The Undiscovered Country

By Aidan McQuade

'Why should people care about a murder during war time?' Two men attempt to solve the killing of a young boy during the Irish War of Independence in 1920.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The book they don’t want you to read: The Undiscovered Country

Memo found in the archives of the Irish Bureau of Military History :

To: Colonel Dan Long

Officer in Charge,

Bureau of Military History,

Cathal Brugha Barracks


4 Sept 1954


Highly Confidential

Please find attached the portion of former Volunteer Michael Gerard McAlinden’s submission to the Bureau that I mentioned to you, the portion that he has spuriously entitled, “The Undiscovered Country.”

As I said to you when we met, even with the moratorium on publication of these testimonies, until after all witnesses have passed away, I am of the strong opinion that this particular testimony should never see the light of day. Even if one could forgive the revolting coarseness of the language that former Volunteer McAlinden uses, something which I find hard to do, his testimony casts shocking and unsubstantiated aspersions on the reputations of major figures of both our recent history and contemporary society.

I appreciate that the Bureau exists only to gather the testimonies of veterans of our War of Independence and leaves the task of assessing these accounts to future historians. But I, for one, feel that the sort of filth that former Volunteer McAlinden has presented to us has no place in our national story.


Capt T Flynn

Assistant Archivist

The world needs to know what Volunteer Mick McAlinden witnessed. Please appeal to your networks to get this vital account published.

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