The interesting thing about this book is that it the the story of a Roman Catholic Unionist, a species probably less rare than is generally supposed. Indeed, people like John Gorman represent a kind of Ireland which for decades has remained largely hidden in the Republic and more or less invisible in the North, an Ireland nostalgic for the British Crown, still sending sons into the British Army and scores of the ultra loyalists in the North whose heavy rhetoric tends to be matched by rather light war records. Thanks to the prolific pen of Kevin Myers, in particular, the hstory and existence of this hidden Ireland have become more visible in recent years, and a soft spot for the old British connection is no longer as politically incorrect as it used to be.
Gorman's story starts with the dramatic events of 1921-22. His father, Major Gorman MC, was the adjutant of the Royal Irish Constabulary depot in Phoenix Park, just outside Dublin. It fell to him to hand over the depot to Michael Cob. Minister of Home Affairs in the new Free State