Killing at its Very Extreme takes the reader to theheart of Dublin from October 1917 to November 1920, effectively the firstphase of Dublin’s War of Independence. It details pivotal aspects at theoutset, then the ramping up of the intelligence war, the upsurge in raids andassassinations. Vividly depicting mass hunger-strikes, general strikes, prisonescapes, and ruthless executions by the full-time IRA ‘Squad’, amid curfews andthe functioning of an audacious alternative government. Intensity builds asthe reader is embedded into Commandant Dick McKee’s Dublin Brigade to witnessrelentless actions and ambushes.
The authors’ unprecedented access lays bare many myths about keyplayers from both sides. The tempo escalates with deployment of the notoriousBlack and Tans and Auxiliaries, as well as a host of cunning political andpropaganda ploys. Desperate plights and horrific reprisals are portrayed, theeffects of mass sectarian pogroms and killings. Tthe sacking of Balbriggan, thekilling of SeÃ¡n Treacy, the death of Terence MacSwiney, and the capture andexecution of teenager Kevin Barry. As in the authors’ previous works the pulsating tension,elation, fear, desperation, hunger, the mercy and the enmity leap from thepages. The harrowing circumstances suffered by those whose sacrifices laid thebedrock for modern Ireland, and whose own words form the book’s primarysources, are recounted in unflinching detail.