Read Killing Rage by Eamon Collins Mick McGovern Online


Since the 1970s, people have been murdering their neighbors in Northern Ireland. This book is the true account of the small-town violence and terror which lies behind the headlines....

Title : Killing Rage
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781862070479
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Killing Rage Reviews

  • John
    2019-04-06 20:22

    When I was younger I became extremely rebellious. I stopped taking any interest in school or my education... that is, until I came across this book. It was the first book I'd voluntarily read in a long time, and it so interested me and enlightened me that I took a renewed interest in reading and in educating myself on a variety of subjects. It's weird that a book on this subject could do that to a person, but it did for me. The book itself is amazingly honest. It gives you the perspective of the author at various points in his life, from his young and relatively carefree days, to the period when his faith in the system were shattered, to his idealistic days where he considered himself a committed revolutionary, to the period when he began to become disillusioned by the IRA and their tactics, to the period when broke under interrogation and turned on his comrades, and even up to the period when he is older and has gained a new perspective on literally everything (family, life, politics, war, violence, crime, etc). The book sucks you in so that you sympathize with the man during whatever period he describes. So even though he becomes a terrorist, you sympathize with him... when he turns states evidence you find yourself sympathizing with him again, even feeling bad for the fact that he has betrayed his friends and his ideals. It's a great, great work and one I am constantly recommending.

  • Thedailyloaf
    2019-04-10 19:27

    quite possibly one of the most disturbing books regarding the Troubles. it is the autobiography of Eamon Collins, a former member of the IRA who eventually turned his back on the cause. this is a no holds barred tell-all detailing the ruthlessness (and sometimes the sheer stupidity) of those involved. all the dirty secrets come out, including how he masterminded and carried out an improvised mortar attack on the Newry RUC station which left nine policemen dead. the publication of this book lead to his eventual murder shortly thereafter. this is not for the squeamish and at times it can be an extremely hard book to continue reading.

  • Brian
    2019-04-14 21:34

    I was very disappointed with this book. I had really looked forward to reading it and when I was done I felt that I had wasted my time and money.They say there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker, but Eamon Collins, a reformed IRA man, shoots down that theory. Collins was a dedicated republican who soured on the movement. Throughout the book he would have the reader believe that his experiences are emblomatic of the entire republican movement. He would have us believe that he and only he, Eamon Collins, can accurately tell the story of the "real" IRA. In reality Collins went from being a soldier to a whining sniveler who ratted out his comrades. To be sure, it would have been difficult for anyone to have withstood the psychological torture that he experienced at the hands of the police and yet, many others did. In summation he went from being a man who stood for something to a man who stood only for his own survival. Not much of a man in my book.

  • Alene
    2019-04-06 21:11

    I wish I could do a half star because this book was pretty good--informative, entertaining, thought-provoking, but ultimately, not something I'll draw back on very often I don't think. I liked hearing the real account of someone's experience in the IRA and what all that entailed philosophically in addition to the duties. But it seemed like the period through which he was still involved and yet very disenchanted with it went on forever and I kept wishing he would just get out. But I understand how difficult it is to leave behind something that has defined you for so long and that still shapes your worldview in many ways.The most touching part was his process of separation from the organization and all of the experiences that that included--prison time, loyalties and friendships ruined, etc. seemed very very real and his description was painful and I really felt for him.

  • Lyvia
    2019-04-09 22:13

    This is a difficult read, because it describes a series of violent and almost senseless crimes.

  • Chris
    2019-04-12 18:16

    5 out of 5 stars easily. Very in-depth look at the IRA death squads from a man who used to be in them and was assassinated for speaking out against their terrorism.

  • Miguel Gonzalez
    2019-04-02 16:24

    A strong and moving telling of the history of Eamon Collins. Definitely worth reading.

  • Patrick
    2019-04-03 19:07

    A sad book, especially considering Collins was murdered within two years of publication. A man who lost his faith in a cause that seemed to be losing its way, and just wanted to live a simple life.

