Florence and Josephine O'Donoghue's War of Independence
Edited by: John Borgonovo
Contributions by: Joe Lee
Historian and IRA leader Florence O'Donoghue describes his experiences as head of intelligence in Cork city during the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). He candidly assesses the leaders of this period, including Tomas MacCurtain, Sean O'Hegarty, Terence MacSwiney and Michael Collins and critically examines the evolution of the Irish Volunteer citizen-soldiers. He also details his wife Josephine's role as the top IRA spy in Cork's British Army headquarters, working for the rebels in exchange for the return of her eldest son, lost in a bitter custody battle with her in-laws. After O'Donoghue kidnapped the child and reunited him with his mother, the two collaborators eventually fell in love and were secretly married in the spring of 1921. Forty years later, the couple presented their story to their children in order to explain the family secret that had haunted their domestic lives. The first part of the book is O'Donoghue's and his wife's account of their activities in the Anglo-Irish War, written in 1961; the second part is composed of 47 letters in diary form, written by O'Donoghue to his wife while he was 'on the run' during the last ten weeks of the Anglo-Irish War, from May to July 1921. They provide a rare snapshot of the daily life of fugitive IRA guerrillas.
Publication Date: 3/1/2006