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Lecture 10: The War of Independence, Treaty and Civil War.

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1 Lecture 10: The War of Independence, Treaty and Civil War

2 1. War of Independence 2. The Anglo-Irish Treaty 3. The Civil War

3 Anglo-Irish War ( ) Tactics: guerrilla campaign of ambush and assassination Campaign against British forces Mounted by the Irish Volunteers/IRA Began Jan : 9 Volunteers killed two policemen at an ambush in Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary Approx people lost their lives during the conflict (405 police, 150 military, and an estimated 750 IRA and civilians.)

4 The Soloheadbeg ambush was unpopular with many members of Sinn Féin The Soloheadbeg incident may be regarded as an expression of militant republican frustration with Sinn Féin’s political initiatives The Volunteers took action to ensure that the Sinn Féin leadership did not compromise the republican demand

5 The Guerrilla Offensive: Three Broad Phases 1. January 1919-March 1920: a low-key campaign 2. March 1920-December 1920: confrontational approaches 3. December 1920-July 1921: intelligence gathering and the move to negotiated settlement

6 Social class & militant republicans Defy easy categorisation No clear social profile The very poor of rural Ireland were not active in the IRA – nor were the most prosperous A middle-class revolution 2/3 of the members of the Dáil were urban professionals Only 1/3 was drawn from agriculture/industry/commerce

7 Militant republicans Well-educated Correlation between IRA militancy and the influence of the teaching of the Christian Brothers Service in the British army. Ex-servicemen like Tom Barry proved invaluable to the IRA Tom Barry

8 IRA tactics Third Tipperary Brigade Flying Column Offensive against communication involved cutting roads off and restricting military and police patrols to routes offering good ambush prospects Burning of abandoned police stations and big houses Assassination in the city, ambush in rural areas

9 The British Response IRA attacks intensified in winter 1919/20 RIC had been forced to retreat into stronger barracks RIC had surrendered control of large parts of the country British troops searching a car

10 The British Response Combination of coercion and conciliation Home Rule Bill re-drafted in RIC reinforced – Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries Emergency legislation introduced Defence of the Realm Acts superseded by Restoration of Order Act in August 1920

11 Defence of the Realm Acts (DORA) Came into effect during the First World War Emergency legislation – empowered the government to make regulations for public safety During the Anglo-Irish War DORA regulations widely used to restrict firearms, create Special Military Areas and to substitute courts martial for jury trial

12 Some of the British secret intelligence officers killed by Collins’ hit squad on ‘Bloody Sunday’, November 21 st 1920

13 …‘to realise the full horrors of the night one has to think of bands of men inflamed with drink raging about the streets firing rifles wildly, burning houses here and there and loudly threatening to come again tonight and complete their work.’ Article in Manchester Guardian following the sack of Balbriggan, 1920

14 Government of Ireland Act (1920) An attempt to solve the nationalist issue in the south and unionist demands in the north Resulted in two separate parliaments in Dublin and Belfast

15 Irish delegation in Hans Place, London on the day after the signing. Members of the Irish delegation consisted of Arthur Griffith, Robert Barton, Michael Collins, Eamonn Duggan and Charles Gavan-Duffy, with Erskine Childers as principal secretary

16 The Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921) The principal areas of discussion included: 1.the constitutional position of the new Irish state and its relationship with Britain 2. The geographical area administered by the state 3. the implications for the defence of Britain arising from the new political arrangements 4. the determination of financial obligations.

17 ‘I have to communicate with Sir James Craig tonight. Here are the alternative letters which I have prepared, one enclosing articles of agreement reached by his majesty’s government and yourselves and the other saying that SF representatives refuse to come into the empire. If I send this letter it is war and war within three days. Which letter am I to send? If the messenger is to reach Craig in time we must know your answer by 10pm tonight. You can have until then, but no longer, to decide whether you will give peace or war to your country.’ Llyod George, Dec

18 The Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921) Main defence of the Treaty – it was the best available compromise Collins: ‘gives us freedom – not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire and develop to, but the freedom to achieve it.’ Anti-Treatyites: Did not deliver a republic. Oath of allegiance was an outright betrayal of their principles 7 January 1922: Treaty ratified by 64 votes to 57.

19 IRA convention held March 26 th 1922 in defiance of the government Most members of the IRA were opposed to the treaty – known as the Irregulars April 13 th 1922: Rory O’Connor led a force of Irregulars into the Four Courts (above)

20 Civil War Lull of 6 months between the signing of the treaty and the beginning of civil war hostilities Civil War began 28 June 1922 when government troops attacked headquarters of the Irregulars in the Four Courts, Dublin Anti-Treaty forces: 12,900 men Government: 9000 semi-trained recruits

21 Ending the Civil War Lynch ‘irreconcilable chief of staff of the Irregulars’ died on April An end to the conflict was then possible Aiken replaced Lynch Unilateral ceasefire 30 April 1923 Liam Lynch, Commanding General of the anti-Treaty IRA

22 A patient being placed in an ambulance No register to show how many lives lost in Civil War 800 national army deaths 400 republican deaths


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