Mercier Press, £12.99
What actually happened in Kerry in the War of Independence/Civil War period is a subject of some confusion. The official line is that Kerry played very little part in the conflict, apart from the failed Aud gun-running fiasco. Putting national events in a local context 'Tans, Terror and Troubles' sets out to tell the Kingdom's real story from 1913-1923.
Drawing on personal testimonies, as well as contemporary newspaper articles, and records such as The Kerryman newspaper's 1947 publication, 'Kerry's Fighting Story', author T Ryle Dwyer explains why one French journalist went as far as saying that Tralee was more terrorised than any town he had seen in France during World War One. The book also looks at the roles of Kerry men Austin Stack and Thomas Ashe as well as how the Aud's lack of a radio scuppered the IRB's plans to land German arms in Fenit. Dwyer also looks at the irony in Sir Roger Casement's arrest.
Too burdened with detail to engage the general reader, this is an excellent read from a local history point of view. 'Tans, Terror and Troubles' gets down to the nitty-gritty of the conflict in Kerry as well as providing a handy national chronology of events. And, although parochial in parts, it does throw out some interesting contradictions to received history.