Liam Lynch at the start of the Irish Civil War

Éireann_Ascendant

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Article on Liam Lynch and his actions as IRA Chief of Staff during the immediate start of the Irish Civil War (third part of a series).

The Fog of Certainty: Liam Lynch and the Start of the Civil War, 1922 (Part III)

On the 8th July 1922, the 'Free State' newspaper – the title of which left no ambiguity as to its allegiance – published a scathing account of Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the IRA forces, and his actions while leaving Dublin the month before. Under the provocative headline, THE HONOUR OF THE IRREGULARS, the article told how:

"Mr Liam Lynch, on the outbreak of hostilities, did not join his command in the Four Courts. He was arrested by the National troops and taken to Wellington [now Griffith] Barracks. He was released on giving his word of honour that he disapproved of the policy of the Irregulars."
The article finished with a sneer: “Is further comment on this pure-souled patriot necessary?”



(Liam Lynch)​

Lynch did not take this affront lying down. Writing four days later, he began by taking exception to being referred to as ‘Mr’ without the dignity of his military rank. As for repudiating the behaviour of his anti-Treaty compatriots, Lynch insisted that nothing could have been further from the truth.

Not only had he defended the actions of the Four Courts garrison (then under attack), he wrote, he had told his captors in Wellington Barracks that he reserved the right to take whatever action he thought proper. That would be even if it meant defying the Provisional Government, the madness of which, he said, “would become even more evident when hundreds of more lives would be lost.”

Even after his spirited defence, the allegation that he had lied to get out of a bind continued to needle at Lynch. As the anti-Treaty leadership regrouped in Clonmel, he griped to whoever would listen: “I gave no promise of any kind. They wanted me to but I refused. How can they tell such lies?”

Still, whatever resentment Lynch had with the Provisional Government, he did not hold it against its soldiers. To the contrary, he insisted the prisoners the IRA had taken be served the same food as them, while granting them the freedom of Clonmel Barracks and even refusing to have them questioned for information. The idea that they would report on their colleagues offended him as much as the suggestion he had broken his word.

One onlooker was moved to note how:

[Lynch] was a strange young man to be at the head of a rebel army…He was handsome, in a boyish, innocent way. His large blue eyes and open countenance indicated his transparent honesty. His looks, bearing and presence might have belonged to a single-minded devoted priest.


(Article on Liam Lynch being the top middle-column)
 


Dimples 77

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Article on Liam Lynch and his actions as IRA Chief of Staff during the immediate start of the Irish Civil War (third part of a series).

The Fog of Certainty: Liam Lynch and the Start of the Civil War, 1922 (Part III)

On the 8th July 1922, the 'Free State' newspaper – the title of which left no ambiguity as to its allegiance – published a scathing account of Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the IRA forces, and his actions while leaving Dublin the month before. Under the provocative headline, THE HONOUR OF THE IRREGULARS, the article told how:


The article finished with a sneer: “Is further comment on this pure-souled patriot necessary?”



(Liam Lynch)​

Lynch did not take this affront lying down. Writing four days later, he began by taking exception to being referred to as ‘Mr’ without the dignity of his military rank. As for repudiating the behaviour of his anti-Treaty compatriots, Lynch insisted that nothing could have been further from the truth.

Not only had he defended the actions of the Four Courts garrison (then under attack), he wrote, he had told his captors in Wellington Barracks that he reserved the right to take whatever action he thought proper. That would be even if it meant defying the Provisional Government, the madness of which, he said, “would become even more evident when hundreds of more lives would be lost.”

Even after his spirited defence, the allegation that he had lied to get out of a bind continued to needle at Lynch. As the anti-Treaty leadership regrouped in Clonmel, he griped to whoever would listen: “I gave no promise of any kind. They wanted me to but I refused. How can they tell such lies?”

