The spectre of ‘The Disappeared’, those abducted by the IRA, secretly executed and their bodies buried in remote bogs, lakes and woodlands, has overshadowed the debate around the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland for the last two decades.
This book, the first of its kind, uncovers the extent to which ‘forced disappearances’ were part of the violent political conflicts that blighted Ireland for 200 years. Succeeding where attempts by the PSNI, journalists, and other historians had failed, Ó’Ruairc’s research led to the identification and recovery of a British soldier killed by the IRA. He reveals in this book the location of several other bodies that remain to be exhumed.
The Disappeared cuts through the exaggeration and myth that pervade the popular history of the Irish struggle for freedom. The author upends the commonly held belief that the Provisional IRA disappeared more victims than the ‘Good Old-IRA’ of the War of Independence, demonstrating that the vast majority of those 'disappeared' throughout Irish history happened long before the re-emergence of the tactic by the PIRA in the 1970s.
Behind each disappearance there is a face, a life story, and a family left searching for answers. Ó Ruairc deftly incorporates this human element, paying tribute to those who were disappeared on both sides of the conflict.
384 pages • 234 mm x 153 mm • 9781785375026
Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc is the historian who literally ‘knows where the bodies are’. He has spent over a decade researching the fate of “The Disappeared”, the forgotten victims of the century’s long struggle for Irish freedom – the majority of whose bodies are still hidden deep in the Irish countryside. In 2018 Ó Ruairc’s research led to the recovery of the remains of Private George Chalmers, a British soldier who had been executed by the IRA in 1921 and secretly buried in a remote bog. Ó Ruairc has a PhD in History & a BA in Archaeology. This is his seventh book.
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