Seán Mac Eoin and the build-up to the Civil War, 1922

Éireann_Ascendant

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Article on the build-up to the Civil War, from the Dáil debates to the confrontations in Westmeath and Sligo, with a focus on Seán Mac Eoin, the Longford IRA leader turned Free State general.

Shadows and Substance: Seán Mac Eoin and the Slide into Civil War, 1922

Seán Mac Eoin was in a triumphant mood when he came to Athlone to oversee the evacuation of its British garrison in February 1922. Standing in the centre of the Castle square, he addressed the parade of Irish soldiers and the teeming crowds:

"Fellow soldiers and citizens of Athlone and the Midlands, this is a day for Athlone and a day for the Midlands. It is a day for Ireland, the first one glorious day in over three hundred years...Thank God the day has come when I, as your representative, presented arms to the last British soldier and let him walk out of the gate – in other words – he skipped it!"
To those who asked, Mac Eoin knew what to thank for this state of affairs. "Were it not for the ratification of the Treaty this a day we would not see, or perhaps ever see," he said. He had already helped the Treaty be passed through the Dáil in December 1921, when he had seconded Arthur Griffith's motion for the Treaty to be ratified, before speaking up in its favour.


(Seán Mac Eoin)​

As far as he was concerned, the Treaty brought the sort of practical benefits to Ireland that could not be ignored. As he told his fellow delegates in the Dáil:

"I take this course because I know I am doing it in the interests of my country, which I love. To me symbols, recognitions, shadows, have very little meaning. What I want, what the people of Ireland want, is not shadows but substances."
Maintaining this substance, however, would prove to be another challenge. When he returned from Dublin to the barracks in Athlone, he found many of the soldiers there on the verge of mutiny rather than accept the Treaty and its compromises. Mac Eoin was able to quell the unrest then, but remained at the forefront of the struggle as the IRA, as well as the country as a whole, split into pro and anti-Treaty factions.

[video=youtube;-x4NNAy-l4c]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x4NNAy-l4c&t=161s[/video]
(Newsreel of the pro-Treaty rally in Sligo, April 1922, by Páthe)​

Later, in April 1922, Mac Eoin led a procession of soldiers onboard armoured cars through Sligo in support of a pro-Treaty rally that was to be held there. Mac Eoin rode with one hand holding a revolver and the other on the gun-turret of his car. He positioned this vehicle by the post office, occupied by anti-Treaty men, and had its machine-gun trained on the building in an unsubtle warning not to cause trouble.

The rally went off without further incident.
 


Malcolm Redfellow

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'What did you do in the War, Daddy?'
'I kept well out of it.'

Unfair, but MacEoin did keep Longford aside from the Civil War.

Initially the anti-Treaty lot had the advantage. O'Higgins sent (or didn't, according to one's reading) a message to the Executive Committee asking how his 'raw lads' were supposed to face the hardened IRA republicans (see National Archives, D/T, S6696). The Republicans were in the ascendant in all the Provinces, except Leinster. Only seven of the sixteen IRA divisions were reliably loyal to the Ministry of Defence: the first and second southern (commandants Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley) were a third of the total IRA force and were anti-Treaty. Of the old IRA provincial leadership only MacEoin in Athlone and (less reliably) Michael Brennan in Clare were with the Provisional Government.

There is some dispute over who were the combatants. Both sides recruited heavily:
  • The 'trucileers' (that derisory term for the IRA recruits who joined after the Treaty) seem to have weighted the anti-Treaty forces. Liam Lynch (see letter to Director of Organisation, 26 January 1923, in UCD's de Valera papers, P150/1793) reckoned 10,000 of the Cork fighters from the War of Independence remained neutral in the Civil War. In which case, the 'trucileers' were willing, but 'green'.
  • The Provisional Government authorised a force of 20,000 (3 July 1922), which eventually grew to around 55,500 men and 3,500 officers. A factor there was the 1,000 a day who were recruited at a time when national unemployment was around 150,000 (see FSL Lyons, page 463).
Which ought to raise the all-important question: what went wrong for the Republicans?

I'd suggest two issues:
  • The Free Staters had the men (see above) and the matériel: 27,400 rifles, 6,606 side-arms, and 246 Lewis guns, all provided by the British. On top of which, the Provisional Government controlled communications.
  • Lousy planning. Occupying the Four Courts was a symbolic gesture rather than a route to a quick victory. As ought to be clear from what I've tried to argue, speed was the only advantage the Republicans had: a slow-motion coup d'état is a contradiction in terms. Paddy O'Brien (commander at the Four Courts) and Oscar Trainor (commander, first Dublin brigade) wanted to attack the Free State forces from the rear and subject them to constant sniping attacks: they were restrained from doing that by the IRA Executive, not wanting the ordure of opening hostilities. Result: the National Army soon had the Four Courts invested. Once again the reluctance of the IRA Executive to open fire prevented the Four Courts being relieved.
 
