In a Nazi-Occupied Ireland, Where Would You Stand?

Brian Gallagher

In Nazi-occupied Ireland, Roisin Tierney hides her Jewish heritage. But when the chance arises to resist the Nazis, Roisin and her friends face hard choices - that could cost their lives.

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272 pages
196x130 mm

Also available as an Electronic Book (ePub)


Dublin, 1943, and Roisin Tierney has changed her identity to evade the police in Nazi-occupied Ireland. With spies and informers a constant threat, Roisin must choose her friends carefully, and keep her Jewish heritage hidden at all costs.

With her mother a prisoner in Spike Island Concentration Camp, and her father shipped abroad for forced labour, Roisin wants to resist. But who can you trust in a country ruthlessly policed by the Gestapo? Her friend Kevin is sympathetic, but has a politician father who carries out German orders. Her other friend Mary is anti-Nazi, but has secrets of her own to conceal. Some Irish people are Nazi sympathisers, some reluctant collaborators, and some fighting with the resistance, so it’s hard to know where to turn. 

But Roisin knows time is not on her side - and sooner or later she’ll have to risk everything for the chance of a better future.

BRIAN GALLAGHER was born in Dublin. He is a full-time writer whose plays and short stories have been produced in Ireland, Britain and Canada. He has worked extensively in radio and television, writing many dramas and documentaries.

Brian is the author of four adult novels, and his other books of historical fiction for young readers are One Good Turn and Friend or Foe – both set in Dublin in 1916; Stormclouds, which takes place in Northern Ireland during the turbulent summer of 1969; Secrets and Shadows, a spy novel that begins with the North Strand bombings during the Second World War; Taking Sides, about the Irish Civil War; Across the Divide, set during the 1913 Lockout, Arrivals, a time-slip novel set between modern and early-twentieth-century Ontario, and Pawns, set during Ireland’s War of Independence. Brian lives with his family in Dublin. His latest book, Spies, is a sequel to Pawns.

Find out more about Brian's books at 

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it

Ireland’s Own, young reader Jonathan McGrath

an exciting and thrilling adventure story

Irish Examiner

the vivid imagery within the pages allows the reader to submerge themselves into a believable, realistic tale. The tension is palpable, the atmosphere, dramatic. The characters are vibrant and easy to identify with as they struggle to find courage and strength to battle against the prevailing circumstances and public opinion. These are gutsy kids; risk-takers, sometimes given to rash actions, but all the while keeping an uncertain future in sight. And the story-telling! The pacing, the rhythm and the cadence of the language fills the imagination and insight, provoking thought and deep consideration. Resistance is an important and riveting book

Fallen Star Stories

a very striking cover … well worth reading and well plotted … exciting drama

Tuam Herald

Resistance, his latest work, takes a very interesting tack, however, by crossing the boundary of historical fiction into ‘history’ that never happened at all … although it might easily have done so … What should make us all ponder the implications of Gallagher’s quasi-history lesson is the way the opposition is so effectively silenced when ‘outspoken journalists, priests and politicians had been rounded up in the early days of the occupation and never seen again.’ … This fiction is so close to fact that readers are left to question not only what might have been under Nazi rule, but what moral choices might lie ahead for society

Evening Echo

I enjoyed reading the prologue and realising the measures the oppressed took in the hopes of not being discovered. My favourite character was Mary. She never stopped doing her bit to try and get rid of what she thought wasn’t right. I really liked how she showed that too much of a good thing can compromise safety, as shown when Mary stands up to Dennis, but ends up showing her hand and revealing that she knows that he is a Nazi informant, putting Roisín (Rachel) in danger. If asked to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 10, I would answer 8 – 9

Seomra Ranga
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Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Nicola Heaney

Other books by this author
  • Across the Divide
  • Taking Sides
  • Secrets and Shadows
  • Stormclouds

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