Click HERE to listen to author Gearoid O’Dowd talk about his new book ‘He Who Dared and Died’, which is a facinationg account of a fascinating man – Gearoid’s uncle, Chris O’Dowd, who ran away from home in Galway in 1939 at the age of 18 to join the British Army (not a popular career choice at the time, although chosen by many thousands of Irishmen). A real-life adventurer, he was one of the first soldiers in the (then) new elite force The Special Air Service’, famous far and wide (some say notorious far and wide) as the SAS.
Gearoid provides an insight, not only into the man and his background but
also into the writing of the book and the difficulties thereof. As you can imagine, there were lots of things that he would like to have found out but the SAS, being the SAS, it really seems to have been a case of stiff upper lips and silence. However, sharing some of his uncle’s tenacity, Gearoid winkled out enough information to create a thoroughly interesting story about this extraordinary man whose courage and intrepid spirit earned him the prestigious Military Medal (MM) and who was tragically killed in action in Italy in October 1943. We talk in the programme also about the way that men like Chris O’Dowd, and the many like him, who ‘fought in foreign lands’ were for so long ignored in the telling of Irish history and about the recent changes for the better in this regard.