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Roberto Jordan

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'What did you do in the War, Daddy?'
'I kept well out of it.'

Unfair, but MacEoin did keep Longford aside from the Civil War.

Initially the anti-Treaty lot had the advantage. O'Higgins sent (or didn't, according to one's reading) a message to the Executive Committee asking how his 'raw lads' were supposed to face the hardened IRA republicans (see National Archives, D/T, S6696). The Republicans were in the ascendant in all the Provinces, except Leinster. Only seven of the sixteen IRA divisions were reliably loyal to the Ministry of Defence: the first and second southern (commandants Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley) were a third of the total IRA force and were anti-Treaty. Of the old IRA provincial leadership only MacEoin in Athlone and (less reliably) Michael Brennan in Clare were with the Provisional Government.

There is some dispute over who were the combatants. Both sides recruited heavily:
  • The 'trucileers' (that derisory term for the IRA recruits who joined after the Treaty) seem to have weighted the anti-Treaty forces. Liam Lynch (see letter to Director of Organisation, 26 January 1923, in UCD's de Valera papers, P150/1793) reckoned 10,000 of the Cork fighters from the War of Independence remained neutral in the Civil War. In which case, the 'trucileers' were willing, but 'green'.
  • The Provisional Government authorised a force of 20,000 (3 July 1922), which eventually grew to around 55,500 men and 3,500 officers. A factor there was the 1,000 a day who were recruited at a time when national unemployment was around 150,000 (see FSL Lyons, page 463).
Which ought to raise the all-important question: what went wrong for the Republicans?

I'd suggest two issues:
  • The Free Staters had the men (see above) and the matériel: 27,400 rifles, 6,606 side-arms, and 246 Lewis guns, all provided by the British. On top of which, the Provisional Government controlled communications.
  • Lousy planning. Occupying the Four Courts was a symbolic gesture rather than a route to a quick victory. As ought to be clear from what I've tried to argue, speed was the only advantage the Republicans had: a slow-motion coup d'état is a contradiction in terms. Paddy O'Bren (commander at the Four Courts) and Oscar Trainer (commander, first Dublin brigade) wanted to attack the Free State forces from the rear and subject them to constant sniping attacks: they were restrained from doing that by the IRA Executive, not wanting the ordure of opening hostilities. Result: the National Army soon had the Four Courts invested. Once again the reluctance of the IRA Executive to open fire prevented the Four Courts being relieved.
Anti treaty needed to "win" in the first couple of weeks and needed to do so while having a practical position to take to the British along with an open communication channel through which to do so - even if only to gain time.

While familial history & loyalty, my own romanticism and genetically engineered aversion to the united front that emerged in the form of CnaG makes me sympathetic to the gunmen I can envisage how they might have executed the first part of the above but they were a million miles from the latter parts.
 

owedtojoy

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Article on the build-up to the Civil War, from the Dáil debates to the confrontations in Westmeath and Sligo, with a focus on Seán Mac Eoin, the Longford IRA leader turned Free State general.

Shadows and Substance: Seán Mac Eoin and the Slide into Civil War, 1922

Seán Mac Eoin was in a triumphant mood when he came to Athlone to oversee the evacuation of its British garrison in February 1922. Standing in the centre of the Castle square, he addressed the parade of Irish soldiers and the teeming crowds:



To those who asked, Mac Eoin knew what to thank for this state of affairs. "Were it not for the ratification of the Treaty this a day we would not see, or perhaps ever see," he said. He had already helped the Treaty be passed through the Dáil in December 1921, when he had seconded Arthur Griffith's motion for the Treaty to be ratified, before speaking up in its favour.


(Seán Mac Eoin)​

As far as he was concerned, the Treaty brought the sort of practical benefits to Ireland that could not be ignored. As he told his fellow delegates in the Dáil:



Maintaining this substance, however, would prove to be another challenge. When he returned from Dublin to the barracks in Athlone, he found many of the soldiers there on the verge of mutiny rather than accept the Treaty and its compromises. Mac Eoin was able to quell the unrest then, but remained at the forefront of the struggle as the IRA, as well as the country as a whole, split into pro and anti-Treaty factions.

