Oct 2 2022
The Yank: My Life as a Former US Marine in the IRA w/ John Crawley
In this episode I’m delighted to welcome John Crawley to the show. John was born in Long Island, New York, in 1957, the son of a Co. Roscommon father and a Co. Kerry mother. Two years later the family moved to Chicago and, in 1972, John moved to the town of Castlerea, Co Roscommon, to live with an aunt. It was During this time he decided to become an active member of the republican movement and resolved to return to the US and join the Marine Corps in order to attain as high a level of military expertise as possible, with express intention of putting those skills to use for the republican cause during the Troubles by joining the Provisional IRA.
His recently published memoir is titled The Yank: The True Story Of A Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army and it is available from Penguin RandomHouse. It charts his extraordinary lifestory from his entry into the elite recon unit of the US Marines to his activity as a Provisional IRA volunteer operating around the border region, his interactions with key figures in the movement including Jim Lynagh and Martin McGuinness, his analysis of the Provisionals as a military and organisational force, his gradual disillusionment with the political strategy of the republican leadership, the gun running operation he was involved in back in the US which included a supporting cast of Boston underworld criminals, his arrest after an arms shipment was intercepted and much more.