Seán O’Driscoll’s riveting account of British aristocrat Rose Dugdale’s topsy turvy life resembles a Monty Python thriller. Here is a niece of Oswald Mosley, a member of Britain’s ruling elite, who had once prostrated herself in front of their Queen, who had a long-lasting lesbian fling with her Oxbridge tutor(who gifted Dugdale a well-paid job to further their fun times.)

A woman who rubbed shoulders with Martin Luther King Jr., who hung around with scruffs in London squats, who tried to free Ireland by throwing churnfulls of explosives from a hijacked helicopter onto Strabane.

Going on to have a “very close” relationship with IRA mavericks Rita O’Hare and Marion Price in Limerick Prison, Dugdale subsequently led vigilantes against Dublin drug pushers, with whom her son and his British Army suppliers are alleged to have worked closely.

Calling her son Ruairí, presumably after the late Ruairí Ó Brádaigh whom she reviles and who, along with Jim Monaghan(“Mortar Jim”, the love of her life), indoctrinated Sinn Féin recruits with her British aristocratic brand of Irish republicanism.

Just as with O’Driscoll’s book on David Rupert (the glaringly obvious CIA spy who brought down the RIRA and locked its leader away for twenty years), so also does this well-crafted book on a well-heeled English aristocrat ask a lot of disturbing questions for those who read between its well-honed lines. 

Why, for example, was Inga, a pipe-smoking German woman with possible Baader Meinhof and/or German intelligence roots, given the run of Sinn Féin’s national headquarters along with this “eccentric” English aristocrat, whose politics, such as they were, were more akin to those of the Red Brigades than to any known brand of Irish nationalism and/or republicanism? 

What was glamorous or revolutionary about the kidnaps and mutilations orchestrated by Rose Dugade and those, like Marion Price, Kevin Mallon and Eddie Gallagher, who were close to her? 

Why were there no vigilante marches on Dugdale’s house, given that her son, Ruairí, was a major drug dealer? Why, given the high-tech surveillance equipment the Special Branch deployed against militants like Marion Price and Eddie Gallagher during the Monasterevin siege, could they not deploy that same technology against the West Mayo farm Dugdale and Mortar Jim used to perfect their bombs?

John Cawley’s equally well-written but far more incisive “The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army” hints at some of the answers to those and many other questions. Reading between Cawley’s lines or those of Ed Moloney’s “A Secret History of the IRA“, it seems Gerry Adams and those close to him had not the same aims and objectives of others further down the food chain, the expendables as these flawed opportunists called those, like Cawley, who they wantonly sacrificed on the altars of hunger strikes, blanket protests and early graves to their more unsavoury and infinitely more depraved lusts.

Even leaving aide the Colombian and inner-city Dublin drug money that funded those close to Rose Dugdale, and accepting O’Driscoll’s words that Dugdale is a warm and loving person, there is just too much slime attached to all the laughs and Keystone Cops terrorism that peppers the pages of this fine book.

And now, as Rose Dugdale finishes her chain smoking days in the retirement home for Catholic nuns on Dublin’s swanky Southside where she now resides, many unanswered questions will remain even after Michael D. Higgins or, perhaps, Mary Lou McDonald, Ivana Bacik, or Michelle O’Neill give the obligatory oration over her grave about how this bisexual British mother of a drug dealer brought the war to the Brits and thereby helped usher in today’s drug-ridden country those backwoods men, as the aristocratic Dugdale calls them, the IRA terrorised must now put to rights.

I cannot recommend Cawley’s book or Fitzpatrick’s books on Dugdale and RIRA informant Rupert highly enough, not least because they have set the bar very high for whatever genuine academics who may be out there to tell us the true story as to how and why English aristocats, German pipe-smoking agents and many other men and women who were, as they say, bent as a two bob note, were allowed derail Ireland’s destiny.

Posted by Dr Declan Hayes


  1. Declan Hayes 01/12/2022 at 8:53 pm

    Marion Price should, in almost all cases, read Marion Coyle. Obviously both were born in the Marion year of 1954, when most baby girls were so christened. O’Driscoll is a fine writer and a good researcher, even though he allows his targets (Dugdale, Rupert and friends) tell a few obvious porkies. Though the review could have been longer, no review could do the books mentioned above justice.


  2. Spender_CGB 01/12/2022 at 9:29 pm

    From Archibald Maude Ramsey “The Nameless War.”

    “On the 23rd May, 1940, within the first fortnight of Mr Churchill’s Premiership, many hundreds of British subjects, a large proportion of them ex-Servicemen, were suddenly arrested and thrown into prison under Regulation 18B.”

    “Regulation 18B was originally introduced to deal with certain members of the I.R.A., who were committing a number of senseless minor outrages in London.”

    “Though the I.R.A. were pleaded as an excuse to the House for a Regulation, hardly any of their members were ever arrested under it; but in due course it was employed to arrest and hold for 4 or 5 years, uncharged, very many hundreds of British subjects, ”

    The point I am trying to make here is that collusion between Britain and the IRA and various terror groups goes back a long time. The article also mentions the Barder Meinhof gang who have been revealed to have been a part of “Operation Gladio.” Gladio being a Nato run terrorist operation.


    It is a strange world that we are living in. Nothing is what it seems on the surface and I do not profess to know what the end game is. (I have some ideas which I will keep to myself).


  3. Declan Hayes 01/12/2022 at 11:38 pm

    You mention the IRA’s S plan, the bombing campaign of England during 1939/40, where the family of Gerry Adams and other well known Belfsatites were centrally involved but managed to escape, Day of the Jackal/ Scarlet Pimpernel type, as their expendables were rounded up. So much revolves around that clique of now well known Belfast families (Adams, Hannaway, Cahill) who are now bywords in sleaze. Operation Gladio. You couldn’t be up to them. But then you probably did not learn your Irish politics from an aristocratic English bisexual lesbian and a pipe smoking German woman who fought for their own form of Irish freedom (against the Irish backwoodsmen and so many other free minded people)


  4. Ivaus@thetricolour 02/12/2022 at 5:27 am

    Irish BRITISH English…we have never really severed the connection
    respective of who tells the story and what truly binds us,not united.
    The last 3 years is very interesting when an outsider observes the actions of both governments.It became increasingly difficult to distinguish what
    Country,Identity and Broadcaster (BBC/RTE) as everything blurred into
    a single mirrored profile…a copycat by copycat lockdown performance.
    Could that be a result of brexit, the EU isolating the West Islanders from
    it’s Continent…the fall of US IRE UK…for whose benefit, Who gains ?
    Whatever the future outcome, anything less than being identified equally
    to Race and visa versa is the first step in going forward. We earned IT.


  5. […] I have touched on Sinn Féin’s flawed pedigree here and here, the main thing to take going forward is how M15 and their CIA bosses not only choose the ground on […]


  6. […] I have touched on Sinn Féin’s flawed pedigree here and here, the main thing to take going forward is how M15 and their CIA bosses not only choose the ground on […]


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