Sean O'Callahan is the author of The Easter Lily, The Story of the I.R.A. and an ex-officer of that movement. He undertakes to explain a series of events during World War II which seems as ludicrous as it is dramatic: the German attempt to exploit the I.R.A. in order to carry out a full scale attack in Northern Ireland in conjunction with Operation Sea Lion. In return for German promises of help when Northern Ireland would be ""liberated"" the I.R.A. supposedly would supply German Intelligence with items of military information. But the arrangement grew increasingly absurd. First of all the German spy Dr. Hermann Goertz, an international lawyer, was parachuted into the Free State in 1940 in full military uniform. With his medals. The Chief of Staff of the I.R.A. turned out to be an informer. Finally, German espionage units couldn't decide whether or not to ""interfere"" in the political affairs of the Irish government. After spending nineteen months in Ireland, Goertz was captured and in 1946 he was about to be deported to stand trial as a war criminal in Germany when he took his own life. It seems obvious that an ironic treatment would be better suited to the subject matter than the author's very earnest style.