The kidnapping


November 1983. The IRA has turned to kidnapping to fund its armed campaign in the north. The organisation has a supermarket boss in its sights – Quinnsworth chief executive, Don Tidey. As Tidey does the school run en route to his south Dublin office he pulls up at a garda checkpoint. Within moments he is dragged from his car, bundled into another car and driven away at speed. The ‘garda’ are terrorists in fake uniforms. The IRA has its latest victim. It is the start of a massive manhunt and a 23-day ordeal for Tidey. At the instant he is found, in an isolated Leitrim wood, his captors kill a trainee garda and a young soldier. After a tense stand-off with soldiers and garda­ and an exchange of fire, they escape and are never caught. It is, and will remain, the deadliest ever confrontation between the Irish security forces and the IRA.

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‘Garda Sheehan and Private Kelly were killed in front of me . . . I survived in some miraculous way’ Don Tidey

November 1983. As top supermarket executive Don Tidey sets out on the school run, he is snatched from his car and driven away at speed. The IRA, using kidnapping to fund its armed campaign, has its latest victim.

What follows is a massive manhunt and, twenty-three days later, a chaotic rescue in a Leitrim wood. No one emerges unscathed – not the man at the centre of the drama, not the local community, not the gardaì, not the Irish state. And especially not the families of the soldier and the young garda killed as Tidey is freed.

Powerful, intimate and searching, The Kidnapping is a brilliantly reported account of an iconic episode. At its heart are remarkable interviews with Don Tidey, talking about these events in detail for the first time, and with the families of Private Kelly and Garda Sheehan who explain the devastating fall-out for them. The book also raises thought-provoking questions about the legacy of these events for today’s Ireland.

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Additional information

Weight 463 g
Dimensions 23.4 × 15.3 × 2.7 cm










364.15409415 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K

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