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Head of Zeus
The Arms Crisis of 1970
The Arms Crisis of 1970: The Plot that Never Was Michael Heney

The number one Irish Times bestseller

In 1970, Taoiseach Jack Lynch accused two cabinet ministers, Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney, of smuggling arms to the IRA in Northern Ireland. The criminal prosecution that followed was a cause célèbre at the time. All the accused were acquitted, but it generated a political crisis that would be one of the major events of modern Irish history.

In the fifty years since, myth and controversy has surrounded the trial and its aftermath. Michael Heney has unearthed astonishing new evidence, raising serious questions about Lynch and his relationship with Haughey. The Arms Crisis of 1970 is the first comprehensive investigation into the arms trial prosecution, and how the jury came to their verdict of acquittal.

Reviews:

'An indisputable, forensic interpretation of the events of 1970 ... Impressive for its methodology, and is indispensable for anyone interested in what actually happened 50 years ago' Colm Tóibín, Irish Times, Books of the Year

'Persuasive ... A real life whodunnit written with the pace and drama of a political thriller' Eilis O'Hanlon, Irish Independent

'Heney strips away the lies associated with the great Irish scandal of 1970 ... A ground-breaking book' Diarmaid Ferriter

'Brilliant de-bunking of the myths, heroes and villains of the Arms Crisis' Mary O'Rourke, Sunday Independent

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * History
02 Apr 2020 * 448pp * £16.99 * 9781789545593
REVIEWS
'Finally, a path has been cleared through the dirty fog of the Arms Crisis. Michael Heney has provided us with an original and textured history of one of the most controversial and misunderstood episodes of modern Irish history. Driven by evidence and attention to detail, and with dynamism and doggedness, Heney strips away the lies, myths and speculation surrounding the events and personalities associated with the great Irish scandal of 1970 and uncovers the realities. His clarity and painstaking research have resulted in a ground-breaking book'
Diarmaid Ferriter
'A brilliant, forensic investigation of the 1970 arms trial, with much new material'
Vincent Browne
'Packed with astonishing detail and absorbing observations, interpreted anew through study of the State Papers of 2001, [The Arms Crisis of 1970] will leave you gasping with interest as you turn the pages ... I cannot recommend this book highly enough'
Mary O'Rourke, Sunday Independent
'Heney's book is a reminder of how a version of the frictions that led to splits in Sinn Féin and the foundation of Fianna Fáil in the 1920s surfaced again in the late 1960s and early 1970s'
RTÉ
'Michael Heney, a former RTÉ journalist who has spent the 50 years since the Arms Crisis considering it more deeply, has written a fascinating and thoroughly researched book about this episode and found new evidence'
The Times
'Michael Heney, a former RTÉ journalist who has spent the 50 years since the Arms Crisis considering it more deeply, has written a fascinating and thoroughly researched book about this episode and found new evidence'
The Times
'As a former journalist with RTÉ for over 40 years, Heney knows how to tell a story and keep an audience hooked ... It's written with the pace and drama of a political thriller, with characters that you just couldn't invent'
Irish Independent
'Heney tracks these key players' movements like pieces on a chess board, constantly asking the fundamental questions of who knew what and when ... Heney's detective skills deserve great respect and he has written an undeniably important book'
Sunday Business Post
'An indisputable, forensic interpretation of the events of 1970 ... Heney's book is impressive for its methodology, and is indispensable for anyone interested in what actually happened 50 years ago'
Irish Times.
Author
Michael Heney
Michael Heney
Dr. Michael Heney is a former award-winning journalist and producer with RTE Television, having previously worked with the Irish Times and with RTE Radio. A Fellow of the World Press Institute in Macalester College in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, his achievements include two Jacobs Television awards, Cross Broadcaster of the Year, and Liam Hourican European Journalist of the Year. His television exposés on the criminal convictions of the Tallaght Two led to the verdicts in that case being overturned in the Irish Court of Criminal Appeal. Since retiring from journalism in 2010, Michael has conducted six years of full-time academic investigation into the 1970 Arms Crisis, for which he was awarded firstly an MA (2014), and later a Ph.D (2018) by University College Dublin. He lives in Dublin.
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