‘The War of Independence in Kildare’ book launch by Naas author

James Durney Book Launch at the Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge. (The War of Independence)  Sean McCabe, AJ Mullowney, Retd. LT. Col. Mary Teehan, James Durney, Autor. Seamus Walsh.  Photo. Jimmy Fullam.
Local author James Durney’s latest novel entitled ‘The War of Independence in Kildare’ was launched last Friday by Naas native and Kildare historian, retired Comdt. A. J. Mullowney in the Riverbank.

Local author James Durney’s latest novel entitled ‘The War of Independence in Kildare’ was launched last Friday by Naas native and Kildare historian, retired Comdt. A. J. Mullowney in the Riverbank.

With its position on the axis between the Curragh camp and Dublin Castle, Kildare was one of the most important, but also the most dangerous counties for the rebels in the struggle for independence.

“When the War of Independence began on 21 January 1919, the IRA in Kildare faced a unique situation,” said James.

“One-third of Britain’s overall military strength was based in the Curragh alone and the county had a huge population of ex-servicemen and their families with strong ties to the British crown.

Fear of reprisals, as well as Kildare’s open plains, which militated against the IRA’s favoured tactic of ambush, would have been a strong deterrent to military engagements.

Indeed, the county has often been criticised for a perceived lack of action.”

However, in War of Independence in Kildare James Durney argues that Kildare’s role deserves to be reconsidered.

“Despite the obstacles, the IRA in the county did operate quite successfully and contributed enough to the IRA’s overall campaign to get a commendation from GHQ and sneaking admiration from the crown forces it opposed,” he added.

“From attacks at Greenhill, Maynooth and Barrowhouse, to the critical role played by agents in intelligence gathering, the county played an integral part in Ireland’s fight for freedom.”

According to the author The War of Independence in Kildare reveals for the first time the full story of the county’s involvement in the struggle for freedom from 1916–21.

- Paul O’Meara