Michael Mallin was a devout Catholic, a temperance advocate, father of four young children and husband to a pregnant wife when he was executed for his part in the Easter Rising. In this revealing new book, the first ever biography of Mallin, Brian Hughes asks what led such a man, with so much to lose, to wage war against the British in 1916?
Executed in Kilmainham Gaol on 8 May 1916, Michael Mallin had commanded a garrison of rebels in St Stephen’s Green and the College of Surgeons during Easter Week. He was Chief-of-Staff and second-in-command to James Connolly in the Irish Citizen Army.
Born in a tenement in Dublin in 1874, he joined the British army aged fourteen as a drummer. He then worked as a silk weaver and became an active trade unionist and secretary of the Silk Weavers’ Union.
A devout Catholic, a temperance advocate, father of four young children and husband of a pregnant wife when executed – what brought such a man, with so much to lose, to wage war against the British in 1916?
Hughes has done a remarkable job in bringing back to the general public’s memory the role and life of one of the Easter Rising’s most neglected executed leaders. He writes with pace, and has managed to present a dignified and worthy portrait of a man who strove to social justice and saw as a means to this end the establishment of an Irish republic, and eventually died for this belief. With Brian Hughes’ biography, Michael Mallin steps out of the shadow of James Connolly, and firmly into the pantheon of Irish history
will inform the general reader, serve the Leaving Certificate student of modern Irish history well and would not go amiss in the hands of undergraduates ... further books in the series will do well to match these two and will be looked forward to by many
Hughes compellingly portrays a softly spoken music teacher and a dedicated family man with a strong sense of discipline whose commitment to violent insurrection robbed his pregnant wife of a husband and his four young children of a father
conscientious attention to detail evokes the man and the period
‘written in an unfussy style, the book is consistent with the publisher’s aim of providing ‘meticulously researched yet accessible’ biographies of the Easter Rising leaders between now and 2016
rescues Mallin from the long shadows cast by the Proclamation signatories
[an] assured biography, the first on its subject
insightful ... hopefully, other biographies in the O’Brien Press 1916 series meet the high standard set by Brian Hughes
his last letter to his wife is moving in its intimacy ... the book is worth buying for the letter alone
a great read and a credit to the author
a remarkable series ... gives readers a valuable insight into the men who were executed for their part in the 1916 Rising
'an entertaining, accurate and well-researched portrayal both of the man and the uprising'
'Two new series from Irish publishers are targeted more particularly at the 1916 Rising. The O’Brien Press offers the more structured series, 16 Lives, complete with attractive marketing materials and a high profile launch in the GPO in Dublin'
'an epic new series of books ... O’Brien Press is first off the 1916 centenary mark with 16 Lives ... it is early days but 16 Lives has set the bar for the run into 2016'
'This book does a fine job in unearthing the details of Mallin’s activity as a trade unionist'
'part of a series which bids fair to lift the lid on a few others executed in 1916 and little known since'
'an excellent biography'
'Brian Hughes offers a vivid insight into a forgotten figure'
Brian Hughes helps bring an unfairly neglected figure of Irish history alive on the page