20th Century to World War II

M - N

Mahon, Tom. "The Secret IRA-Soviet Agreement, 1925." History Ireland 17, no. 3 (2009).

"In the summer of 1925,... [the IRA] sent a delegation to Moscow to solicit finance and weaponry from the Soviet Union…. The group was led by the well-known Cork gunman P.A. Murray, who met privately with Joseph Stalin…. Both parties made a secret agreement: the IRA would spy for the Soviets in Britain and America, as well as support their strategic goals, and in return receive a monthly payment of £500…. For the next few years [Moss] Twomey, in collaboration with his close associate [Andy] Cooney, oversaw the IRA's relationship with the Soviet Union…. Around [1930], however, the Soviets backed away."

Mahon, Thomas, and James J. Gillogly. Decoding the IRA. Dublin: Mercier Press, 2009.

From publisher: "Historian Tom Mahon and code breaker James J. Gillogly have spent the past few years breaking the IRA's communications code." In the years following the civil war, the "code was used for the organisation's most secret messages, including those sent back and forth to undercover agents in Britain and America. The results ... expose IRA secrets that have been concealed for over 75 years." Kahn, Intelligencer 17.1 (Winter-Spring 2009), notes that this "important work" provides a cryptanalysis of 312 IRA communications from 1925 to 1928.

Budiansky, Cryptologia 33.3 (Jul. 2009), calls this work "a remarkable feat of historical detective work, painstaking and exacting." It provides "a valuable and at times fascinating look at the inner workings of a secret terrorist organization on the skids." However, the book would have been better if "Gillogly's detailed explanation of tranposition ciphers and his cryptanalytic methods" had been placed "in an appendix rather than making it the book's (lengthy) first chapter." In addition, "[t]he index is so poor as to be almost useless."

McCoole, Sinéad. No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years 1900-1923. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. Dublin: O'Brien Press, 2003.

From publisher: "Spies, snipers, couriers, gun-runners, medics -- women played a major role in the fight for Ireland's freedom, risking loss of life and family for a cause to which they were totally committed." This work includes the biographies of sixty-five women activists.

McGarry, Fearghal. "Keeping an Eye on the Usual Suspects: Dublin Castle's 'Personalities Files,' 1899-1921." Ireland History 14, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 2006): 44-49.

The author surveys a collection at the National Archives in London, consisting of some "19,000 pages of secret intelligence documents on 500 republican suspects."

McLoughlin, Barry. Left to the Wolves: Irish Victims of Stalinist Terror. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2006.

From publisher:  At least three of the victims of Stalin's Great Terror of 1937-1938 were foreign-born Communists of Irish nationality. "This book describes their social background, how and why they entered the semi-clandestine world of Communism and the reasons for their residence in the USSR."

McMahon, Paul.

1. "British Intelligence and the Anglo-Irish Truce, July-December, 1921." Irish Historical Studies 35 (2006-2007): 519-540.

2. British Spies and Irish Rebels: British Intelligence and Ireland, 1916-1945. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2008.

O'Halpin, I&NS 23.5/fn.15 (Oct. 2008), says that this work "provides an admirably researched survey of Anglo-Irish and Belfast/London security relations up to 1945." In Dublin Review of Books 8 (Winter 2008-09), O'Halpin notes that his "conclusion on finishing this excellent study is that the most striking gap in British intelligence on Ireland, from the early twentieth century to the present day, is not on the republican movement or the Irish state, but on Ulster loyalism." For Deirdre McMahon, Irish Times, 23 Aug. 2008, the author "writes lucidly and sensibly on a subject that often attracts fevered treatment, and he makes excellent use of recently released intelligence material in both Irish and British archives."

Mitchell, Angus. "The Riddle of the Two Casements?" In Roger Casement in Irish and World History, ed. Mary E. Daly, 99-120. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2005.

Mullins, Gerry. Dublin Nazi No. 1: The Life of Adolf Mahr. Dublin: Liberties Press, 2007.

From publisher: "In the 1930s, Dr Adolf Mahr was head of the National Museum of Ireland" and "head of the Nazi Party in Ireland.... Under pressure from Irish and British military intelligence, he left for Germany shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939.... He is considered in some circles to have been a spy who used his position at the museum to help prepare Germany's invasion plan of Ireland."

Gibbins, History Ireland (Sep.-Oct. 2007), questions the author's ambivalent attitude toward his subject's adherence to National Socialism and anti-Semitism, arguing that Mahr "never appears to have questioned the evidence on which the Party's ideology was based." See also, David O'Donoghue, Hitler's Irish Voices: The Story of German Radio's Wartime Irish Service (Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1998).

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