New book on World War I dedicated to former Naas resident released in book stores across Ireland

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New book on World War I dedicated to former Naas resident released in book stores across Ireland
16:01 Saturday 21st of January 2017

A new book that is dedicated to a woman who resided in Naas for seven years has been released, with her son detailing the tales of his grandfather who fought in World War I.

With 2017 marking the 100th anniversary of key World War I flashpoints — including the entry of the USA into the war and the notorious battle of Passchendaele — a new book by the grandson of a WWI war victim is well worth checking out. 31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945 by debut author Eamonn Ashe is a captivating concise history of the two world wars and the interwar years.

Described by Joe Duffy as 'An incredible book. Beautifully-produced. A fantastic tome', this book is unique in covering the entire period from 1914–1945, and gives insight into how economic hardship and the rise of dictators during the interwar years led to World War II just twenty years after World War I. It’s a fluid, easy-to-read book, which includes timelines and maps to simplify complex situations, and photographs which capture the emotions of the time period.

The book was a very personal project for the author Eamonn Ashe. His grandfather Joseph Phillips, a Company Sergeant Major in the Connaught Rangers, died on the fields of France on March 21, 1918 during Germany’s Spring Offensive towards the end of World War I. He is buried at Ste. Emilie Cemetery, Villers-Faucon, close to St. Quentin. In 1991, Eamonn brought his mother Phyllis Ashe there. It was her first and only time to visit her father’s grave. Phyllis lived in Naas, Co. Kildare, from 2003 until her death in 2010 and the book is dedicated to her.

The author has visited many war sites, including the Somme Battlefields, Anzac Cove and the Normandy Landings sites. When he retired, Eamonn Ashe dedicated himself to writing this book. He had an unusual schedule: he got up in the early hours of the morning every night and wrote for two hours.

The book represents a very special father-daughter collaboration: Eamonn’s daughter Fiona is the editor and publisher of the book. Both feel honoured to have had the privilege of collaborating on such an amazing project! One of the proofreaders is the author’s brother-in-law, retired Army Colonel Brian O’Connor, who lives in Naas.

31 Years of Hell! 1914–1945 is available at Barker and Jones in Naas and at The Maynooth Bookshop. It is also available online on the book’s website: It’s great value at €17.99!

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