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The Bloodied Field

Croke Park. Sunday 21 November 1920

Michael Foley



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O'Brien Press Ltd
06 July 2020
On the morning of 21 November 1920, Jane Boyle walked to Sunday Mass in the church where she would be married five days later. That afternoon she went with her fiance to watch Tipperary and Dublin play a Gaelic football match at Croke Park. Across the city fourteen men lay dead in their beds after a synchronised IRA attack designed to cripple British intelligence services in Ireland. Trucks of police and military rumbled through the city streets as hundreds of people clamoured at the metal gates of Dublin Castle seeking refuge. Some of them were headed for Croke Park. Award-winning journalist and author Michael Foley recounts the extraordinary story of Bloody Sunday in Croke Park and the 90 seconds of shooting that changed Ireland forever. In a deeply intimate portrait he tells for the first time the stories of those killed, the police and military personnel who were in Croke Park that day, and the families left shattered in its aftermath, all against the backdrop of a fierce conflict that stretched from the streets of Dublin and the hedgerows of Tipperary to the halls of Westminster. Updated with new information and photographs.
By:   Michael Foley
Imprint:   O'Brien Press Ltd
Country of Publication:   Ireland
Edition:   2nd Revised edition
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   275g
ISBN:   9781788491969
ISBN 10:   1788491963
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   06 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Contents Names and Acronyms 13 Cast of Principal Characters 15 Prologue 21 The Invisible War 34 PART I POLITICS AND WAR, 1918-1920 1 The Boy with the Penny Package 45 2 The Outlaws 56 3 The Reluctant General 78 4 The Heritage of Hate 97 PART II GAELIC FOOTBALL IN DUBLIN AND TIPPERARY, AND THE RISE OF THE GAA, 1884-1920 5 A New Force 119 6 Faith Restored 140 7 The Brainy Bunch 156 8 The Challenge 170 PART III CROKE PARK AND BLOODY SUNDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 1920 9 Morning - 7am to Midday 187 10 Afternoon - 11am to 3.25pm 199 11 The Bloodied Field - 3.25pm to 5.30pm 214 12 The Aftermath 231 PART IV THE BLOODY SUNDAY INQUIRIES AND THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH, 1920-1921 13 The Violence of Truth 247 14 The Funerals 265 15 The Inquiries 280 16 War Stories 299 17 The Dead 319 Postscript 323 Selected Bibliography 327 Index 337

Originally from Killavullen, Co Cork, Michael Foley has written Kings of September, winner of the 2007 BoyleSports Irish Sportsbook of the year. He also ghostwrote Harte: Presence Is the Only Thing, the autobiography of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, shortlisted for the 2009 William Hill Irish Sportsbook of the Year. Winner of the GAA's McNamee Award in 2008 and shortlisted for Sports Journalist of the Year in 2003, he is acting sports editor and GAA correspondent for the Irish edition of the Sunday Times. This is his third book. He currently resides in Macroom, Co Cork.

Reviews for The Bloodied Field: Croke Park. Sunday 21 November 1920

rarely has a sports book told you more about and Ireland at one moment in time ... probably the most exhaustively and best researched mainstream Irish sports book ever, yet reads like the best of historical novels * Irish Examiner * the best ... a sports book, a history book, a thriller ... the writing is a treat ... Foley weaves every strand together with an expert hand for a book that makes everything else look unambitious * Irish Times * I couldn't put it down ... a fabulous piece of work ... read like a thriller ... he builds the suspense superbly ... a testament to the brilliance of Michael Foley, one of our best sportswriters ... you can tell from the opening page he has absolutely nailed this book * RTE1's Sean O'Rourke Show * the definitive account of Bloody Sunday 1920 ... amazing ... phenomenally well put together ... one of the best books that I've read in a long time * The Last Word with Matt Cooper * A stunning read. Builds the suspense superbly during the day with personal accounts of all the main protagonists involved on Bloody Sunday and its aftermath. Michael Foley has done not just the GAA, but the country, a service in putting this book together. It is a film waiting to happen. Historical research of this nature could have been heavy and lost the interest of the reader quickly, but he takes his painstaking research and turns it into a gripping thriller. Just brilliant. * * far and away, my book of the year .... this is one of those books that transcends sports ... brilliant ... the book of the year -- Damien O'Meara * RTE Sport * one of the stand-out books last year * Newstalk's Off The Ball * Michael Foley's extraordinary book ... highly recommended * Tipperary Star * the definitive history of the event * Irish Times * truly brilliant * * brilliant * Second Captains * thanks to ... The Bloodied Field ... we now have a much more vivid and greater understanding of the frightening events that happened * Irish Examiner * the book of the year in terms of sports books .... so well-written ... he takes you there ... I can't imagine too many better non-fiction books have been released this year in any genre * TV3's Ireland AM * incredible * * a must read for all history and sporting folk * Clare County Express * reading it at the moment ... and I think it's a fantastic piece of work * Sunday Independent * Irish sport book of the year in my mind * RTE Sport's Damien O'Meara * for those of you who might think this is a history book, think again ... a very interesting read * Dungarvan Leader * one of the best Irish sports books of the year * Gorey Guardian * already now an Irish classic * Irish Examiner * a must read for both GAA and Irish history buffs ... Foley's book is one that will be read for years to come, by both sports fans and history scholars' * Mayo Advertiser * Outstanding * Sunday Independent Sport * Cork-born author Michael Foley appears to have mastered a particular genre of GAA book writing which requires considerable ability and attention to detail in order to be a success ... [he] has set a high standard that anyone else who dares to venture down this tricky path will find difficult to emulate * Enniscorthy Guardian, New Ross Standard * reads like a thriller * Wexford People * well-researched and enormously readable book * History Ireland * the critically acclaimed The Bloodied Field ... A familiar story told as never before. * Irish Independent * accomplished and haunting * Irish Times * a must-read for anyone interested in how the past can inform the present ... a book that transcends sport to open a window into the forces that shaped the birth of an Irish nation ... a vivid portrayal ... The Bloodied Field is a mainstream Irish sports book that deserves to be on the school curriculum * Irish Daily Mail * these victims have been rescued from obscurity in this fine book, which deserves its place in any collection on our founding struggle -- The Tuam Herald Among the sports writing fraternity of the GAA, a healthy competition began rousing itself around 15 years ago, leading to over a decade of left-field 'concept' books and superb documenting of Gaelic Games. The trickle-down effect has emboldened many writers willing to experiment on their work. Each Christmas, Gaelic Games has a glut of sports books produced. For an indigenous sport and an amateur one at that, it is possibly even over-subscribed with capable authors. The high-water mark this Christmas, and for a few more, might just be reached by the release of Michael Foley's 'The Bloodied Field'... This is a rich book. It has soul and a beating heart and it stands alone as an astonishing, affecting piece of work. If you are in the habit of visiting Croke Park, you will never look at it again with the same eyes. Only greatness can achieve that effect. And this book is great * Belfast Telegraph *

  • Winner of Best GAA Publication 2015 (Ireland)

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