Still, whatever resentment Lynch had with the Provisional Government, he did not hold it against its soldiers. To the contrary, he insisted the prisoners the IRA had taken be served the same food as them, while granting them the freedom of Clonmel Barracks and even refusing to have them questioned for information. The idea that they would report on their colleagues offended him as much as the suggestion he had broken his word.

One onlooker was moved to note how:





(Article on Liam Lynch being the top middle-column)

It's quite obvious that he did tell the Free Staters what they wanted to hear, in order to get his own sorry skin freed.

Why else would they have released him?

He wasn't the first, and certainly wasn't the last "Irish Republican" who didn't defend his supposed beliefs when faced with the prospect of a long time in captivity.
 

Dimples 77

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Article on Liam Lynch and his actions as IRA Chief of Staff during the immediate start of the Irish Civil War (third part of a series).

The Fog of Certainty: Liam Lynch and the Start of the Civil War, 1922 (Part III)

On the 8th July 1922, the 'Free State' newspaper – the title of which left no ambiguity as to its allegiance – published a scathing account of Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the IRA forces, and his actions while leaving Dublin the month before. Under the provocative headline, THE HONOUR OF THE IRREGULARS, the article told how:


The article finished with a sneer: “Is further comment on this pure-souled patriot necessary?”



(Liam Lynch)​

Lynch did not take this affront lying down. Writing four days later, he began by taking exception to being referred to as ‘Mr’ without the dignity of his military rank. As for repudiating the behaviour of his anti-Treaty compatriots, Lynch insisted that nothing could have been further from the truth.

Not only had he defended the actions of the Four Courts garrison (then under attack), he wrote, he had told his captors in Wellington Barracks that he reserved the right to take whatever action he thought proper. That would be even if it meant defying the Provisional Government, the madness of which, he said, “would become even more evident when hundreds of more lives would be lost.”

Even after his spirited defence, the allegation that he had lied to get out of a bind continued to needle at Lynch. As the anti-Treaty leadership regrouped in Clonmel, he griped to whoever would listen: “I gave no promise of any kind. They wanted me to but I refused. How can they tell such lies?”

Still, whatever resentment Lynch had with the Provisional Government, he did not hold it against its soldiers. To the contrary, he insisted the prisoners the IRA had taken be served the same food as them, while granting them the freedom of Clonmel Barracks and even refusing to have them questioned for information. The idea that they would report on their colleagues offended him as much as the suggestion he had broken his word.

One onlooker was moved to note how:





(Article on Liam Lynch being the top middle-column)

So Lynch's response to this truth being published by the Free Staters was to essentially claim "that's fake news".
 

making waves

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In February 1922 Liam Lynch took a payment of £50 from the owners of a sawmills in Cork to send in an IRA unit under his command to break a strike (which they did). He acted as a strike-breaking mercenary.
 

Alan Alda

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Ireland was/is an AXIS power/sympathizer.
Facts prove that Eire was sympathetic to Hitler and also we maintained a paternalistic,conservative state, up to the present day.
Tl;dr...
Eire is/was a bona fide, Fascist State.
 
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Windowshopper

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In a way I think Lynch's annoyance tells us a lot of his personality. If I were him I would have lied and would have made no bones that I lied afterwards. It's impossible to tell, my inclination is that if anyone acted as Lynch claimed he acted it would have been Lynch.

I have worked with some of Lynch's letters but not enough to get a full measure of the man (if that is even possible from reading someone's correspondence).

Responses here I think will fall on whether people admire or dislike the man or not.
 
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Boy M5

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Some crazy posts on here.
I will read the 1st 2 posts as I might learn something about him - as my knowledge of him is limited compared to his comrades and peers (I suspect due to Dev) - isn't the tunic he wore the day he died on display in Collins Barracks?
 

