New Book: Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism

Good Friday, The Death of Irish Republicanism is released this week. It will be available at the Queen's University bookshop, as well as online via the publisher, Ausubo Press, and other online outlets:,, Barnes and Noble, In the coming days The Pensive Quill will feature reviews of the book. Today we feature Tommy McKearney's review.

Tommy McKearney, journalist, editor and organizer comments on Good Friday and its author.

Over the past decade, Anthony McIntyre has been one of the most consistent and insightful of Sinn Fein’s critics. As a historian, a former member of the IRA and a onetime party activist with extensive contacts in the organisation, few have been better placed than McIntyre to examine and evaluate the transformation of a political movement from armed insurrectionists to tame reformists. That he regularly published these observations on his website or in the press ensured his uninhibited opinions were routinely available to the public and just as routinely annoying to his former comrades.

That the Provos and Sinn Fein found the McIntyre commentary irritating was due in part to his undeniable analytical skills and in part to his outrageously flamboyant and provocative writing style. Unrestrained by ambition for a media career or held back, as were so many able journalists, by an Establishment leaning editorial policy, he told the story as he saw it.

As a former and long serving activist, he was shocked and then angered by the disingenuousness of those leading the Sinn Fein movement. McIntyre did not disagree with ending armed struggle nor did he deny his old friends the right to plot a new course albeit one he did not support. It outraged him, however, when he realised that the republican grass roots was not being told what was happening. And what infuriated him most was the pressure, usually discrete but often forceful, placed upon those who insisted on pointing out the inconsistencies involved in setting out to smash a state and eventually settling for a part in its administration.

Whatever else may be said about him, Anthony McIntyre never succumbed to any pressure to desist from airing his views. He often cut a lonely figure as he held to frequently unpopular positions. Time after time, when no one else was prepared to challenge the received wisdom, McIntyre took his pen to make a case for the alternative. His biggest achievement may lie in the fact that he now feels sufficient work had been done that he can retire from this arena.

This collection of McIntyre’s writings should not be read as an academic analysis of the last ten years. The author was too close to the events he commented on and too committed to his subject for these essays and articles to be dispassionate or balanced, and yet this book benefits from that. The reader is getting an informed and honest view from the centre of the action at all times. There is too an intensity and a passion mixed with an amusing irreverence in McIntyre’s writing that places some of his best pieces in the rascally company of other Irish enragés such as Swift and Shaw and Behan. Some of his Sinn Fein readers probably wish that he would also join them.

— Tommy McKearney, 22 May 2008

Good Friday, The Death of Irish Republicanism
is available at these online outlets:
Ausubo Press; Online Bookshop at Queens, Small Press Distribution.

You can also order directly from Gill & Macmillan:

Are you a bookseller looking to stock Good Friday?
Call or Fax your order to: Tel: +353 1 500 9500 or Fax: +353 1 500 9599

Gill & Macmillan is now the exclusive distributor in Ireland and the UK If the book is not on the shelves of your local bookstore,
ask them to order it for you!

Share This:

Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

15 comments to ''New Book: Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism"

  1. look forward to getting a copy...The Blanket consistently made the best sense of 'peace processing', with a genuine inclusiveness of debate and a delivery that could be knuckle hard. Now what about the getting the PhD stuff out?

  2. Ooh, interesting. I shall probably pick this up when my current pile of books is a bit smaller. I look forward to reading it, too.

  3. Pat Flannery - San Diego8:49 PM, August 09, 2008

    Back in her L.A. “Dish” days Carrie Twomey once told me “behind every great man is a surprised woman”. Well, I know it is no surprise to Carrie that Anthony McIntyre is a great man. He is. That’s why she gave up the pleasures of an L.A. jungle for life in a West Belfast jungle to marry him. To me, Carrie is much more than a surprised wife; she herself is a great woman. I doubt that Anthony would have discovered the awesome power of the Internet if it were not for Carrie. And the world would be the poorer today without the wonderful clear writing now recorded for the ages in the electronic archives of The Blanket. That invaluable archive will be a must read for future historians researching “The Irish Peace Process”. I look forward to reading Anthony’s (and, surprise, Carrie’s) book. I hope it will spur people to dig into the true story of the Peace Process. Winston Churchill, when asked by an aide how history might treat his bombing of Dresden and other nasty episodes in WWII, replied “don’t worry son, I will write the history”. Thanks to the Internet and Carrie and Anthony’s use of it, the official record of the Irish Peace Process may be a little less sanitized than Churchill’s history of WWII.

