War is a dirty business in which casualties are unavoidable. Politics is dirty, in its own way, and there are casualties to be found there as well.
So should it come as a surprise that a cold-blooded soldier could morph into a cold-blooded politician?
Martin Corry represented the people of Cork once Ireland's internal wrangling after the 1916 Rising was settled in a bloody fashion. Just another farmer, like so many in the largely rural country, and he had proved himself as a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army.
How many soldiers trumpet their patriotic war record to get elected? It's so common it's expected.
As it turns out, Mr. Corry wasn't exactly an ordinary soldier, but then again, civil wars aren't exactly ordinary military actions.
Not just a soldier was Mr. Corry, Fianna Fail TD, but also the chief executioner for the IRA brigade in Cork.
His job was to root out spies from the other side, other Irishmen who believed that they had the best vision for the future of Ireland. Find those who were enemies, who endangered an IRA victory, or supported the other side.
After he found them, he killed them and had the bodies buried in a bog near Knockraha in County Cork. Some Black and Tans, some enemies to the IRA, a fifteen-year-old boy, an elderly woman...the list goes on, as many as 56 bodies perhaps.
And after all that killing, Mr. Corry ran for office, was elected, and sat in the Dail for years and years. No one knew what he did in the IRA until recently, when some tape recordings surfaced.
Mr. Corry might as easily have been chatting about the prospects for barley, so matter-of-fact was he as he told local historian Jim Fitzgerald about his actions. Torture, murder, and the men assigned to do the burials complaining about so many bodies put into the bog it would curse the place.
War is a dirty business. Politics isn't much cleaner. Do you really know much about the person you've elected to public office?