Paul Duggan is an agent with Irish Military Intelligence.
As we meet him, he is a young lieutenant who has found himself suddenly transferred to G2, Military Intelligence, in the Irish Army, and a wholly different type of duty than he had expected. His country is determined to stay neutral but whether Britain and/or Germany will abide by that decision is a huge question.
Dugan is a 'culchie' which apparently is a pejorative term for an Irishman raised on a farm. He had joined the army, it seems, largely as a way to escape, at least for a while, the life everyone expected him to lead - stay on the farm and work the fields. He wanted something different especially as tensions in the late 1930's showed war was a certainty. Then with no warning, he was transferred to G2 because he knew some German but as he points out, "who knows why the army does things? I was in an infantry battalion, western command. Transferred a couple of weeks ago out of the blue".
It would be a while before he learned that his transfer was due largely to his Uncle Timmy, a family friend and powerful politician in Ireland who both wanted something better for Duggan and saw how useful Duggan could be. Tensions were extremely high in the government circles as was between Germany and Britain was just starting.
The worries were several. Would Germany honor Ireland's stated neutrality or decide that the history between the neighboring island nations was enough to get Hitler to go after both? Would Churchill, who was strongly desirous, according to many, of regaining Ireland in the United Kingdom, use the matter as an excuse to invade Ireland and wipe out the last two decades of independence? Would America' Roosevelt take a stand and possibly cause one or both to take place?
That was the world that young Duggan was entering.
"Did you ever know actual knowledge to get in the way of a pub argument?"