Ireland’s Great War

By: Kevin Myers

Publication Date: 22 Jan 2015

(2 customer reviews)


Here, name by name, parish by parish, province by province, Kevin Myers details Ireland’s intimate involvement with one of the greatest conflicts in human history, the First World War of 1914 to 1918, which left no Irish family untouched.

With this gathering of his talks, unpublished essays and material distilled from The Irish Times and elsewhere, Myers lays out the grounds of his research and findings in Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. He revisits the main theatres of war in Europe – The Somme, Ypres and Verdun, the war at sea and Gallipoli. He documents these bloody engagements through the lives of those involved, from Dublin to Cork, Sligo to Armagh, to the garrison towns of Athy, Limerick, Mullingar and beyond.

In Ireland’s Great War Myers uncoils a vital counter-narrative to the predominant readings in nationalist history, revealing the complex and divided loyalties of a nation coming of age in the early twentieth century. This remarkable historical record pieced together the neglected shards of Ireland’s recent past and imparts a necessary understanding of the political process that saw Sinn Féin’s electoral victory in 1918 and the founding of the Irish Free State. By honouring Ireland’s forgotten dead on the centenary of the Great War. Myers enables a rediscovery of purpose that will speak to future generations.


Kevin Myers, broadcaster, journalist and writer, has pioneered the study of the First World War in Ireland. He studied history at University College Dublin and is author of a novel, Banks of Green Willow(2001). He wrote an acclaimed memoir, Watching the Door (2006). Its prequel, A Single Steadfast Heart, is to be published in 2015.

‘Myers is a consummate storyteller with an eye for detail. Where it offers new and previously unpublished insights it is very welcome; where it reproduces material from past work, such as the pivotal ‘Irishman’s Diary’ columns, it is good to meet old friends once again. Ireland’s Great War deserves to be read by serious and even casual students of this country’s involvement in the poignantly and inaccurately named ‘war to end all wars’.’ – History Ireland

Also available as an ebook

2 reviews for Ireland’s Great War

  1. Lilliput Press

    “Outstanding writing from Ireland’s foremost recorder of that country’s role in the Great War. Long before it was fashionable, indeed when it was dangerous, Kevin Myers has been providing the facts that so many others in Ireland not only ignored but suppressed. Without him the history of the Irish soldier from that time would be woefully thin. Kevin Myers writes so well that you will want to read his other books. No other journalist has the span and depth and understanding of the Irish Republic to match Kevin Myers.” JOHN D WILSON

  2. Lilliput Press

    “This and his other writing on the troubles, Irish War of Independence, Civil War are essential reading if you are interested in gaining a more comprehensive and balanced view of an area of history that has huge chunks of it; airbrushed out, ignored of forgotten because its doesn’t suit a particular narrative. In many ways it provides a case study in how History can be manipulated

    Whilst I would not agree with everything he says, he writes with a provocative style after all, he makes you think and challenge “the narrative” and sheds light on why “the narrative” is as it is.

    The scandal is that this book is probably the only easily accessible, comprehensive account of some of the approximately 40,000 (the exact figure is unclear – see his text for the detail) Irish soldiers who died, and many more who served in the First World War.

    Read it, think and make up you own mind.” SAM F

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Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 234 × 256 mm
Publication Date

22 Jan 2015


Paperback, 256pp