Kevin O'Higgins



pfkf1

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He indirectly brought FF into Irish politics, so FFers should be happy with him, as should most people as he set up the Gardai (unarmed) which was different to all other countries and he set up the court systems, so I think history looks kindly on him and if he had not been murdered in 1927, he could well have become Taoiseach one day.
 

White Horse

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O'Higgins opposed the summary execution of the 77. In addition, he was horrified about the unauthorised reprisal killings in Kerry. He was parmamount in bring the Irish Army under control of the Dail. He is certainly no war criminal.

As for patriotism. All the people who fought on both sides in the Civil War were patriots. Even people I disagree with like Brugha were patriots.
 
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A competent, tough minister.

good in terms of facing down members of the Army in 1924, developing institutions of the new state, not letting personal feelings get in way of government business (execution of Rory O`Connor)

Bad: O`Connors and the lads executions not exactly legal, too pro-Imperialist (drove a lot of the Old Republicans out of Cumann na nGaedhal as a result damaged the party in the long-run).
 

Catalpa

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A complicated figure. Very capable and a good post war Minister but too cold and ruthless for my liking, and anyway his stance on the Treaty I could never agree with.

It was stupid to shoot him five years after the Civil War though - it gained nothing for Republicanism at all.
 

Conuil

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In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.
 

Pat_Corkery

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War criminal or patriot?
The manner in which he did things I disagree with. 77 people killed like that in a Western democracy is not right, regardless of the times. But actions like his were common place of the Free State to kill anything that was against them. Post-Civil War he was a good minister. He set up the Gardaí and so on. Overall he was one of our better Justice Ministers. I'd never call him a patriot, he was too much of a Dual Monarchist for that. A war criminal that is open to debate. Either way he was a good minister.
 

Catalpa

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Conuil said:
In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.
Was that not decided by the Free State Cabinet on the basis of joint responsibility rather than specifically by Higgins alone?
 

Cogadh

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Catalpa said:
Conuil said:
In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.
Was that not decided by the Free State Cabinet on the basis of joint responsibility rather than specifically by Higgins alone?
Yes I believe you are correct O'Higgins actually opposed the executions but the cabinet decided to go ahead anyway. After the decision was made O'Higgins felt it was his duty to defend them in the Dáil.
 

Nedz Newt

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O'Higgins became a hate figure over the executions, though some narratives record Mulcahy as the prime mover and O'Higgins as someone who had to be persuaded.
Later, he became the most eloquent defender of the prosections, and this cemented his reputation.

I will try to find the reference, I recall reading of a speech O'Higgins made in the Dail attacking Erskne Childers in 1922. It was pure poison, and probably to do with the fact the Childers was as erudite as O'Higgins himself.
Shortly after, the FS Govt had Childers executed on the flimsiest of excuses.

To try to be objective, he strikes me as a man I would want on my side, he was intelligent, committed and tough and seems to have had a capacity to work, and to put country before self.
These are all great qualities, and if the civil war hadn't poisoned the well, would be recognised as such.

The executions were wrong, and O'Higgins murder equally so.
 

Rocky

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Cogadh said:
Catalpa said:
Conuil said:
In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.
Was that not decided by the Free State Cabinet on the basis of joint responsibility rather than specifically by Higgins alone?
Yes I believe you are correct O'Higgins actually opposed the executions but the cabinet decided to go ahead anyway. After the decision was made O'Higgins felt it was his duty to defend them in the Dáil.
Yeah that's correct. It's recorded in De Vere Biography of O'Higgins. He opposed the execution of Mellows, O'Conner etc. and only agreed to it after a lot of pressure from the whole cabinet except from Joseph McGrath who also opposed it.

Due to the fact that it felt within his ministerial role he felt that it was his reasonability to defend the decision in the Dail, which he did and he broke down while doing it. I think that whole episode really shows the shear tragedy of the period and the fact that O'Higgins takes all the blame for the executions is just wrong.
 
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Shortly before he was shot O`Higgins was addressing a rally in Monaghan I think was heckled about the 77 he replied "And 77 more if needed". It was reported in the press at the time and it can be imagined the hardening it would have to lead to among some members of the IRA. One of the men who shot them Tim Coughlan was later killed in Garda custody. He was a card-carrying member of Fianna Fáil
 

The Collective.

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Dam right a hero.
 

edifice.

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I know Cael labours the point about Crown Law in Ireland but in instances like this the point becomes salient. The law upon which O'Higgins and others invoked to execute republicans was the very law which republicans, and O'Higgins at one time, killed for to be removed from Ireland. It goes without saying that once they tasted the political power which a British Act of Parliament gave them they killed to consolidate it. DeValera did the exact same under the same British Parliamentary Act.
 

gaelach

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edifice. said:
I know Cael labours the point about Crown Law in Ireland but in instances like this the point becomes salient. The law upon which O'Higgins and others invoked to execute republicans was the very law which republicans, and O'Higgins at one time, killed for to be removed from Ireland. It goes without saying that once they tasted the political power which a British Act of Parliament gave them they killed to consolidate it. DeValera did the exact same under the same British Parliamentary Act.
Could one not argue tha DeValera did so under the laws given to him by the people i.e Bunreacht na hÉireann?(Post 1937of course)
 

Leopold Bloom

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The Shinners and all that crowd often make me laugh (that is, when they don't make me want to vomit): the way they go on you'd think they'd won the civil war. They didn't: they lost. They dumped all their arms and capitulated.

And these were the guys who told us they were going to take on Lloyd George and the might of the British Empire and fight on until the death until they won their Republic.

What a joke! Truth is, many of the diehard republicans of the era were actually what were called Truciliers who actually did none of the hard fighting in the Black and Tan war.
 

Leopold Bloom

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The Hallion said:
Kevin O'Higgins, one of the greatest hits of the 20th century.
Murdered in cold blood.
 

scarface

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Leopold Bloom said:
The Shinners and all that crowd often make me laugh (that is, when they don't make me want to vomit): the way they go on you'd think they'd won the civil war. They didn't: they lost. They dumped all their arms and capitulated.

And these were the guys who told us they were going to take on Lloyd George and the might of the British Empire and fight on until the death until they won their Republic.

What a joke! Truth is, many of the diehard republicans of the era were actually what were called Truciliers who actually did none of the hard fighting in the Black and Tan war.
that's an absolute nonsense the vast majority of the free state troops were ex british soldiers and Irish cowards who would'nt fight during the Tan war
 

White Horse

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scarface said:
Leopold Bloom said:
The Shinners and all that crowd often make me laugh (that is, when they don't make me want to vomit): the way they go on you'd think they'd won the civil war. They didn't: they lost. They dumped all their arms and capitulated.

And these were the guys who told us they were going to take on Lloyd George and the might of the British Empire and fight on until the death until they won their Republic.

What a joke! Truth is, many of the diehard republicans of the era were actually what were called Truciliers who actually did none of the hard fighting in the Black and Tan war.
that's an absolute nonsense the vast majority of the free state troops were ex british soldiers and Irish cowards who would'nt fight during the Tan war
You are merely adding to the nonsense.

You have just posted pure republican propaganda and lies.
 


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