Croghan man pens book on Na Fianna Éireann

Croghan man Damian Lawlor has penned a new book on Na Fianna Éireann, which for the first time documents the history of the organisation. Damian, who teaches history and business in Coláiste Mhurie in Mullingar, has written 'Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution 1909 to 1923' in order to provide an accessible history in this the year of the hundred year anniversary of the organisation. Before now there has never been a history of Na Fianna written and considering its importance to the events involved in the Irish Revolution the book is a welcome edition to the study of Irish history. It"s the first book Damien has written and is born as a result of his pastime. 'I was aware that there was the one hundred year anniversary approaching and about four years ago began reading various histories to find out more about Na Fianna Éireann. There was very little information available in most books about the period at a maximum maybe three or four references,' said Damien. 'I decided then to visit both the Bureau of Military History and the National Library of Ireland to see what information they had available. From the Witness Statements and Newspaper Archives I found there I felt there might be enough information to attempt to write a book and this is the finished product.' Na Fianna Éireann was founded on August 16 1909 in an old run down hall at 34 Lower Camden Street. A committee which included Countess Markievicz and Bulmer Hobson had called the meeting in order to recruit boys in Dublin to a new nationalist body. The hundred or so boys who attended determined to create an organisation which would offer a suitable alternative to the growing Baden-Powell "Boy Scout" movement. What developed over the next fourteen years was a veritable boy"s army which played a crucial role in the Irish Revolution. This book is unique in telling the history of Na Fianna Éireann. It charts its growth and development from 1909 to 1923, giving for the first time access to the stories of individual members. The book also analyses its expansion into a truly national organisation with over 30,000 members spread throughout Ireland"s 32 counties. Significantly the involvement of the Fianna Éireann in the following events is described in detail: the development of Na Fianna Éireann in its early years; a history of the flag, badge, uniform and song of Na Fianna Éireann; the launch and growth of the Irish Volunteers; the Howth and Kilcoole gun running operations; the Fianna circle of the IRB; the Fianna involvement in 1916 Rising; the reorganisation of the Fianna in the aftermath of 1916 and the Fianna participation in the "Tan War". The book is available in all bookstores around Offaly and Westmeath retailing at around €10. If you can"t find it in your own local bookstore, then email and a copy can be posted to you.