Michael Collins and the Women Who Spied For Ireland
by Meda Ryan
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Behind every great man … From the day he was born Michael Collins was blessed by the women who surrounded him. Never was this truer than in the perilous years from 1916 to 1922 when, whether smuggling messages, spying on the British government or protecting him from arrest, Collins' women played a crucial role in his revolutionary activities. While the infamous Squad worked on one side of Collins' intelligence network, on the other a diverse range of women toiled behind the scenes. SinŽad Mason, his loyal and intrepid personal secretary, saved him from arrest on several occasions while he was on the run; Madeline (Dilly) Dicker acted as a secret agent; Lt. G. (Lily Mernin) fed him confidential documents on troop movements, their strength and armaments. Society ladies Moya Llewelyn Davies and Lady Hazel Lavery were conduits between Collins and the British. In the frequent correspondence between Michael and Kitty Kiernan, we get a glimpse of romantic passion in the midst of the turmoil. The portraits of these women, and many others who participated in the struggle for independence, are woven into this fascinating narrative of the life of an Irish legend: Michael Collins.
- Mercier Press, July 2006
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