An examination of five years in the birth of a nation - from the break-up of the Irish parliament into pro- and anti-treaty factions in the summer of 1921 to the aftermath of the bloody fighting in 1924 - preserved by the camera lens. George Morrison shows the photographs he has amassed - many restored to enhance detail - in context, recording who photographed them, when, and for what purpose. Tim Pat Coogan provides a text which sets the events of the Civil War in their chronological order.
It began in June, 1922, with the ratification of a treaty between Great Britain and the fledgling Irish state that called for an oath of allegiance to the king, a governor general appointed by the crown, and the partition of six counties in Northern Ireland. And during the eleven months the conflict lasted, brother fought against brother, sundering families for generations, and opening a divide in the country's politics that only now is beginning to fade. This unrivaled pictorial record and remarkable history of the war's passage pays poignant testimony to the courageous men and women prepared to fight to the death for what they believed morally right.
"Perhaps the most striking thing about this superbly illustrated collection is how strange it is to look at images of war and disorder in Ireland without some British presence - a reason, perhaps, why a book such as this was so long in coming but also why it is all the more powerful." - New Statesman
"Coogan's essay and Morrison's pictures are a necessary reminder that gruesome civil conflicts are not confined to the Balkans or to newly emerging African nations." - Canberra Times