The assassination of Sir Henry Wilson and the Irish Civil War

Image: Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson (1922) by Sir Oswald Birley. (Belfast City Council) On 22 June 1922 Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, former Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and Unionist MP for North Down, was assassinated outside his London home in Eaton Square. The anti-Treaty IRA were blamed and six days later, under pressure…

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The ‘Belleek/Pettigo triangle’, May/June 1922

The ‘Belleek/Pettigo triangle’, May/June 1922 As part of the so-called ‘Northern Offensive’, on 27 May 1922, a combined force of pro-TreatyNational Army and anti-Treaty IRA occupied the ‘Belleek/Pettigo triangle’, an enclave ofFermanagh/Northern Ireland only accessible over-land through Free State territory. Less than two weeks later they had been ejected by regular British Army troops; the…

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Sister against sister—women, the Treaty split and the Civil War

Sister against sister—women, the Treaty split and the Civil War (Recorded @ Phizzfest [Phibsborough Community Arts Festival], Sun 15 May 2022, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum) Given their activism in the revolutionary period, now widely acknowledged by historians, why were Irish women and their organizations on the margins of deliberations on the Treaty? Why were Irish women under…

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The internal politics of the IRA before the Civil War

Coming on Friday 8th April The Anglo-Irish Treaty sparked turmoil within the IRA. Some accepted it and joined the ranks of theProvisional Government’s new ‘National Army’; some remained neutral; the majority opposed it, butwith the added twist that on the eve of the Civil War there were two anti-Treaty factions of the IRA,not one. Two…

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Northern Ireland in 1922

Northern Ireland in 1922 While an uneasy peace prevailed in the South following the Truce of July 1921, in Northern Irelandcommunal violence continued to rage, exemplified most notoriously on 24 March 1922 by the killingsof a ‘respectable’ Catholic family, the McMahons, by an RIC ‘murder gang’. Was this a ‘one-off’ by a ‘rogue’ element or…

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‘We English protest’—anti-colonial solidarity in the metropole

‘We English protest’—anti-colonial solidarity in the metropole So said the long white apron of suffragette and socialist Margaret Buckmaster at a protest in July1921 organised by the Peace with Ireland Council (PIC). How significant were such anti-colonial solidarity movements in Britain in the revolutionary period? How effective were they? To address these and related questions,…

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A century of An Garda Síochána

Image: Eoin O’Duffy, second Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, following the May/June 1922 mutiny and the subsequent resignation of Michael Staines. When the Civic Guard—later renamed An Garda Síochána—was founded in February 1922, the force it replaced, the Royal Irish Constabulary, was itself barely a century old. How much of the culture of the latter…

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Centenary of the Irish Race Congress, Paris, 21-28 January 1922

Within weeks of the ratification of the Treaty by Dáil Éireann an ‘Irish Race Congress’ assembled in Paris representing Irish organizations from twenty-two countries. Inevitably the Treaty split overshadowed its proceedings. Did global Irish experiences moderate or radicalise expectations of Irish independence? What legacy did Irish sovereignty bequeath to the historical memory of the Irish…

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‘Dublin Castle has fallen!’ – the handover, 16 January 1922.

Image: Cover of The Handover: Dublin Castle and the British withdrawal from Ireland, 1922by John Gibney and Kate O’Malley, published by The Royal Irish Academy, 2021. ‘Dublin Castle has fallen!’—the handover, 16 January 1922 Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, a Provisional Government, led by Michael Collins, was tooversee the transition of power until…

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