Book of the Month - Non Fiction : April, 2016
After the Rising: Soldiers, Lawyers and Trials of the Long Irish Revolution
By Séan Enright
This pioneering book traces the violent conflict of the 1916-1921 era in Ireland through the lens of the British legal system, highlighting how major trials and courts martial ran in tandem with growing political tensions in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. Continuing his story where Easter Rising 1916: The Trials ended, legal historian Seán Enright masterfully analyses the causes of the Rising, how it evolved into the War of Independence and lead in turn to the collapse of the justice system by January 1920. The establishment of trial by courts martial and Martial Law by the end of that year was unimaginable at this time within the British Empire, and Enright excels in unravelling the fascinating and unsettling significance of these developments, drawing startling conclusions about the limits of the judicial system under extreme duress. The high-profile trials of Roger Casement, Constance Markiewicz, Eoin MacNeill and the Bloody Sunday participants amongst others, are explored along with those of lesser known republicans, presenting an intriguing insight into the nature and outcomes of individual cases – how their relative fame or obscurity determined proceedings. In every instance, Enright sheds new light on that most controversial intersection in which law and morality were both called into question in a dramatic way during these most turbulent years.