than once, shouted at in the streets by strangers and shadowed when visiting the site. One individual I spoke to asked if I was wearing a wire.”

Why does the War of Independence episode that cost more lives than any other arouse such strong feelings today? Partly because historians still ...