  • Alexander Bell
    2019-03-28 17:20

    When the Australian TV personality Steve Irwin died, having been stung by a stingray, it was very sad. It was sad, but in some respects, it wasn’t overly surprising. Irwin had made a career out of antagonising dangerous animals – poking poisonous snakes, pulling the tails of crocodiles, messing around with venomous spiders. It was only a matter of time, surely, before one of these animals got annoyed with him. Sure enough.Much the same could be said of Eamon Collins. He antagonised the IRA until finally they lost patience with him, savagely killing him in 1999, not even two years after the publication of Killing Rage. He just didn’t know when to shut up. Although the IRA had already said that he would be killed if he lived north of Drogheda in the Republic, it seemed that they turned a blind eye for some years as he insisted on living in Newry not far from where he grew up. But the last straw was probably when he testified that Thomas “Slab” Murphy was the head of the IRA in a civil court, which resulted in Murphy losing his libel case and ending up with thousands of pounds of costs. This was rather like going up to a sleeping tiger and sticking pins in it. Collins apparently had a death wish.His memoir relates his career in the IRA, from his recruitment, through a sordid litany of murders and bombs, to his arrest by the authorities and his betrayal of his erstwhile associates. It makes compelling reading and is a truly fascinating insight into not only the workings of the IRA, but the terrorist mind-set in general. Over the course of the book, Collins gives a detailed description of the operations he was involved in and of his co-terrorists. If ever you wondered whether the supposedly noble political aspirations of the IRA were really an excuse for institutionalised thuggery, then this book will confirm your worst suspicions.It’s hard, with a first-person narrative, to really get a sense of the narrator. How much is he telling the truth? Are you getting a full account or only a partial one? You can’t see the body language, or hear the tone of voice. According to the Guardian journalist who met him, “Collins was a difficult, unlovable man, opinionated, dogmatic. He was a small man with a big mouth, a big ego and an antagonistic personality. He fell out with nearly everyone, including his brother John, who did not speak to him for years before his death, his one-time comrades in the IRA, the RUC, the television journalists who told his story, and his co-writer on his book.” He was also 5 foot 1 – the typically aggressive small man.You could say that Collins’ difficult personality is the reader’s gain. He showed no fear of presenting unpalatable truths about the IRA and the euphemistically termed “Armed Struggle” which actually consists, or consisted, in murdering unarmed people when they least expect it for such heinous crimes as serving their communities as part-time policemen or destroying anything useful or beautiful with bombs. At one time Collins became part of the “Nutting Squad”, the IRA’s internal disciplinary unit, responsible for extracting confessions of suspected informers, or “touts”, by whatever means necessary, including torture, and then passing judgement on them and executing them with a bullet in the head. We might suspect that Collins was not as reasonable and as rational as his account would have us believe. He must have developed a reputation for utter ruthlessness and a great capacity for violence despite his diminutive physical stature. This is the one thing that I found difficult to square with his account. YouTube interviews show him as a very angry person, and the title “Killing Rage” to his book seems particularly well chosen. But the book is reasonably laconic about his involvement with the Nutting Squad. Indeed, I suspect that the book is economical with the truth regarding countless IRA operations. The reader gets the feeling of receiving a full account, but Collins hinted in interviews that this was only a sample of what he got up to.If ever you wanted an illustration of the maxim “to have your cake and eat it”, Collins was it. Having committed the most vile crimes – such as setting up innocent work colleagues for execution, he then confessed everything to the police and turned supergrass. Then, whilst on remand, he recanted, annoying the police. Not satisfied with this, he annoyed the IRA command structure in Crumlin Road gaol by refusing to kow-tow to them and constantly reminding them of the bankruptcy of their terrorist actions. Then he denied all his confessions in court, amazingly winning his freedom. But Killing Rage shows him admitting them all over again, before he ignored IRA death threats and spent his time denouncing them on TV and in print. Repeatedly. Hardly surprising that “he got his”.The book is brilliant - well-written, gripping, insightful. In some respects, it’s the only book you need to read about The Troubles. It says it all. This is what terrorism is all about and Eamon Collins was the archetypal terrorist. It’s sad that he’s dead. But not that surprising. And maybe, not even all that sad.

