Two local authors firmly fix their sights on debate over Easter Rising

Literature and History

Two local authors firmly fix their sights on debate over Easter Rising
Cathal Sweeney

Even as we enter the autumn months of 2016, the centenary celebrations of The Easter Rising are still in productive swing.

Two local authors have written books - one fact, one mainly fiction - documenting the events leading up to, during and after The Rising.

Dr. Madge O'Doyle is a grand-niece of RIC Constable Charles McGee. Charles was the first RIC officer to die in the 1916 Rising, as a result of a fatal shooting at Castlebellingham, on Easter Monday 1916.

He was a native Irish language speaker, born on Inisboffin Island, county Donegal in 1893. His appointment to a police barracks in Castlebellingham led to his being caught up in the events of the 1916 Rising in the region.

Madge will soon release 'The Life and Times of Constable Charles McGee'. She spoke to the Dundalk Democrat about her soon-to-be-published book.

“The book will not only document Charles McGee, but also go into detail about the times and events leading up to the rising.,” said Dr O'Doyle.

“The book will explore how the Conradh na Gaeilge and other organisations were affected by the said events, as well as how Dundalk was affected by the call to nationalism. The book is very comprehensive and informative of how Louth was shaped by the events of Easter 1916”.

The Life and Times of Constable Charles McGee. Will be available in all good bookshops soon.

Brian McGuirk, has published his second novel 'A New Dawn for Freedom'. The novel is set in the year 1917, and focuses on a group of Irish rebels “still yearning for freedom” after the the events of Easter 1916.

The book’s blurb reads as follows:

'Its the centenary year of the 1916 Rising in Ireland, and agree or disagree, but there were mistakes made in 1916 When Eoin MacNeill countermanded the order for the insurrection, Dublin as a result was pretty much left isolated and maybe those brave men knew themselves that they were destined for failure, and it was a brave attempt to show the people of Ireland that she could indeed rebel once again against English rule. This book is fictional and is predominantly set in 1917, when England is too concerned with the Great War. The rebels interned in Frongoch have returned home and Ireland is still yearning for her freedom'.

“I am fascinated by Irish History, particularly the 10 year period which spanned from 1913 – 23,” said Brian.

“The formation of the Irish Volunteers, The Easter Rising and The War of Independence were key events in that particular period in time.

“Seeing as 2016 is the centenary of The Rising, I though that it would be interesting to pose the question, “what if the events of The Rising, were parallel to the rebels being further oppressed by the British Army”. The novel is based in the year 1917. The story is fictitious, but is shaped historic events.

“The rebels in the story have been sent home from Dunkirk, still dreaming of rebellion, while the British Army is too concerned with The Great War. There were mistakes made during The Rising, causing the rebels defeat, the story fixes those mistakes and will hopefully be the subject of debate and conversation,” said Brian.

Brian is a lifelong supporter of Celtic F.C, sharing as much love for the club, as he has for Irish History. His first novel, 'Celtic FC - the Ireland Connection' was published in 2009. Brian is a previous chairman of Dun Dealgan Celtic Supporters Club and previous Leinster Representative of The Association of Irish Celtic Supporters’ Clubs.

He has had previously written articles published for various Celtic magazines.

'A New Dawn for Freedom' is available for Kindle users on