This eagerly awaited book tells the story of the Irish patriot and politician from Kilkenny city who helped to mastermind the daring escape that sprang Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Jail in 1919. It was the most creative jail escape of all time, reports of which knocked stories off the front pages of newspapers throughout the world. The complete story of the escape has never been told, until now.
In February 1919 three Irish revolutionary prisoners walked out of Lincoln Jail without having dug a tunnel or fired a shot. The escape was the culmination of months of planning. Peter DeLoughry (1882–1931) was the man who crafted the key that allowed three of his fellow prisoners in Lincoln Jail, including Éamon de Valera, to escape. The key became a symbol of the success that could be achieved by co-operation and hard work. However, as the years went on, it became a matter of poisonous dispute between DeLoughry on one side and de Valera and Harry Boland on the other.
DeLoughry was also Mayor of Kilkenny for six consecutive years, a record not surpassed before or since. He served in the upper and lower houses of the Irish Parliament where he became embroiled in issues such as divorce, film censorship and, most important of all, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which he championed. He lived through an age of political and social turbulence; his childhood and adulthood bridged the time of Parnell to the formative years of the Irish Free State.
The launch of the book will be held on Saturday, October 13 in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny at 4pm by RTE personality, Eileen Dunne and all are welcome.
Declan Dunne is a native of Wexford and works as a journalist with RTÉ. He has produced television documentaries for the BBC and RTÉ covering issues such as emigration, finance and crime. He has written for The Guardian and for Irish national newspapers on topics ranging across media coverage, economics and politics. He is a grandson of Peter DeLoughry.