  • Jamie Rose
    2019-03-28 22:10

    I have an acquaintance who insists I've been brainwashed by being an army brat. He likes to give me books to help address that. I don't think it's working.I got through this eventually. But, like every other book I've read by a terrorist, it's just a pathetic, failed attempt at whiny justification their very own choice to partake (and enjoy!) in senseless mass murder. Despite their self applied 'Army' label, the IRA were NOT an army, no matter what NORAID told America in order to raise funds and support their terrorism. They were / are a terrorist group driven by the same ignorance and evil as ISIS or Al Qaeda. The IRA today REMAIN as 'high risk' on the list of potential terrorist threats to the UK. I'm not even going to comment on ridiculous statements that call the British Army a 'side'. There were only two sides. Two lots of terrorists, Catholic and Protestant. The Army were not a side. The Army were sent there to do a job. Just like they were in more 'popular' conflicts like Iraq. I think it's about time the men who served there were given the same level of credit. This particular terrorist doesn't even have dubious honour of remaining loyal to his so called 'cause'. That doesn't make him better than the rest of the terrorist scum in any way. He was shot by the IRA (because yes, they are still an active terrorist group!) a few years after this was published. Shame.

  • Gosia Gawron
    2019-04-07 15:06

    A thought-provoking glimpse into the psyche of the IRA movement told by an ex-IRA soldier, who in the end discovers he's got more in common with his enemy than he could have had ever imagined.. This book has left a lasting impression. A must read!

  • Simon G
    2019-03-25 21:09

    Shite, the author is, sorry was ;) a yap.

  • PaulHargreaves
    2019-03-25 18:14

    Took a while to read this one. It's a gritty look at a rarely seen world. Holds lots of lessons.........

  • Jurgen Maerschand
    2019-04-03 20:31

    Disgusting, yet interesting inside in the disturbing antics of the IRA and the troubles as a whole. A bit to elaborate at some points.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-21 16:29

    I recently read three books about the troubles in Northern Ireland. This one is the most disturbing and probably one of the most important ones to read. Eamon Collins was an educated, intelligent and hard working person. He also did not like that the Catholic people did not have the same rights as the Protestants in Northern Ireland. He became a member of the IRA and helped organize many plots to murder people the IRA believed were enemies. The first one he organized was the murder of Ivan Toombs who also worked at the Customs office where Collins worked. He organized this murder even though he liked Toombs and respected him. Over six years Collins organized many more murders. One of the most disturbing to read about was the murder of Norman Hanna. He was gunned down in front of his wife and daughter. This book was very difficult to read and there were a few moments when I was not sure I would be able to finish the book. Collins goes into detail about how he planned the murders and how he eventually became disillusioned with the IRA. He was eventually arrested since the RUC believed he was responsible for the mortar attack that killed nine RUC officers. Collins was not involved in planning the mortar attack, but he was held and questioned every day until he gave statements about his activity with the IRA and named other people who were involved. He was moved to an area where the other supergrasses were kept. Supergrasses are people who were in the IRA and become informants regarding IRA activity for the RUC. Collins eventually retracted his statements so he would no longer be a supergrass. He decided to take his chances at trial. He was acquitted and released after spending two years in prison. I feel that he did not really feel remorseful for all the people he helped murder. Collins was ultimately concerned with his own self preservation. Despite what I think about Collins, I believe this an important book to read because of current threats with terrorism that we face today. This book shows the reality of what being involved with a terrorist organization is like and that no matter what you do for them you are expendable. Collins was murdered in 1999 when he was out for a walk. I have no doubt the IRA were involved in his murder.

