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Cork - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Aubane Historical Society Book Launches

category cork | history and heritage | event notice author Friday February 09, 2007 19:30author by jack lane - Aubane Historical Societyauthor email jacklaneaubane at hotmail dot comauthor address aubane, millstreet, co. cok Report this post to the editors

2 new books on the War Of Independence in Cork

by Brian P Murphy osb and the authors
Thomas Davis Room
(Grand Parade)

Saturday, 3rd March 2007

3.00 pm

“Spies, Informers And The 'Anti-Sinn Féin Society':
The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1919-1921”
by John Borgonovo


“Seán O’Hegarty: O/C 1st Cork Brigade, IRA”
by Kevin Girvin
All Welcome
Book signing by the authors and Brian Murphy from 12.00
at Liam Russell’s bookshop, 50 Oliver Plunkett St., Cork city,
before the launch on 3rd March, 2007

“Seán O’Hegarty – O/C 1st Cork Brigade, IRA”
Published by the Aubane Historical Society
by Kevin Girvin
A first and long overdue biographical study of Seán O’Hegarty, Officer Commanding, First Cork Brigade, Irish Republican Army, during the Irish War of Independence. O’Hegarty was one of the most effective military commanders in the Cork area during the period of greatest strain and activity from 1920 to 1921. A direct successor of Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, his significance has long been overshadowed by his martyred comrades.

As a leading member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army, Seán O’Hegarty’s life personifies the national independence movement. The quality of his leadership was an inspiration to those who served with him. His contribution to the struggle for national independence stands proudly alongside those of Tom Barry, Seán Moylan, and Liam Lynch.

‘Seán O’Hegarty was responsible more than any other individual for the aggressive and militant activities which placed Cork No.1 Brigade amongst the leading Brigades in Ireland’. Tom Barry

‘Seán O’Hegarty was a man whose leadership was an inspiration to us all, whose sense of honour and integrity was a shining example’. Florrie O’Donoghue

Kevin Girvin is a native of Cork and is a graduate of UCC. He received a BA in history and Greek and Roman Civilisation in 2002 and an M.Phil in history in 2003. He is currently employed at the University.


“Spies, Informers And The 'Anti-Sinn Féin Society': The Intelligence War In Cork City, 1919-1921”
Published by the Irish Academic Press (IAP)
by John Miller Borgonovo
His new book is a study of the shooting of suspected civilian informers by the Cork city IRA in 1920-1921. IRA sources claim some of the civilians were members of an Anti-Sinn Fein Society, a pro-British intelligence network operating in the city. The book analyses the existence of such a network, alleged IRA persecution of ex-soldiers, and the strength of the IRA intelligence efforts in Cork city. It places these trends in the context of both the British reprisal campaign in Cork city, and the IRA's guerrilla struggle.
The book contains significant original research that focuses on events in Cork city in 1920-1921. Chapters on the British reprisal campaign, the IRA intelligence network, and the trends of the conflict, provide unique evidence and conclusions regarding the situation in Cork city, which have not been published in any other work and directly contradicts some conclusions made in Peter Hart's "The IRA and its Enemies".

John Borgonovo is a writer currently living in San Francisco. His articles have appeared in various American publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle. He received a BA in History from the University of Oregon, and a Master of Arts from University College, Cork. Last year his book “Florence and Josephine O'Donoghue's War of Independence” was published by IAP.


Brian P Murphy osb

Dr Brian P. Murphy is a member of the Benedictine Community at Glenstal Abbey, county Limerick. He is a graduate of Oxford University, Trinity College, Dublin, and the National University of Ireland (UCD). He is the author of ‘Patrick Pearse and the Lost Republican Ideal’ (1991), ‘John Chartres the Mystery Man of the Treaty’ (1995), ‘St Gerard's School, Bray, an Educational Initiative’ (1999), ‘Michael Collins - some original documents in his own hand’ (2004), ‘The Catholic Bulletin and Republican Ireland’ (2005), “The Origin and Organisation of British Propaganda in Ireland 1920” (2006) and various articles.

author by Niall Meehanpublication date Fri Feb 09, 2007 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Cover of Borgonovo book - that challenges Peter Hart's revisionist account
Cover of Borgonovo book - that challenges Peter Hart's revisionist account

Girvin's biography of Sean O'Hegarty complements Borgonovo's work and Meda Ryan's recent biography of Tom Barry
Girvin's biography of Sean O'Hegarty complements Borgonovo's work and Meda Ryan's recent biography of Tom Barry

author by Niall Meehanpublication date Fri Feb 09, 2007 21:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Borgonovo replied to a letter from Peter Hart in the Irish Times:

Irish Times July 14 2006

Madam, - Dr Peter Hart's letter of June 28th stated: "I have never
argued that 'ethnic cleansing' took place in Cork or elsewhere" during
the War of Independence. That is not accurate. In his article "The
Protestant Experience of Revolution in Southern Ireland" (in Unionism
and Modern Ireland, Gill & MacMillan, 1996), Dr Hart wrote of this
period: "Similar campaigns of what might be termed 'ethnic cleansing'
were waged in parts of King's and Queen's Counties, South Tipperary,
Leitrim, Mayo, Limerick, Westmeath, Louth, and Cork".

He also compared the Irish Revolution to Bosnia and "the postwar
'unmixing' of people in Europe". Dr Hart's landmark book The IRA and
Its Enemies essentially attributed the shooting of Protestant
civilians in Cork to the IRA's "fear of a desire for revenge", rather
than the actual guilt of those victims. I disagree.

My upcoming book Spies, Informers, and the "Anti-Sinn Féin Society"
studies the executions of suspected informers in Cork city during
1920-1921. Of the IRA's 30 civilian killings, five victims were
Protestant and 19 were ex-servicemen.

The latter number should be placed in the context of the city's large
ex-soldier population, which included over 5,500 veterans of the first
World War. Overall, my research revealed no IRA campaign against the
city's Protestant, unionist and ex-servicemen institutions and

Among Cork's executed "spies", clear evidence linked some of them to
the crown forces, while others were shot without any explanation.
Today it is impossible to establish guilt in many cases. British
records about informants are fragmented, incomplete, and often
unreliable. IRA records were destroyed during the conflict for
security reasons. However, surviving documentation indicates the Cork
city IRA only targeted civilians it believed were passing information
to the crown forces.

The Cork city Volunteers certainly had the means to identify local
citizens working with British forces. Volunteers systematically
intercepted mail, tapped phone lines and monitored telegraphs around
the city. Republican spies and sympathisers could be found in key
workplaces throughout the town. IRA intelligence officers closely
watched British bases and personnel. One IRA spy penetrated the
British army's Cork command at its highest level, and had access to
sensitive information that we must assume included the identities of
local civilian informants. Her story can be found in Florence and
Josephine O'Donoghue's War of Independence, which I edited. - Yours,


Peter Hart's and other letters in the debate can be seen at:
Sectarian Wind Up - a defence of The Wind that Shakes the Barley at:

author by Niall Meehanpublication date Fri Feb 09, 2007 21:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Details of Dublin Launch of John Borgonovo's Spies, Informers and the 'Anti SinnFein Society' on Wednesday February 28 at:


Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80932
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