This book – now in paperback – examines strategic and diplomatic issues concerning Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century, together with espionage, sabotage, and propaganda operations of foreign powers trying to manipulate Ireland.
Focussing on continental European powers such as Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, and, to a lesser extent, Russia, the book is based on research in diplomatic and military archives notably in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, and Vienna.
The research unearthed many unknown documents which in turn produced some unexpected revelations. During the Boer War, the French envisaged a landing in Ireland to strike at Britain. They had also financed the activities of certain Irish nationalists. The Germans and the French battled in the United States in order to control the influential Irish-American community.
The comparison of documents found in archives in London and Berlin shows that some British officials let the Easter Rising of 1916 deliberately happen, the aim being the decapitation of the Irish republican movement. The book also reveals the existence of hitherto relatively unknown characters which played their part in the course of Irish history.
The correspondence between George Freeman in New York and Professor Theodor Schiemann in Berlin sheds light on Germany’s interest in Irish and Irish-American republican movements. France’s diplomatic icons, Paul and Jules Cambon, became increasingly aware of the Irish world’s threat after the signing of the Entente Cordiale in 1904.