  4. I was going to leave a long winded comment, but Pat Flannery has said it better than I ever could, and I endorse his every word. When history comes to judge the long war, it will not be the McIntyre's who will be occupying the dock.

  5. Can I get "The Death of Irish Republicanism" anywhere locally i.e Belfast

  6. So who paid for Anthony McIntyre's education at Queens after he was released from prison? The British taxpayer I suppose. It must be nice to kill in order to undermine a state then happily take the money forked out by the citizens of that very nation you profess to hate.

  7. @Jeanne.

    Why has it taken you over four years to ask such a question, You State , "The British taxpayer I Suppose" , which to me means, "You Don't Know".
    You then state ," It must be nice to kill in order to undermine a state", have you not learned anything from the past?, The state was undermining Nationalists for centuries, and, who killed who?

  8. itsjustmacker,

    it has little to do with me. Jeanne, unfortunately is having difficulties making the case against Carrie over on Ruth Dudley Edward's Facebook page so has desperately been searching around for ammo to help her. There is a great cartoon that captures the type of personality.

  9. You don't reckon the Catholic Church has dome more damage over the centuries than the English ever did? It was the Pope who issued the Papal Bull in 1154 virtually handing the island of Ireland over to the king of England. It was from this moment henceforth that the destinies of England and Ireland became mutually entwined. If Nationalists suffered so much under the British Unionist state why didn't they move south where the Catholic Church reigned supreme and Prods only formed 3% of the population. Ahhh, but then again there was no British nanny state to hand out all the benefits. Who paid for the third level educations of people like Bernadette Devlin Gerry Adams, McGuinness and so on? Yes, the British taxpayer whose soldiers and citizens were brutally murdered in a militant campaign waged by an organisation headed by an Englishman of all people!!!! What was all the shite about Irelandfor the Irish when the 'Ra was led by a Brit, aided by Libyans and even Italians formed part of its so-called "army"? Jesus wept.

  10. Anthony.

    I get your drift.

    I consider replies to this topic are now defunct, and, I will not be commenting or replying to anyone, I think the thread has been dormant for long enough and should remain so. Great Book Though, nothing better than the whole truth.

  11. Jeanne Griffin

    not following your logic are you saying that any English slaughter/war pre reformation is somehow different after the reformation are you saying the English invasion of Scotland would be different from their invasion of India.
    No denial the Catholic Church engaged in slaughter and conversion and if we follow that unfortunately, Protestantism continued that Catholic tradition of slaughter and conversion.
    If Catholic England was so evil then why did Protestant, England copy and continue expanding the British Empire and would that not make both religions equally guilty and evil the same invaders different name.

  12. Just spotted these comments via the recently added comment facility and thought you'd resurrected the original article....

    Then I spotted the rants... Then I spotted Ruth Dudley Edwards'(the queen of revisionism) name... Then I had a bit of a chuckle to myself!! :-)))

    Keep it up Jeannie girl! ... Are you the oul' doll who's all over youtube at the minute squealing 'Nooo Sarrrenndarrr' through the window of the city hall by any chance?

    Please let it be you!!

  13. Anthony, I don't think you failed to follow my logic but rather are refusing that the Catholic Church has done more damage to the Irish people than England. Cromwell would have never invaded had the Papale Legate in Ireland nor forbade the Irish Catholics from joining Charles I's Royalist Army which had they done so would have surely changed the in the Royalist favour. Then we have post Treaty Ireland when the former seminarian De Valera (arriba arriba)did everything but turn Mother Ireland into a theocracy with a medieval self-flagelaating brand of Catholicism which sent unmarried mothers into Magdalen Laundries and countless men later joining the IRA to fulfill Pearse's bloody-soaked aborted dream. Republicans like to harp on about the brutality of the Black and Tans but rarely will they mention how De Valers'a Free State Catholic Government blew up IRA men with landmines. Why is this? Because it might deflect from the ingrained habit of whinging against the Brits and Prods to make others realise that The Irish reserve a specail form of savagery for their own people.

  14. Itsjustmacker,

    good job.

    I let it pass as I think there is something of a want there


  • To add an Emoticons Show Icons
  • To add code Use [pre]code here[/pre]
  • To add an Image Use [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]
  • To add Youtube video just paste a video link like