From Behind a Closed Door: Secret Court Martial Records of the 1916 Easter

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Blackstaff Press, Limited, Mar 31, 2002 - History - 344 pages
After quashing the Easter Rising of 1916, the British army court-martialled almost two hundred prisoners. Around ninety of them received death sentences, but the death penalty was confirmed only for the fifteen men considered by the British to be the leaders. All fifteen were executed.
For most of the twentieth century, official British records of the fifteen trials were kept a close secret and were in fact only released in 1999. Further material released in 2001 included the trial of Countess Markievicz and important evidence about 'shoot to kill' British military tactics.
These records, the subject of heated speculation and propaganda for over eighty years, are now presented in this book. The complete transcripts are all here, together with photographs of the Rising, the fifteen leaders and the key British players. Brian Barton's incisive commentary explains the context of the trials and the motivations of the leaders, providing an invaluable insight into what went on behind a closed door at a defining moment in Irish history.

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About the author (2002)

Brian Barton graduated from Queen's University, Belfast, in 1967, was awarded an M.A. by the University of Ulster in 1979 and a Ph.D. by Queen's University in 1986. He has taught at the Belfast Institute, and has been Research Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, Q.U.B., and at Churchill College, Cambridge. He is currently research fellow in the Politics Department at Queen's. He has written "Brookeborough: The Making of a Prime Minister" and "The Blitz: Belfast in the War Years, "has co-edited two volumes on contemporary Irish politics and has recently completed "Northern Ireland, 1921-1951" for A New History of Ireland, Vol. VIII, (Clarendon Press, forthcoming).

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