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Best Books About the IRA

Best Books About the IRA

Below, you’ll find a hand-picked selection of top books on the IRA. These are books that delve deep into Ireland’s history. They offer detailed insights into the IRA’s past and its role within Ireland’s tumultuous story.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the dark history of the IRA and its impact on Northern Ireland.
  • Explore personal accounts of individuals involved in the conflict.
  • Dive into the challenges and experiences of those fighting for Irish independence.
  • Learn about the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike and its lasting significance.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical context in which the IRA operated.
  • Explore the political implications of the IRA bombing that targeted Margaret Thatcher.
  • Understand the complex social and political changes in Ireland during the Troubles.

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

“Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe tells a true story. It dives into Northern Ireland’s dark days during the Troubles. The book looks at the IRA’s history and its effects on people and places. It shows the complicated and violent fight there.

Through real-life stories, Keefe explores the impact of the IRA’s actions. He shows how people struggled for justice during tough political times. With careful research and talks, he uncovers the deep effects of violence and terror.

Keefe focuses on how memory shapes Northern Ireland today. He looks at both personal and shared memories from the past. This part of the book talks about why it’s important to remember for healing and peace.

“Say Nothing” is more than just a story about conflict. It’s about people facing loss, sadness, and finding ways to be strong. Keefe mixes these stories with deep looks into the politics and society of the time. The book helps us think about violence, memory, and justice.

History fans and those who fight for human rights will love “Say Nothing.” It’s a story that dives deep into the Troubles. It leaves readers with a better understanding of Northern Ireland’s hard past and the effects of violence.

Guerilla Days in Ireland: A Personal Account of the Anglo-Irish War

“Guerilla Days in Ireland” by Tom Barry tells a gripping story of the Anglo-Irish War. It shares a unique view on how the IRA fought for Irish freedom. This book shows the hard times and brave acts during the war, sharing stories of guerrilla fights.

Tom Barry led the IRA in the Anglo-Irish War and gives us a close look at the battles. Through his words, we see a war that was tough but showed great courage. Both the Irish and the British faced tough choices.

Barry writes in a way that makes the IRA’s struggle against the British vivid. He describes the brave and risky moves they made to fight against British rule. His stories bring us close to the action, helping us understand how they challenged the powerful British army.

Barry also dives into the reasons that pushed the IRA to fight for independence. He shows the complexities within the groups and their leaders. This gives a full picture of the war, including the battles for control and power.

“Guerilla Days in Ireland” is key to understanding the Anglo-Irish War and the IRA’s fight. Barry’s personal take gives us clear views on the era’s struggles and victories. It’s a must-read for those interested in Irish history.

Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike

“Ten Men Dead” by David Beresford tells the story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. It had a big effect on Northern Ireland. The book is about ten republican prisoners who died in their fight for political rights.

The Hunger Strike was a key moment during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Beresford uses vivid storytelling to explain the events before and during the strike. He also talks about the conditions in the prison and the politics at the time.

Beresford looks closely at the ten men who joined the Hunger Strike. He tells their personal stories, why they did it, and what it was like for them. You’ll see how much they sacrificed through their stories.

The book helps you really understand the importance of the event in Irish history. Readers get to know the people behind the big political movements. The book also deals with the arguments and issues the Hunger Strike raised.

Key aspects of “Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike”

  • Comprehensive account of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike
  • Focused on the ten republican prisoners and their motivations
  • Explores the political dynamics and consequences of the strike
  • Vivid storytelling brings the personal stories to life
  • Provides a nuanced understanding of the Troubles and the IRA’s role

This book is moving and full of detail about the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. It shows the strength and commitment of the ten prisoners. Their sacrifice is remembered to this day.

1981 Irish Hunger Strike

A Taste for Vengeance (Bruno, Chief of Police, #11)

A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker is a thrilling crime novel set in Ireland. It offers a look at the country’s history during the Troubles. Although it’s not only about the IRA, it gives a fresh view on this period through crime fiction.

This story takes readers on an exciting trip through the Irish countryside with Detective Bruno. He follows clues and uncovers a mystery. The book describes Ireland’s beauty and tells a story about its past conflicts.

Bruno’s investigation leads him to uncover deep secrets. These discoveries change how he sees justice. The book expertly mixes crime, politics, and history. It makes for a fascinating and deep story.

A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000

A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 by John Gibney gives a detailed look at Ireland’s past from 1500 to 2000. It covers major events and changes that have influenced Irish history, including the IRA’s part.

The book explores the time when the IRA was active. It helps understand the complex journey for Irish independence and the Troubles more deeply.

It looks at significant events, the cultural landscape, and the important role of the IRA. Topics range from Ireland’s takeover and internal conflicts to British rule and the fight for independence.

This book goes into the IRA’s work and goals. It examines their actions and aims through historical documents. John Gibney shows Ireland’s past struggles and its ongoing search for peace and identity.

