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Towards Ireland Free: The West Cork Brigade in the War of Independence 1917- 1921
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Towards Ireland Free: The West Cork Brigade in the War of Independence 1917- 1921 (Paperback)

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In the War of Independence, military leaders such as Michael Collins, Liam Lynch and Liam Deasy secured Irish independence from a country that had seemingly limitless resources of men, money and arms. The British, lacked the one thing which the Irish possessed in abundance: a burning conviction in the justice of their cause.

First published in 1973, Towards Ireland Free is the story of one of these leaders. Liam Deasy was just twenty at the time of the 1916 Easter Rising. He enrolled in the Volunteers in Bandon in 1917 and by 1921 was in command of the West Cork Brigade. In this account of the War of Independence in West Cork, he vividly recreates the tense and hope-filled atmosphere of those years and provides a rich gallery of portraits of those alongside whom he fought. Best of all, he recounts in great detail famous episodes such as the successful attacj on the British Naval Sloop in Bantry, Howes Strand and Ballycrovane Coastguard stations, the ambushes at Kilmichael and Crossbarry and the raid on Fastnet rock.

Liam Deasy was born near Bandon in County Cork in 1896. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1917 and on the formation of the West Cork Brigade of the IRA was appointed adjutant. He later became Brigade Commander. He took the Republican side in the Civil War and after it ended returned to civilian life, setting up a successful weatherproofing business. He did not subsequently take a part in the public life of the country although he served with distinction in the Irish Army during the Emergency. He died in August 1974, while still working on his civil war memoir Brother Against Brother.

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