Great Hatred

Ronan McGreevy

A gripping investigation into one of Irish history’s greatest mysteries, Great Hatred reveals the true story behind one of the most significant political assassinations to ever have been committed on British soil.

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Format
Ebook
ISBN
9780571372836
Date Published
24.05.2022
Delivery
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Summary

THE IRISH TOP 10 BESTSELLER

A gripping investigation into one of Irish history’s greatest mysteries, Great Hatred reveals the true story behind one of the most significant political assassinations to ever have been committed on British soil.

‘Heart-stopping . . . The book is both forensic and a page-turner, and ultimately deeply tragic, for Ireland as much as for the murder victim.’
MICHAEL PORTILLO

‘Gripping from start to finish. McGreevy turns a forensic mind to a political assassination that changed the course of history, uncovering a trove of unseen evidence in the process.’
ANITA ANAND, author of The Patient Assassin

‘Invaluable.’ IRISH TIMES
‘Intellgient and insightful.’ IRISH INDEPENDENT

On 22 June 1922, Sir Henry Wilson – the former head of the British army and one of those credited with winning the First World War – was shot and killed by two veterans of that war turned IRA members in what was the most significant political murder to have taken place on British soil for more than a century. His assassins were well-educated and pious men. One had lost a leg during the Battle of Passchendaele. Shocking British society to the core, the shooting caused consternation in the government and almost restarted the conflict between Britain and Ireland that had ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty just five months earlier. Wilson’s assassination triggered the Irish Civil War, which cast the darkest of shadows over the new Irish State.

Who ordered the killing? Why did two English-born Irish nationalists kill an Irish-born British imperialist? What was Wilson’s role in the Northern Ireland government and the violence which matched the intensity of the Troubles fifty years later? Why would Michael Collins, who risked his life to sign a peace treaty with Great Britain, want one of its most famous soldiers dead, and how did the Wilson assassination lead to Collins’ tragic death in an ambush two months later?

Drawing upon newly released archival material and never-before-seen documentation, Great Hatred is a revelatory work that sheds light on a moment that changed the course of Irish and British history for ever.

‘McGreevy provides more than the anatomy of a political murder; in reconstructing this era of blood, poverty and wartime trauma, he also gives full expression to the terrible forces that WB Yeats once called the “fanatic heart” and the “great hatred”.’
THE TIMES

‘Thoughtful and well-researched . . . an important and valuable addition to the library of the Irish Revolution.’
PROFESSOR DIARMAID FERRITER, University College Dublin

Critic Reviews

Ronan McGreevy describes in heart-stopping detail the murder of a Field Marshal on his doorstep in fashionable Belgravia: a crime that scandalised the British government in the aftermath of the Treaty that had ended the Irish War of Independence. As McGreevy makes clear, the assassination brought disastrous consequences for Ireland. Without it, would the new Free State have been plunged into civil war, with the loss of talented leaders who could have played a huge part in the nation’s construction? McGreevy asks, and answers, the key question: whodunnit? The book is both forensic and a page-turner, and ultimately deeply tragic, for Ireland as much as for the murder victim.

Michael Portillo
Critic Reviews

Gripping from start to finish. McGreevy turns a forensic mind to a political assassination that changed the course of history, uncovering a trove of unseen evidence in the process.

Anita Anand
Critic Reviews

The assassination of Sir Henry Wilson by Joseph O’Sullivan and Reginald Dunne in June 1922 created an Anglo-Irish crisis and propelled the start of the Irish civil war. As an event, it was sensational, and its impact and legacy is skillfully elaborated on in this thoughtful and well researched book. Its value lies not only in the detail provided on the lives and deaths of Wilson and his killers, but consideration of wider contexts, including contested identities and divided loyalties, imperialism, the legacy of the first world war, Irish republican activities in London, tensions within unionism, the role of media and the law, conspiracy theories, the intense grief of those left bereft, and commemoration. This is an important and valuable addition to the library of the Irish Revolution.

Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History, University College Dubin
Critic Reviews

McGreevy provides more than the anatomy of a political murder; in reconstructing this era of blood, poverty and wartime trauma, he also gives full expression to the terrible forces that WB Yeats once called the “fanatic heart” and the “great hatred”.

Michael Taylor, The Times
Critic Reviews

Ronan McGreevy’s new account of the assassination is an invaluable source . . . The gripping opening sets the scene for a fast-paced and well-structured narrative.

Marie Coleman, Irish Times
Critic Reviews

Intelligent and insightful . . . McGreevy’s painstakingly researched narrative highlights the complex nature of national identity . . . [a] fine book.

Andrew Lynch, Irish Independent
RonanMcGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter and videographer with the Irish Times. He is the author of the book Wherever the Firing Line Extends: Ireland and the Western Front. He was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his work on remembrance and the First World War. He is the editor of…

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