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The Trials by

Goodreads rating: 3.43

, by Merrion Press

ISBN10: 1908928379 | ISBN13: 9781908928375

This book - the companion to Sean Enright's previous work, The Trials of Civilians by Military Courts: Ireland 1921 - is a fascinating and comprehensive study of the trials held during May 1916, following Dublin's Easter Rising. There were 160 trials conducted in the two-week period of May 2-16, 1916. During this period, of the 93 death sentences handed out, 15 were carried out, while nearly 2,000 men and women were deported to England. It was not until the turn of this century that the Public Records Office released the trial records relating to the executed prisoners. The book offers an unsentimental reappraisal of the trials and the trial regime, and includes previously unpublished trial records of men - such as Harry Boland, Desmond Fitzgerald, George Plunkett, and William Partridge - as well as many of the foot soldiers who were sentenced to death. The process of execution is also examined, bringing to light the dark occasions when executions were botched and covered up. This is a powerful analysis of an uncomfortable moment in Irish history when the rule of law gave way to political imperatives. It is seen through a variety of previously unpublished trial records and the systematic collating of accounts given by many prisoners. The result is a fascinating insight into a little known aspect of the 1916 Rebellion and its dramatic aftermath, including the reactions of the British government in dealing with the republican prisoners throughout the trials.

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