  • OhCanada
    2019-03-24 15:07

    What's amazingly rare about this book is the way the author takes personal responsibility for his role in the savagery of the Troubles. I don't take a side myself, but in doing a lot of reading about it lately, I have noticed it's very rare for a Republican to do this. Peter Taylor, a British journalist who covered the Troubles for decades, noticed this too. The Republicans are so wrapped up in their ideology that they're unreachable. If you really listen to their accounts, there's something quite impersonal about them. They sound programmed and not very self aware, even to this day. In contrast, this author is the only one I've come across from the Republican side who really lets people in. For that reason alone, this book is precious. It's really too bad but maybe not surprising that he was murdered by his own side for it. I liken him to Billy Giles, the Protestant who also needed to understand how and why he became a killer, and was willing to share the very ugly truth with the world. He committed suicide not long ago. In my opinion, these are the people we can learn from. I also liked the way he didn't shy away from the class differences that marked this conflict, but don't get talked about enough. There was a great scene where he is in a poor Catholic neighbourhood and sees a piece of offal on the street. He recalls that as a middle class Catholic, he always ate good meat. The poverty of the people on the front lines of the Troubles really struck him. You may not come away liking Eamon Collins very much, but hopefully you can find something to admire about his willingness to let you dislike him and the cause he once believed in.

  • Cynthia
    2019-04-02 21:35

    This was one of my most anticipated IRA reads. I feel a little let down. I will say this is a great look into the IRA from a new view. Most IRA books are about Belfast - Newry/South Down was a new place. I did enjoy that Eamon started as a Marxist and was able to chart the differences with Sein Fein and the INLA and the Marxist theology. That is hardly touched on but actually was quite defining. I enjoyed that he was more than just a killer, that he had insights into HOW killings, bombings etc were set up. That is always nice to read. What I didn't like was how intelligent he was. A lot of IRA biographical things you read are fairly straightforward in what they wrote, sometimes they would backtrack and try to not seem so evil, but nonetheless, straightforward about their past. And the backtracking is frustrating, because just stop - you can't be tried for these crimes again. I don't believe that you felt bad; end of story. Collins has this deeper level of backtracking that just put me off. After a certain hit or killing, he would backtrack to his Marxist roots or to the 1922 documents and it was just a little much. He writes as though he was smart enough IN THE MOMENT to know that armed struggle was futile, yet he didn't give me enough to believe his reasons for staying. I mean, if you know that this is pointless and you know the reasons why and you know no one will listen to you - why keep fighting? And I disliked this because its the first time I've looked at a IRA/UVF member and questioned their loyalty. Even when they murdereing innocents-they still believed in the cause and that made sense. Collins' situation - not so much.

  • Leif Bodnarchuk
    2019-03-24 23:29

    It's not about how a scout car driver pumps his brakes to alert the gunmen driving behind. It's not about how the army could jam detonator frequencies. It isn't even about naming (or not naming) major IRA players.It's about that tired, yet truthful maxim: power corrupts. The IRA operated as a legitimate army; command structure, internal policing, intelligence officers, gunmen, spies... They also had a political ideology, and when other republican groups surface with a different ideology, visions of a united Ireland begin to fog. Even if one of those groups is Sinn Fein. This book should be read by nationalists and unionists; it should be studied and talked about. Eamon Collins saw the light after six years of planning death and mayhem. He is no saint, yet he's no devil. He's one of many caught in a spiral of hate and justification for hate. He unravels his life in honest and compelling detail; toward the end of the book you won't want to put it down. Read it and gain an understanding of the Troubles, to the point where you feel like there's no hope; and then follow Eamon's path to rejecting the republican movement altogether. When you get to the end you'll want to read it again.