The IRA’s Role and Impact

The IRA, or Irish Republican Army, was key in Ireland’s history, especially during 1500-2000. It started to oppose British control and worked for Irish freedom.

The book dives into the IRA’s history and its part in challenging British rule. It looks at the Troubles and the journey towards peace, showing the group’s methods, reasons, and influence.

A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 also looks at how the IRA affected politics, society, and culture. Their actions profoundly affected the Irish people and Ireland’s identity.

  • The book analyzes the rise and decline of paramilitary violence in Ireland.
  • It explores the social, economic, and political consequences of the IRA’s activities.
  • It delves into the complex relationships between the IRA, political parties, and the British government.
  • It highlights the impact of the Good Friday Agreement and the ongoing peace process.

In conclusion, A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 offers a deep understanding of Ireland’s past, focusing on the IRA. By looking at the context and significant events, it explores Ireland’s journey to independence.

There Will Be Fire: Margaret Thatcher, the IRA, and Two Minutes That Changed History

“There Will Be Fire” by Rory Carroll looks at a key moment during the IRA bombing in 1984. It was at the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton. The book tells the story of the events aiming to kill British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

It also dives into the attack’s political impact. This attack, aimed at Thatcher, changed history. Carroll’s detailed storytelling explains the attack’s motives and its long-term effects on British politics.

He explores the complex mix of political tensions and personal goals behind this bold act. The book helps us understand the conflict between the IRA and the British government better, painting a detailed picture of that time.

There Will Be Fire

Carroll takes readers on a journey through a crucial historical moment. The book mixes in-depth research with captivating storytelling. This makes it a great read for anyone interested in the IRA’s impact on history and political violence’s wider effects.

We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland

“We Don’t Know Ourselves” by Fintan O’Toole is a unique look at modern Ireland. It explores social and political changes. These changes have deeply impacted the country. The book looks at the IRA’s role in the Troubles. This helps readers understand Ireland’s past.

O’Toole’s book shows how the IRA affected Ireland’s society and politics. He mixes personal stories with deep historical views. This gives a clear picture of Ireland’s history with the IRA.

The book starts with early conflicts and goes up to today’s issues. It shows the deep feelings and goals of the Irish people. O’Toole helps readers understand Ireland’s journey. He covers its challenges and successes.

This book is great for those studying Irish history. It’s also for anyone wanting to know more about the IRA. “We Don’t Know Ourselves” is a fascinating read. It shows the complex mix of forces that made modern Ireland.

Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA

“Armed Struggle” by Richard English dives deep into the history of the IRA. It looks at where the group came from, how it changed over time, and what it aimed to achieve. This book analyzes the IRA’s military efforts and their huge influence on Irish politics.

The IRA started small but soon became a strong force. Richard English shows why the IRA took up arms and what drove their actions. He explains the historical background that pushed the IRA to fight.

“Armed Struggle” carefully studies the IRA’s journey. It looks at crucial points that guided their actions and gives a clear picture of their strategies. This helps readers understand how the IRA operated and changed over the years.

English’s book is more than a simple history. It reveals how the IRA’s fight affected Northern Ireland and the UK. It also looks at the different beliefs that guided the IRA, making it a complex and compelling study.

“Armed Struggle” is a must-read for those interested in the IRA’s story. It offers a detailed, thoughtful look at the group’s successes and failures. Plus, it encourages deep thinking about the use of force in politics and conflict.

Highlights from “Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA”

  • The origins and founding principles of the IRA
  • The IRA’s evolving strategies and tactics
  • The impact of the IRA’s armed campaign on the political landscape of Ireland
  • The complexities of the relationships between the IRA and other parties involved in the conflict
  • The IRA’s influence on public opinion and societal attitudes
  • The ideological motivations behind the IRA’s actions

For a visual representation of the IRA’s history and its impact, refer to the following image:


Our journey through top books on the IRA is over. These books give us many views on Ireland’s tough history. They’re a key source for learning and insight into that time.

The books range from personal stories to broad histories. Interested in political moves, how it affected social lives, or the tales of ordinary people? These books cover it all, giving us a full picture of the IRA’s impact.

So, the best IRA books really dive deep into this important part of Irish history. Check them out for eye-opening views. They reveal the struggles, the tough decisions, and how the IRA shaped Ireland.


What are the best books about the IRA that offer in-depth insight into Ireland’s past?

Some of the top books are: “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe, and “Guerrilla Days in Ireland” by Tom Barry. “Ten Men Dead” by David Beresford is also highly recommended. Additionally, consider reading “A Taste for Vengeance” by Martin Walker. Furthermore, “A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000″ by John Gibney is a great choice.

Moreover, “There Will Be Fire” by Rory Carroll gives a unique view. “We Don’t Know Ourselves” by Fintan O’Toole is insightful too. Finally, “Armed Struggle” by Richard English is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic.

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