For the great Gaels of Ireland/ Are the men that God made mad,/ For all their wars are merry/ And all their songs are sad."" Taking a rather Rogue-ish view of history again, this is a long step up from Call It Rhodesia (1968, p. 353). Unfortunately Mr. Ballinger still tosses in unnecessary scenes for effect and his sex-capades are embarrassing. However it is a readable men's novel starting with that Easter Sunday uprising of 1916 with the Irish rebels poised to die on the back steps of the General Post Office and then flashing back to previous events. There's McKeon, the tediously organized schoolmaster, furious at the blundering incompetence of his compatriots; Declan O'Donovan, immense, rollicking, who will turn into the worst kind of coward yet to be distorted into a legend; Peadar Casey, who hates the ""horse people"" of the upper class regardless of what side they're on; Margaret Kingston, gentility turned Sinn Feiner who will survive torture but not her lover's denigration. And on the English side there's Major Thomas Greyson who has a very special hatred for this particular band. Sons of Ireland will read it right up to the last tearin' o' the green.