Tim Pat Coogan was born in County Dublin and educated at Blackrock College before becoming a journalist. He has travelled the world, covering the Vietnam War, and interviewing figures such as Colonel Gadaffi and Ronald Reagan. He was editor of the Irish Press for twenty years, and as a leading commentator on Irish affairs he has contributed to several international newspapers, and broadcasts regularly on TV and radio, both in Ireland and abroad. He has written and presented several documentary films on Ireland, including a controversial Channel 4 film for 'Diverse Reports', and has lectured widely in America. Tim Pat Coogan's previous books include Ireland Since the Rising, which has hailed as a pioneering work, On the Blanket about the H-Block dirty protests, the definitive history, The IRA, The Irish: A Personal Vision and Disillusioned Decades 1966-86.