Kilkenny in the Revolutionary Decade

Kilkenny was described by Ernie O’Malley as ‘slack’ during the War of Independence. Was this really the case? Kilkenny has a notable revolutionary history—as crucible of the Tithe War (1830s), birthplace of one the founders of the IRB, James Stephens (1858), and a rebel turnout, albeit small (1916). Also, the attack and capture of Hugginstowm…

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The Truce

A century ago, at noon on 11 July 1921, a truce came into effect in the Anglo-Irish war between theIRA and Crown forces. Why did it happen then—and why had peace feelers in late 1920 failed? What motivated each side to sue for peace? What were their expectations? To address these and other questions tune…

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George V’s opening of the Northern Ireland parliament

On 22 June 1921 King George V officially opened the Northern Ireland parliament, thusconfirming the existence of Northern Ireland as set out in the 1920 Government of Ireland Act.Moreover, since the formation of the Ulster Special Constabulary in autumn 1920 it also had themeans to defend itself. To discuss these and related matters tune in…

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Mayo in the revolutionary decade

Despite a notable revolutionary pedigree—scene of a French invasion in support of the 1798 Rebellion and cradle of the Land League in 1879—Mayo was a ‘slow starter’ in the War of Independence, with major IRA engagements with Crown forces only starting in the spring of 1921. It was also the scene of major agrarian unrest.…

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The burning of the Custom House, 25 May 1921

On 25 May 1921, Dublin’s Custom House, headquarters of the Local Government Board of Ireland,was occupied and then burnt in an operation involving over 100 IRA volunteers. It has long beenregarded as a propaganda coup but a military disaster for the IRA. But are either of these assumptions correct? Did it disrupt British administration? Did…

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Wexford in the Revolutionary Decade

While not in the vanguard of armed activity during the War of Independence, Wexford has the distinction of being one of the few counties outside Dublin that saw action during the 1916 Rising. On the other hand it was also one of the few places where John Redmond’s (a native of the county) Irish Parliamentary…

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Clare in the revolutionary decade

New History Ireland Hedge School PODCASTClare in the revolutionary decade Despite its apparent geographical isolation, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and north, and the River Shannon to the south and east, County Clare has been centre stage in Irish political life, from the election of Daniel O’Connell in 1828, to the equally ground-breaking…

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Limerick Curfew Murders

A new History Ireland podcast about the Limerick Curfew Murders. On the night of the 6/7 March 1921, the Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, his predecessor, Michael O’Callaghan, and IRA Volunteer Joseph O’Donoghue, were shot dead by an Auxiliary death squad lead by Maj. George Montagu Nathan. (In an ironic twist Nathan was later killed…

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