Ireland in 1928 was a place of conflicted loyalty, changing politics and intense subterfuge. When Civic Guard Sean Harling shot dead Timothy Coughlan, a known IRA member, in mysterious circumstances his former friends in the Republican movement ...
cried foul. Cleared of wrong doing by the investigation and subsequent inquest, he was still forced to give up his job and to flee the country.During the war of independence Sean had worked closely with the government of the first Dail including Eamon De Valera. It was only during the Civil War, with few financial options to hand, that Sean joined the Free State police force as an intelligence officer. There are suggestions however, that Harling's role was as a double agent, one so secret even his former friends thought of him as a turncoat.Though he eventually returned to Ireland, his family suffered from years of rumour and suspicion. In the 1930s with Fianna Fail in power following the 1932 election, Harling waged a campaign to have his War of Independence efforts acknowledged and his work rewarded by a pension as with many of his former colleagues, but the legacy of the Coughlan killing frustrated his efforts.
Number of pages: 224
Date of publication: 01/08/2008
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