St. Stephen's Green is a truly magnificent and picturesque place, but nearly 100 years ago it was the site of a fierce battle between the Irish Volunteers and British forces during the 1916 Easter Rising.
The leadership of the Rising knew that St Stephen's Green would be a strategic location and accordingly deployed the 2nd Battalion, Irish Volunteers, to the Jacob's Biscuits building on Aungier Street and the 3rd Battalion to Boland's Bakery in Ringsend as flanking units. Meanwhile, Comdt Michael Mallin, a 14-year veteran of expansionist campaigns of the British Empire, took up position in the Green with his 160 volunteers, men and women. Entering the park through the Fusiliers' Arch, they set up a command post at a park kiosk near Lord Ardilaun's statue (aka Sir Arthur Guinness).
Then they began to dig-in. With slit-trenches and foxholes dug and the heavy foliage of the Green's large trees providing cover from view, they awaited the advancing British forces. The ensuing battle lasted for seven days until eventually the volunteers 'mouse-holed' their way through the College of Surgeons and connected buildings to avoid capture.
In his enjoyable and informative book O'Brien explains the tactics and orders of both sides as the battle progressed and gives depth and colour to an often overlooked operation from the Rising.
O'Brien is a master storyteller and continues his high standard with this his third book in the '1916 In Focus' series and this his fifth book overall on this period of Irish history.
Paul O'Brien has carried out extensive research into Irish and British military deployments during the 1916 Rising and has written a number of works focusing on the military aspects of the Rising. This original writing has brought new life to the military history of 1916. A keen collector of toy soldiers, he currently resides in Dublin with his wife Marion. paulobrienauthor.ie
As reviewed in the July/August 2013 issue of An Cosantóir (The Defender) The Irish Defence Forces Magazine by Sgt Wayne Fitzgerald - dfmagazine.ie - military.ie