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Historical Notes

Set during some of the most turbulent years of Irish history, Traitor: A Story of Irish Freedom interweaves the fates of ordinary Irish freedom-fighters with those of revolutionary leaders like Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. In this sophisticated analysis of what it means to be a traitor, A.J.S. Crawford explores the fine line between loyalty and betrayal.

Relevant Links

Wikipedia’s Irish History Timeline: 20th Century – scroll up to go back in time, down to go forwards. Lots of useful links in the text.

The BBC’s chronology of key 20th Century events in Irish history

Wikipedia’s entry on Michael Collins

Wikipedia’s entry on Éamon De Valera


Photos here are by kind permission of Robert McDonough, from the living history group ‘The West Cork Flying Column – 1919-1921’ based in Alexandria, Virginia, USA , which portrays the men (and women) who fought for Irish freedom during what is known as the Anglo-Irish War.

The photos give us an insight into what people were wearing at the time of the setting of the novel. Click on the photos to enlarge. Find the group on Facebook.

Robert writes “In recent years the period has become known as the Irish War of Independence, which culminated in the Treaty of 1921 which established the ‘Irish Free State’ from which the modern Republic of Ireland derived.

The 3rd (West) Cork Brigade was the overall command for the Irish Volunteers in Western Cork. The ‘Flying Column’, led by Commandant Tom Barry, was the hand picked element of effective fighting men within the larger 3rd Cork Brigade.

We also portray the ladies of the Cumann na bMan which was the women’s auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers. These ladies did everything from arrange safe houses, caring for the wounded, espionage, etc. They were the reason the 3rd Cork Brigade could actively engage the British due to all their efforts ‘behind the scenes’.

We also have a ‘Crown Forces’ section who portray members of the British Army and Royal Irish Constabulary. We feel that this provides a balanced picture of the period from both sides of the confrontation.”



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