The Yank | Paperback | By John Crawley

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Code 9781785374234

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Product Information
  • The Yank: My Life as a Former US Marine in the IRA
  • Pages: 256
  • Format: Paperback
  • Author: John Crawley
  • Publisher: Merrion Press
  • Publication date: 06 September 2022
  • Category: Biography
  • Size: 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.4cm
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The Yank: My Life as a Former US Marine in the IRA by John Crawley


April 1975. A young Irish-American from New York is on a mission to enlist in an elite unit of the US Marine Corps. His goal: to receive the most intensive military training possible, and then move to Ireland to join the IRA and fight to end British occupation.

In this powerful and brutally honest memoir, John Crawley details the gruelling challenges of his Marine Corp boot camp; after moving to Dublin to join the IRA Crawley, now known with the movement as ‘The Yank’, is sent to Boston to work with notorious American mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger to amass an illegal shipment of weapons. Ordered to return to Ireland with the arms, Crawley is then captured on the Marita Ann gun running trawler off the Kerry coast, imprisoned, and upon release became one of the masterminds behind an operation to knock out London's electrical system.

Crawley is blisteringly candid about those he worked with, including fascinating portrayals of IRA leader Martin McGuinness, and of the psychopathic Whitey Bulger. Crawley is unflinching in his commentary on IRA leadership and their tactics, and through it all comes the steadfast voice of a man on a mission, providing an evocative and passionate account where that mission led him and why. To this day, he remains committed to the establishment of all-Ireland Republic


'The Yank is the electrifying memoir and definitive account of guerrilla days in modern Ireland, by a man who refused to shy away from duty and love for this country. Powerfully written and relentlessly nerve-shredding, it’s a modern-day masterpiece unlike any other book ever written about the war in the North of Ireland.' Sam Millar, bestselling author of On The Brinks

'The Yank is an extraordinary piece of work. No sentiment or self-pity; hardboiled and disarmingly direct. A compelling read.' Patrick McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy

'I read The Yank in one sitting . . . Crawley draws you in from the first line to the last and he doesn't go . . . he writes with a candour and clarity that is both absorbing and direct. This is a seminal book that should be read by everyone with an interest in Irish affairs' Richard O'Rawe, author of Northern Heist


John Crawley is a former sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and a former Irish Republican Army volunteer. Born in New York to Irish immigrant parents, he moved to Ireland as a young teenager and later returned to America to receive formal military training before joining the IRA. Imprisoned for 10 years for taking part in a daring cross-Atlantic gun-running operation, upon his release he returned to IRA active service before being arrested in London for conspiracy to cause explosions. He received a 35-year sentence but was released from prison under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.


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