  • Randall
    2019-04-04 18:17

    Collins changes drastically a few times throughout his life, from intellectual IRA diehard to disillusioned republican to weary, peaceful family man. He never excuses his violent, murdering past and explains his motivations with startling insight. As the narrative follows him through different periods, I really liked how clearly he puts us in his head. During the early years and unrepentant killing phase, he doesn't allude much to later reluctance and shows us how angry he was. It's very difficult to honestly investigate our motivations and actions as our beliefs change, and this book does it better than any other I've read.Like Borstal Boy in many ways, but this one's more critical of the IRA's violence and mistakes.I read it about 10 years ago and am so glad I picked it up again. This is why I have a bookshelf. Too bad this book killed Eamon Collins.

  • Erin
    2019-04-14 20:24

    thinking about murder all the time seems to be very tiring.Really interesting book, but not for those faint of heart. It's not graphic as far as detailing the actual deaths, more disturbing as it details the planning of the murders and what that entailed. Also a bit disturbing when detailing his indecision on whether what he's doing is right, wrong, and he simply doesn't seem to care to make the choice.For anyone that had nightmares with The Kite Runner, expect nightmares with this one as well.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-26 17:09

    While the writing isn't great, the importance of this book lies in the descriptions of the inner workings of the IRA in the 1980s. The insights into paramilitary behavior are many, which was the reason I picked up the book in the first place.Obviously, it is a profoundly depressing read, not least because Collins was beaten to death (presumably by IRA, although it's never been confirmed) two years after the book was published. Still, if you're interested in the 'logic' of paramilitaries or rebel movements or the recent history of Northern Ireland, this is very much worth your time.

  • Brendon
    2019-04-23 17:13

    This book is a well written and insightful account of a man's journey from someone with hardened revolutionary ideals to one who has become disillusioned with armed struggle. Eamon Collins begins the story with a quick over view of his life and tells the reader what events lead to him joining the IRA. He goes on to explain what he did during his time with the IRA and those that he met in their ranks. The account takes the reader on the full journey from idealist revolutionary to disillusionment and personal loss.

  • Karen Garrett
    2019-04-08 20:06

    Killing Rage is a window into the thinking of one person involved in the IRA. Not an easy book to read when you really feel such dislike for the main character. I found reading back up info regarding the author on-line helped to see a complete picture of a truly despicable person. The three rating reflects the quality of the writing more than the information written about. If you pick up a book on an IRA operative, you expect it to be graphic in details. We need to learn the why of how people think so we do not repeat.

  • Meredith
    2019-03-26 18:15

    This is the autobiography of Eamon Collins, a former I.R.A. terrorist and later informant. He turned his back on the organization in the late 1980s and was stabbed and beaten to death (most likely by I.R.A. members) in 1999,less than a year after this book was published. This is an insightful and disturbing look into the mind of a completely normal human being who did terrible things.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-01 20:25

    I hated this book. First of all, it was written by an author commissioned to pen the story of an ex-IRA man. The writing was not the best and the story itself was not extremely gripping. This is definitely not one of the best memoirs to have come out of the Troubles. But, it was effective enough to where Collins was murdered 2 years after its publication.

  • Ar
    2019-03-26 17:15

    Excellent look at one man's journey during the Troubles, from teenage radical, to PIRA footsoldier, to nutting squad thug to supergrass. Very, very interesting look at the internal workings of the IRA and the author's doubts and criticisms of the organisation. Such criticism from someone so deeply embedded in the organisation is priceless.

  • Donna
    2019-04-06 16:22

    for some reason, i've had this book in my bookshelves for years but haven't gotten around to reading it. met a guy in dublin who is mentioned (anonymously) along with his family, some of whom have been indibted for crimes based on the author's accusations.gotta read it now.

  • Jacob
    2019-04-21 16:09

    One of the best looks you'll ever get inside the IRA and into the mindset of terrorist. A brutally honest and unflinching firsthand account of a man who became a terrorist and how he found his way out of that life.

  • Jim Hull
    2019-03-24 21:27

    about the irish struggles in northern Ireland (IRA)

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-31 17:30

    Eamon Collins writes of his experiences in the IRA and then after the book was published was killed by the IRA.