[video=youtube;-x4NNAy-l4c]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x4NNAy-l4c&t=161s[/video]
(Newsreel of the pro-Treaty rally in Sligo, April 1922, by Páthe)​

Later, in April 1922, Mac Eoin led a procession of soldiers onboard armoured cars through Sligo in support of a pro-Treaty rally that was to be held there. Mac Eoin rode with one hand holding a revolver and the other on the gun-turret of his car. He positioned this vehicle by the post office, occupied by anti-Treaty men, and had its machine-gun trained on the building in an unsubtle warning not to cause trouble.

The rally went off without further incident.
A grand-uncle of mine was one of Mac Eoin's senior officers.

We never passed Custume Barracks without our mother not mentioning it.
 

Éireann_Ascendant

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Lousy planning. Occupying the Four Courts was a symbolic gesture rather than a route to a quick victory. As ought to be clear from what I've tried to argue, speed was the only advantage the Republicans had: a slow-motion coup d'état is a contradiction in terms. Paddy O'Bren (commander at the Four Courts) and Oscar Trainer (commander, first Dublin brigade) wanted to attack the Free State forces from the rear and subject them to constant sniping attacks: they were restrained from doing that by the IRA Executive, not wanting the ordure of opening hostilities. Result: the National Army soon had the Four Courts invested. Once again the reluctance of the IRA Executive to open fire prevented the Four Courts being relieved.
[/LIST]
Indeed - Pádraig O'Connor, a commander of one of the Free State battalions in the Four Courts assault, was surprised at how easy it was to march up to the place - he had expected attacks along the way, and assumed that the Anti-Treatyites, in any case, would use their superior numbers to prevent themselves from being bottled up. As he put it in his memoirs:

We numbered 800 all ranks, the Second Eastern division was 500, with 200 from Kilkenny and it was reckoned we would have 1000 men available in Dublin. To oppose this force the Irregulars had in Dublin an estimated force of 3000 men, and there was in the country a force of 20,000 to 30,000 Irregulars.
 

an Toimíneach

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Speaking of numbers...

Dan Breen said:
In order to win this war you'll need to kill 3 out of every 5 people and it isn't worth it
W T Cosgrave said:
If the country is to live and we have to exterminate 10,000 republicans, the 3 million of our people are bigger than this 10,000
I don't have proper sources but both quotes are from page 263 of Ferriter's "The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000".
 

Roberto Jordan

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Speaking of numbers...




I don't have proper sources but both quotes are from page 263 of Ferriter's "The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000".

Quotes such as the WT one are fascinating.
I simply dont get the ability to compartmentalize the "extermination" of "irregulars" with the personal involvement with the advanced nationalist struggle up to the point of the treaty.

By all means fall to the side of taking the Treaty and even engage in deadly combat with the anti treaty side - thats how these things end up.
but to speak in such harsh terms and dismiss the anti treaty republican side on the basis of small numbers is entirely inconsistent with having been "out" in easter week etc.

I can understand collins ( perhaps because he got plugged before things got really nasty ) and the writings of someone like dalton ( emmet not charlie........obviously) are also understandable.....but Wt, Higgins, Mulcahy even....... it is I guess entirely to be put down to facing what they saw as a mortal danger, both personally and nationally, but even so....there is more empathy in the writings and actions of, for example, union politicians and commanders in the US civil war....
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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I don't have proper sources but both quotes are from page 263 of Ferriter's "The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000".
I see an Toimíneach's problem. Ferriter annotates that with the unhelpful "Garvin, 1922, p163". So I go to Tom Garvin, 1922 The Birth of Irish Democracy. Even then it's not entirely clear, because Garvin doesn't reference each and every quotation. On page 165 the whole pussy-footing between the two sides is cited as:
Cosgrave statement: NA DT/S8139. See also UCD AD, Desmond Fitzgerald Papers, P80/712 (late July 1922), for a similar Free State statement. On de Valera-Cosgrave exchange see UCD AD, Hugh Kennedy Papers, P4/550.
I'm drawing from that we need to rummage the National Archives for the first item cited there.

If that's not confusing enough, Ferriter recycles the topic as part of chapter 25, Stone Hearts, in his A Nation and not a Rabble. And then cites his sources as Garvin for the Cosgrave and his own The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 for the Dan Breen.

It's a historiographic Ouroboros:

 

Eire1976

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'What did you do in the War, Daddy?'
'I kept well out of it.'

Unfair, but MacEoin did keep Longford aside from the Civil War.

Initially the anti-Treaty lot had the advantage. O'Higgins sent (or didn't, according to one's reading) a message to the Executive Committee asking how his 'raw lads' were supposed to face the hardened IRA republicans (see National Archives, D/T, S6696). The Republicans were in the ascendant in all the Provinces, except Leinster. Only seven of the sixteen IRA divisions were reliably loyal to the Ministry of Defence: the first and second southern (commandants Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley) were a third of the total IRA force and were anti-Treaty. Of the old IRA provincial leadership only MacEoin in Athlone and (less reliably) Michael Brennan in Clare were with the Provisional Government.