Windowshopper

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Some crazy posts on here.
I will read the 1st 2 posts as I might learn something about him - as my knowledge of him is limited compared to his comrades and peers (I suspect due to Dev) - isn't the tunic he wore the day he died on display in Collins Barracks?
I think that image of Dev is unfair. I think the reason many didn't know about him is that he was soldier and not a politician, and really the only solidiers who were well known were those who later rose to political promenance. He was a young man when he died and his time as a national figure was short.

I think his personality as well meant that dictators v democrats school of the Irish civil war pictured him as a fanatic. Even from the quote of the OP even of his comrades thought his a bit of an idealist.
 

Boy M5

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I think that image of Dev is unfair. I think the reason many didn't know about him is that he was soldier and not a politician, and really the only solidiers who were well known were those who later rose to political promenance. He was a young man when he died and his time as a national figure was short.

I think his personality as well meant that dictators v democrats school of the Irish civil war pictured him as a fanatic. Even from the quote of the OP even of his comrades thought his a bit of an idealist.
The civil war was in good part (at least at the start) was idealism versus pragmatism.

As for Dev he cast a long shadow and was always "the Chief"
 

Mick Mac

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Looking back at men like Gen Lynch I wonder would we call them the populist upstarts of their generation. The identity obsessed deplorables and hobbits of then.
 

IvoShandor

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Looking back at men like Gen Lynch I wonder would we call them the populist upstarts of their generation. The identity obsessed deplorables and hobbits of then.

Eh?
 

Mick Mac

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cricket

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As in most countries, the independence movement was a broad coalition, from revolutionaries like Connolly to Catholic resistance supporters like Dev and just about every type in between. It's after the independence has been gained that the ideological differences emerge. Again, a world wide phenomenon.
 

realistic1

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In February 1922 Liam Lynch took a payment of £50 from the owners of a sawmills in Cork to send in an IRA unit under his command to break a strike (which they did). He acted as a strike-breaking mercenary.
Any links to back this up? The Socialist Party are a pro-Union party, so we all have to be very skeptical when they make accusation about Republicans and Nationalists.
 

bogtrotter

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As in most countries, the independence movement was a broad coalition, from revolutionaries like Connolly to Catholic resistance supporters like Dev and just about every type in between. It's after the independence has been gained that the ideological differences emerge. Again, a world wide phenomenon.
Sorry to disappoint you but independence was not gained, just partial independence.....6 counties are still under British rule...
 

making waves

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Any links to back this up? The Socialist Party are a pro-Union party, so we all have to be very skeptical when they make accusation about Republicans and Nationalists.
The sawmill owners sent a letter to the SF leadership with £50 thanking them for the IRA's intervention and stating that they had also sent £50 to Lynch for ordering the IRA unit to break the strike. The letter is in the national archives. I would have to root out my research notes for the reference number - but the document is there if you want to check it. Both pro- and anti-Treaty IRA engaged in widespread strike breaking in the run up to and during the civil war.

As for claims I make about nationalists / republicans on here - I do so with the back up of evidence - and without the unfounded derogatory abuse that the likes of you are prone to spout,
 

McTell

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Article on Liam Lynch and his actions as IRA Chief of Staff during the immediate start of the Irish Civil War (third part of a series).

The Fog of Certainty: Liam Lynch and the Start of the Civil War, 1922 (Part III)

On the 8th July 1922, the 'Free State' newspaper – the title of which left no ambiguity as to its allegiance – published a scathing account of Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the IRA forces, and his actions while leaving Dublin the month before. /

Sorry, but he was a complete a-hole with nothing to offer the plain people of Ireland.

We couldn't afford all this posturing, never mind the civil war that followed. People like LL had never run so much as a sweetshop in his life, but they knew by instinct how to run the whole island?
 

Talk Back

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Ireland was/is an AXIS power/sympathizer.
Facts prove that Eire was sympathetic to Hitler and also we maintained a paternalistic,conservative state, up to the present day.
Tl;dr...
Eire is/was a bona fide, Fascist State.
So was England - uk collaborated with the Nazis over the carve up of Czechoslovakia.
 
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