Forgotten Revolution, The Limerick Soviet 1919


by Liam Cahill


About the Book

This is Irish history as you have never encountered it before.

Written with the all pace and drama of a novel, it features a diverse cast of interesting and engaging people, caught up in the evolving drama of the War of Independence in 1919. Characters like Robert Byrne, the IRA hunger striker whose violent death sparked an angry response; John Cronin who led 14,000 Limerick workers in a General Strike against the imposition of British military law; John Dowling, the radical trade union leader who turned Munster into a cauldron of red flags and soviets; the militant women workers in creameries, bakeries and mills; the Military Commandant, General Griffin, who tried to forestall the revolution; the Catholic Bishop and the Sinn Féin Mayor who manoeuvred to end the strike; national figures like Éamon de Valera, Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy.

For two weeks, the workers’ committee – The Soviet - ruled Limerick. They controlled foodstuffs, prices, transport, printed their own newspaper and even their own currency. For a time, in April 1919, they posed a major threat to British power in Ireland.

’Forgotten Revolution’ is a great achievement and an important book.

– Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, UCD.