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Today, 21st January 2019, is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Dáil – Ireland’s parliament. The Dáil was not recognised by Britain, and thus the Irish war of independence began.

The war ended in 1921 with a signing of a treaty that split six counties of Ulster away from the rest of Ireland – creating what we now know as Northern Ireland (although those in the republic tend to refer to it simply as ‘the north’).

Many in Ireland were not happy about that treaty, and civil war ensued (1922-3) between the pro and anti-treaty forces.

And of course some anti-treaty forces (the IRA) continued fighting over the decades until the Good Friday Agreement finally brought peace in 1998. (Peace that Brexit may endanger, but this isn’t supposed to be a political post so let’s not go there!)

My new book, currently available for preorder, is partly set during the war of 1919-21, telling the story of Ellen, young and in love with an idealistic Republican fighter. In the present day, Clare inherits a farmhouse in county Meath, and discovers long-forgotten secrets that allow her to unearth Ellen and Jimmy’s story…