Conflict in Dublin and the provinces

The period formally remembered as the Irish Civil War began at 4.30am on 28 June 1922, when Easter Rising veteran and now NA officer Captain Johnny Doyle, after one misfire and a hefty kick to the breach of his 181b gun, fired a shell at the Four Courts. However, tensions had been mounting for several months. This shot was not the first to be exchanged between rival members of the IRA since the signing of the Treaty and an uneasy standoff had developed in Limerick in March after inconclusive...

The Anglo Irish

Irish Nationalists

In many respects the Irish Civil War bore remarkable similarities to the conflicts that had rent Ireland during the previous 200 years, in that it was fought between Irishmen with different views of how their country should be governed. Its principal difference was that it was contested over how an independent Irish State should be governed, though the nature of that state's relationship with its British neighbour was also central to the cause of the war, as was the existence of Northern...

The Anglo Irish peace and the Republicans

Assassination Sir Henry Wilson

Although the ceasefire of July 1921 effectively brought to an end the phase of the hostilities known as the Anglo-Irish War, few knew it at the time. Both the British and the IRA used it as a breathing space to re-arm, gather intelligence and limber up for the next round. During the London peace negotiations in the autumn and winter of 1921 the British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, continually pressured the Irish negotiators with threats of renewed violence on a scale hitherto unseen. Lloyd...

Secondary sources

Abbott, R., Police Casualties in Ireland 1919-1923 Dublin Mercier Press, 2000 Adair, J., Puritans Religion and Politics in Seventeenth Century England and America Stroud Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1998 Allen, G The Garcia Siochdna London Gill and MacMillan, 1999 Babington, A., Military Intervention in Britain From the Gordon Riots to the Gibraltar Incident london amp New York Routledge, 1991 Barry, P., Guerrilla Days in Ireland New York Robert Reinhart Publishers, 1995 Bartlett, T., and Jeffrey,...

Robert Erskine Childers DSOTD 18701922

Erskine Childers

Erskine Childers was many things, soldier, author, British civil servant, gun runner and member of the Hail for Co. Wicklow, yet he was never really accepted by his fellow Republicans who never forgave his Anglo-Irish origins. He dedicated much of his life to the cause of Irish independence and much to the chagrin of his contemporaries became a close confidant of de Valera. Despite his holding no military appointment during the civil war both the British and Irish governments vilified Childers...

Irish Civil

Building Ruins

On 6 December 1921 a treaty was signed between the representatives of the firitisli Government and the self-proclaimed Irish Republic, which brought to an end the cycle of violence that has become known as the Anglo-Irish War, Irish War of independence or more colloquially as 'The Troubles'.1 Although the terms of ihe Anglo-Irish Treaty fell far short of the Independent Irish Republic that many members of the Irish Republican Army IRA had fought for since the Easter Rising of 1916, it did grant...

Tentative deescalation

Execution Partisans

Once again there were parallels between the end of the civii war and the Anglo-Irish War in that no one could be sure that it was really over. Unlike the Anglo-Irish War, however, there was no truce, no negotiations no settlement the Republicans conceded nothing, not even defeat, and Ireland remained on a war footing. The iRA's guerrillas simply dumped their weapons and went home to await the next time. The fact that the IRA had not been defeated would come back to haunt the Irish Government...

Republican forces

Provisional Government Forces Ireland

The anti-Treaty IRA had its roots in the IRA that had fought the British during the Anglo-Irish War, and used that title and its rank structures throughout the Irish Civil War, The majority of IRA units that had fought against the British declared against the Treaty and the Republicans utilized the existing IRA battalion, brigade and divisional structures of the Anglo-Irish War. Although the Irregulars adopted the IRA's organization they did not Inherit many of its key personnel or indeed...

A republic divided

Anglo Irish Trade Agreement 1938

Because the IRA hail more or less ceased operations without actually admitting defeat Cosgrave's government spent the best part of a decade trying to contain the remnants of what would now be termed 'physical force' Republicanism exemplified by the modern IRA splinter groups. Most commentators agree that the 1920s were unhappy times for Ireland and when the IRA shot O'Higgins in 1927 many feared a second civil war. Fortunately the shooting did not herald renewed violence but clearly illustrated...

