‘No Surrender Here!’

The Civil War Papers of Ernie O'Malley 1922-1924

By: Ernie O’Malley

Edited by: Anne Dolan , Cormac K.H. O’Malley

Publication Date: November 2007

(2 customer reviews)


This collection documents one man’s attitude to war and his difficult acceptance of peace, his experience of capture, imprisonment, hunger strike and finally release. In these letters, however, ‘No Surrender Here!’ also captures the voices of both the leadership and the rank and file: the detached and often inappropriate orders from above, and the confusion of men who, in some cases without boots on their feet, know that theirs is a hopeless cause. Letters to friends and family also reveal the more personal costs of war.

Just over a month after the 1921 truce that ended Ireland’s fight with England, Ernie O’Malley longed for a return to war. Ten months later he was waging civil war against many of the men he had once fought with, against those who accepted the new Irish Free State.

‘No Surrender Here!’ The Civil War Papers of Ernie O’Malley 1922-1924 is the first comprehensive collection of letters, memoranda and orders detailing this period of chaos and confusion, intransigence and idealism, which gripped the country from June 1922 to May 1923. These documents detail the war as it was fought with none of the benefit of hindsight and occasional artistry that marks the memoirs of many of the men involved, not least O’Malley’s own carefully crafted narratives, ‘On Another Man’s Wound’ and ‘The Singing Flame’, published decades later.

These fully annotated documents, given historical perspective with a general introduction by Professor Joe Lee, provide extraordinary insights into the republican mentality during the Irish Civil War, into what remains a contested and controversial period of modern Irish history.

“A fantastic book, definitely worth getting.” – Customer review


Ernie O’Malley was a revolutionary republican and writer. One of the leading figures in the Irish Independence and civil wars, he survived wounds, imprisonment and hunger strike before going to the USA in 1928 to fundraise on de Valera’s behalf. His books include On Another Man’s Wound (1936), The Singing Flame (1936) and Raids and Rallies (1985). The Lilliput Press has previously published two collections of O’Malley’s writings: No Surrender Here! The Civil War Papers of Ernie O’Malley 1922–1924 (2007) and Broken Landscapes: Selected Letters of Ernie O’Malley 1924-1957 (2011).


Cormac K.H. O’Malley co-edited with Richard English Prisoners: The Civil War Letters of Ernie O’Malley (Poolbeg, 1991) and edited Rising Out: Sean Connolly of Longford (1890-1921) by Ernie O’Malley (UCD Press, 2007). Cormac is an international legal consultant based in New York City and is the son of Ernie O’Malley.

Anne Dolan is a lecturer in modern Irish history and deputy director of the Centre for Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin. She is author of Commemorating the Irish Civil War: History and Memory 1923-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2003).


Also available as an ebook

2 reviews for ‘No Surrender Here!’

  1. Lilliput Press

    I am about a third of the way through the book and it is fascinating in that it shows the day to day routine tasks of men who are willing to put their life on the line for a principle and their country. The book does not judge the wisdom of their actions it only lets us see the sincerity of their motives. AMSTEL BOB

  2. Lilliput Press

    This book is a collection of writings written by Ernie O’Malley during the Irish Civil War. Devoutly Anti-Treaty, O’Malley was perhaps the most articulate and thought-provoking writer the Wars produced. A massive tome, the editors (including Cormac O’Malley) have done an impressive job of recording for posterity all of O’Malley’s Civil War letters and memoranda, and researchers of the period will be forever indebted to them for this. This collection augments the information O’Malley has left us and through his other writings, and reveals more about the period of in question, for example providing hitherto unknown information about the operational orders of the Anti-Treaty forces. A fantastic book, definitely worth getting. BRAN DUBH

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Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Publication Date

November 2007


Hardback, 642pp