Liam Lynch

Life
?1894-1923; b. Cork; Irish revolutionary and IRA General; Chief of Staff of the old IRA; captured wounded in Free State operation in the Knockmealdowns, 10 April 1923; subsequently executed by Free State Government in reprisal for IRA assassinations.

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Criticism
Florence O’Donoghue, No Other Law: The Story of Liam Lynch and the Irish Republican Army, 1916-23 (Dublin 1954); Meda Ryan, The Real Chief: The Story of Liam Lynch (Cork: Mercier Press 2005), 192pp.

Also, Peggy Lynch-Lynn & Liam Lynch: Letters and memoirs of General Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the old IRA shot in 1923, in Maurice O’Keeffe [ed.], Irish Life and Lore: 120 CD ROMs, No.4 [printed p.45.] [See Irish Life and Lore: link.]

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Commentary
Lucille Redmond, review of Meda Ryan, The Real Chief: Liam Lynch (2005), in Books Ireland (Sept. 2005): while employed in a hardware store in Fermoy Lynch witnessed the arrest of four sons of a neighbour in gun-battle with RIC in the wake of the 1916 Rising, three of whom were subsequently killed in detention; built up Flying Columns to combat mobile British forces garrisoned in Ireland; primus inter pares with Sean Moylan, Tom Barry, Liam Deasy and Dan Breen; organised levy system to support IRA forces in southern Ireland; had his HQ in the Irish-speaking Mac Suibhne house in Coolea; defied Dublin leadership, represented by Ernie O’Malley; in post-treaty period he captured 42 Ulster loyalists as hostages to prevent the hanging of three IRA men in Derry, afterwards swapping guns supplied by treaty-government (and ultimately by the British) with those held by the Northern brigade in order to mount IRA attack with the collusion of Collins; determined to fight on for an all-Ireland republic after Breen and others counselled peace; wrote a note congratulating Liam Deasy on the death of Collins (“successful operation”); shot in stomach by Free State forces in Knockmealdown Mts. while others incl. de Valera are said to have fled. (Books Ireland, 2005, 192-93.)

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