Cathal Brugha

Dr Daithí Ó Corráin & Dr Gerard Hanley Publish New Book

Cathal Brugha: 'An Indomitable Spirit'

Publication of landmark new study Cathal Brugha: 'An Indomitable Spirit'

Congratulations to our colleagues Dr Daithí Ó Corráin and Dr Gerard Hanley on the publication of their much-anticipated study Cathal Brugha: ‘an indomitable spirit’ published by Four Courts Press to mark the centenary of Brugha’s death.

By any measure, Cathal Brugha’s life was extraordinary: a member of the Gaelic League, Irish Republican Brotherhood and Irish Volunteers; a celebrated survivor of the 1916 Rising, despite multiple gunshot wounds; a crucial figure in the post-Rising reorganization of the Volunteers and Sinn Féin; speaker at the first sitting of Dáil Éireann and president pro tempore; minister for defence in the underground government during the War of Independence; passionate and acerbic opponent of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921; a reluctant participant in the Irish civil war, having tried to prevent it, and that conflict’s first high profile fatality in July 1922. Based on exhaustive research, this book challenges the often simplistic and reductive depiction of Brugha by providing a nuanced and multilayered reappraisal of him. It chronicles his public and private life and the influences that shaped him; assesses his multifaceted involvement in the Irish Revolution and his uncompromising commitment to an Irish republic; contextualizes his relationships with contemporaries such as Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera and Richard Mulcahy; explores how his premature death at the age of forty-seven affected his young family and how his wife, Caitlín, upheld his political principles by standing as a Sinn Féin TD; and reflects on how Brugha’s indomitable patriotism was propagandized after his death. The result is a fascinating portrait of a complex, tenacious, and often misunderstood figure.