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The Twelve Apostles

Michael Collins, the Squad, and Ireland's Fight for Freedom

“The unofficial voice of modern Irish history.”—The Economist

"Ireland's best-known historical writer."—The Irish Times

"A worthy contribution to the historical literature of the period."—Irish Central

Ireland, 1919: When Sinn Féin proclaims Dáil Éireann the parliament of the independent Irish republic, London declares the new assembly to be illegal, and a vicious guerrilla war breaks out between republican and crown forces. Michael Collins, intelligence chief of the Irish Republican Army, creates an elite squad whose role is to assassinate British agents and undercover police.

The so-called 'Twelve Apostles' will create violent mayhem, culminating in the events of 'Bloody Sunday' in November 1920.

Bestselling historian Tim Pat Coogan not only tells the story of Collins' squad, he also examines the remarkable intelligence network of which it formed a part, and which helped to bring the British government to the negotiating table.

“It is my contention that Michael Collins was one of the most extraordinary men ever to have been born in Ireland. Collins’s remarkable qualities – as a man, a citizen, a commander and strategist – shine through the years; and to me, they gleam all the more brightly in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising. Almost thirty years ago, I wrote my biography of Collins – and he stands at the heart of this book too, because now I want to examine in detail one of his most extraordinary, and certainly most controversial, creations. This was the Squad, or the Twelve Apostles: the names given to a small undercover unit controlled by Collins which operated in Ireland during the final era of British rule from Dublin Castle.”

"The unofficial voice of modern Irish history."—The Economist

"Ireland's best-known historical writer."—The Irish Times

"A compelling work...this tale of murder and mayhem is also a labor of love. Written with peace and clarity, this is an important work that shows how desperate measures taken in desperate times don't easily go away."—The Irish Independent

"A worthy contribution to the historical literature of the period."—Irish Central

"The unofficial voice of modern Irish history."—The Economist

"Ireland's best-known historical writer."—The Irish Times

"A compelling work...this tale of murder and mayhem is also a labor of love. Written with peace and clarity, this is an important work that shows how desperate measures taken in desperate times don't easily go away."—The Irish Independent

"A worthy contribution to the historical literature of the period."—Irish Central