Tommy McKearney’s story is one of those 'must read' books for anyone interested either in the struggle within Northern Ireland itself or in the overall relationship between England and Ireland. (Tim Pat Coogan, former editor of the Irish Press and author of The I.R.A (1970; 2000).)
If we had to choose one person who served in the ranks of the IRA to contextualize the organization's development from revolution to reform it would be Tommy McKearney. A seasoned volunteer with considerable military and political experience McKearney knows his subject matter. In terms of both left-wing politics and IRA activism he has walked the walk. Now he explains to a wider audience the dynamics behind the IRA and in the process gives the reader a new intellectual window through which the IRA campaign can be reappraised. Any student of the IRA who does not have this book in their library will find their comprehension diminished. (Anthony McIntyre, former IRA volunteer and ex-prisoner)
Tommy McKearney has advanced a series of arguments that are presented in an unambiguous manner. There is a strong sense of conviction and explanation in what he has written. The book is a reminder, whether agreeing with the arguments presented or otherwise, of the need for debate concerning the past, the present and the future. The unambiguous tone in which McKearney writes offers space for ongoing and detailed debate given his concern and dedication to key theoretical questions. (Pete Shirlow, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast)
About the Author
Tommy McKearney was a senior member of the Provisional IRA from the early 1970s until his arrest in 1977. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he served 16 years during which time he participated in the 1980 hunger strike in the Maze. He is now a freelance journalist and an organiser with the Independent Workers Union.