Monday, 15 September 2008
NOEL Redican comes from a family of out-and-outers: two of his Redican uncles were the hardest hunger-strikers and toughest gunmen in the War of Independence.
Then there was Uncle Sean - Seán Harling, married to Redican's aunt Nora.
The Redicans robbed a bank and handed over the money. Dedicated republicans, they had never counted it, and somewhere between them and the quartermasters it went missing.
Few believed the Redicans took it - church mice were wealthy magnates compared to them, and bank managers routinely inflated the amount supposed to have been stolen - but questions were asked.
Their brother-in-law was a clever lad taken up by Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins. After a long fight for the Republic he took the side of the Irregulars, then inexplicably joined the Free State police as a spy.
When it came out that he was spying on the Fianna, the main recruiting arm of the Movement, the IRA sent assassins after him; he shot dead the man sent to kill him.
Or did he? Redican's book makes it clear that he thinks the Gardai - and ultimately their Fianna Fail bosses, Éamon de Valera, Seán Lemass, Sean McEntee and Frank Aiken - were responsible.
Seán Harling, he says, gave up his life and his reputation for Ireland.
Anyone reading this outstanding work of scholarship and inside knowledge will be convinced.