Glossary and abbreviations

Military Equipment Being Shipped

AARIR American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic ASU Active Service Unit originally part of the Dublin IRA, comprised of full-time IRA guerriilas, it later became part of the Dublin Guards, in a broader sense, the term came to mean any small, full-time IRA guerrilla unit. Civic Guards the new constabulary established by the Saorstat in February 1922, following the departure of the Royal Irish Constabulary RIC . in September 1922 it ceased to be an armed force and it was...

Chronology

Irish Parliament 1920

191K 14 December Sinn Fein wins a landslide victory in the Irish General Election 1919 21 January Traditional start date of the Anglo-Irish War 1921 11 July Anglo-Irish War ends 6 December A treaty is signed but is denounced by de Valera because it recognizes the Crown, The Irish Republican Brotherhood IRB calls for unity and the Dail votes in favour of the Treaty. The IRA's General Headquarters GHQ splits nine to four in favour of the Treaty 1922 January De Valera resigns as President of the...

Northern Ireland

1921 English Fashion

Even though the bulk of military activity during the Anglo-Irish War had taken place in south-west Ireland it was events in the north-east that precipitated the cycle of violence that led to the Truce in 1921. Ulster was unlike the rest of the country In that it was where the bulk of the Protestant population was concentrated and where the majority supported Unionism. Unionists viewed the Government of Ireland Act as the final settlement to the Home Rule issue and consequently felt that the...

Dublin 28 June5 July 1922

Mens Trench Coat Black Dublin

The Republicans' lack of strategic thought was exemplified by the presence of 12 of the Executive's 16 members in the Four Courts, including Chief of Staff Joe McKelvey, Rory O'Connor and Liam Mellows abrogating their command responsibilities and acting as common soldiers. Contained within a small area of Dublin they were unable to direct operations elsewhere. Commandant O'Brien worked out plans for the defence of the Four Courts with Ernie O'Malley OC 2nd Southern Division and Oscar Traynor OC...

Major General James Emmet Dalton MC 18981978

Emmet Dalton Productions Ireland Film

Considering that Emmet Dalton was a Secretary to the Senate, played such a prominent role in the IRA during the Anglo-Irish War, commanded the artillery that attacked the Four Courts, broke the back of the 'Munster Republic' and was with Collins when he was killed at Real na mBlatli it is astonishing that so little information about his life seems to have survived. His name crops up again and again in accounts of Ireland's revolution yet a casual search of the internet turns up very little. He...

Great Britain

Although the Anglo-Irish War and the Irish Civil War featured regularly in the British press and took up a significant amount of Government time and effort it would be wrong to assume that Ireland was the most important item on the British agenda. In the wake of World War I the British Empire had to deal with problems ranging from suppressing an insurgency in Iraq to readjusting to peace. There can be little doubt that the British would have preferred that the Home Rule Bill had not been passed...

The guerrilla wan 19 August 192224 May 1923

Train Ambush Civil War Ireland 1922

The guerrilla phase was the longest and in many respects the bitterest stage of the civil war. In all it would last nine months and see an Irish government's frustration manifest itself in a willingness to act ruthlessly. Although the fall of Cork did much to undermine the Republican cause the Provisional Government suffered a double blow when Griffith died of a brain haemorrhage on 12 August and Collins was killed in an IRA ambush on 22 August at Heal na mBlath, Co. Cork. No one really knows...

July19 August 1922

Michael Collins Funeral

Again there arc parallels between IRA activity outside Dublin in the events of taster 1916 and June 1922. As in 1916 the forces were divided and confused orders were issued and countermanded. In response to an appeal from Traynor, Mick Sheehan and over 100 men from South Tipperary occupied Blessing ton, Co. Dublin on 1 July 1922 with the intent of marching on the capital 15 miles away. Over 2 X men from the South Dublin Brigade and Kildare IRA as vvell as escapees from the fighting in Dublin...