'Death on Holy Thursday' details the sequence of events that lead to the shooting dead of 27-year-old John Carthy by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) following a siege at the family home in Abbeylara, Co Longford in April 2000.

The author, RTÉ's Midlands Correspondent Ciaran Mullooly, covers not only that fateful day but the early life of Carthy and the subsequent findings of the Barr Tribunal, which was set up to investigate exactly what happened in Abbeylara.

The book looks at Carthy's early life; his relationship with his mother and sister; the tragic loss of his father; his working life and relationships and the early onset of depression and demons that took hold of him. Also mentioned are previous brushes with the law that may have given the young man a particular view and opinion of Irish law enforcement members. 

The 25-hour siege at the Carthy house that ultimately led to John's death is outlined in breathtaking detail from a balanced point of view, supplemented by Barr findings.

The author mentions many of the unexplained situations of the siege from both sides including several conversations had, or comments made, by locals to Gardaí that they claimed to have no recollection of.

Mullooly covered all four state investigations into the shooting of John Carthy and this book is the first on this incident. Readers may find themselves taking one side or the other but Mullooly remains impartial. For those with an interest in this shocking case, 'Death on Holy Thursday' is a great insight.

Mark O'Neill-Cummins

Death on Holy Thursday by Ciaran Mullooly is available to buy from the RTÉ shop here.