There is some dispute over who were the combatants. Both sides recruited heavily:
  • The 'trucileers' (that derisory term for the IRA recruits who joined after the Treaty) seem to have weighted the anti-Treaty forces. Liam Lynch (see letter to Director of Organisation, 26 January 1923, in UCD's de Valera papers, P150/1793) reckoned 10,000 of the Cork fighters from the War of Independence remained neutral in the Civil War. In which case, the 'trucileers' were willing, but 'green'.
  • The Provisional Government authorised a force of 20,000 (3 July 1922), which eventually grew to around 55,500 men and 3,500 officers. A factor there was the 1,000 a day who were recruited at a time when national unemployment was around 150,000 (see FSL Lyons, page 463).
Which ought to raise the all-important question: what went wrong for the Republicans?

I'd suggest two issues:
  • The Free Staters had the men (see above) and the matériel: 27,400 rifles, 6,606 side-arms, and 246 Lewis guns, all provided by the British. On top of which, the Provisional Government controlled communications.
  • Lousy planning. Occupying the Four Courts was a symbolic gesture rather than a route to a quick victory. As ought to be clear from what I've tried to argue, speed was the only advantage the Republicans had: a slow-motion coup d'état is a contradiction in terms. Paddy O'Brien (commander at the Four Courts) and Oscar Trainor (commander, first Dublin brigade) wanted to attack the Free State forces from the rear and subject them to constant sniping attacks: they were restrained from doing that by the IRA Executive, not wanting the ordure of opening hostilities. Result: the National Army soon had the Four Courts invested. Once again the reluctance of the IRA Executive to open fire prevented the Four Courts being relieved.
The Republicans didn't have the resources of the Imperial British armed forces at their behest as the Provisional Government had. They managed to recruit a lot of ex British army types and many RIC who were told of all the hiding places by traitors who went against the oath to the Republic.

If symbols meant so little to those happy to sign the treaty, why was it so important to the British to impose them, to divide and rule of course.

They fell for that idiotic treaty hook line and sinker.
 

an Toimíneach

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Quotes such as the WT one are fascinating.
I simply dont get the ability to compartmentalize the "extermination" of "irregulars" with the personal involvement with the advanced nationalist struggle up to the point of the treaty.

By all means fall to the side of taking the Treaty and even engage in deadly combat with the anti treaty side - thats how these things end up.
but to speak in such harsh terms and dismiss the anti treaty republican side on the basis of small numbers is entirely inconsistent with having been "out" in easter week etc.

I can understand collins ( perhaps because he got plugged before things got really nasty ) and the writings of someone like dalton ( emmet not charlie........obviously) are also understandable.....but Wt, Higgins, Mulcahy even....... it is I guess entirely to be put down to facing what they saw as a mortal danger, both personally and nationally, but even so....there is more empathy in the writings and actions of, for example, union politicians and commanders in the US civil war....
In fairness to Cosgrave, I don't think that the callousness of that miniscule quote is representative of his attitude to the entire anti-Treaty movement over all. He was a more compassionate man than that. They were just a bit more blunt in those days (like Rory O'Connor's response to comments about military dictatorships or Patrick McGilligan's speculation in Dáil Éireann about people dying of starvation a few years later).

I suppose my point in posting the two quotes was to show that although the anti-Treaty side had more fighters in June 1922, they didn't have the support of the people and the support of the people was crucial.

Malcolm Redfellow said:
I see an Toimíneach's problem...
Worse than that, I've seen the Breen quote referred to as having come from a letter and also from a conversation.
The point still stands either way, of course. The Anti-Treaty side did not enjoy popular support.

Eire1976 said:
The Republicans didn't have the resources of the Imperial British armed forces at their behest as the Provisional Government had. They managed to recruit a lot of ex British army types and many RIC who were told of all the hiding places ...
I'm not sure whether ex-British soldiers made much of a difference. I've posted about this on p.ie before. Recruitment to the National Army was only opened up to those without IRA service after the anti-Treaty forces were already in retreat and the records of the National Army Census from November 1922 would seem to suggest that the majority of the Free State Army had no prior service of any sort at all.
 

Éireann_Ascendant

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Quotes such as the WT one are fascinating.
I simply dont get the ability to compartmentalize the "extermination" of "irregulars" with the personal involvement with the advanced nationalist struggle up to the point of the treaty.

By all means fall to the side of taking the Treaty and even engage in deadly combat with the anti treaty side - thats how these things end up.
but to speak in such harsh terms and dismiss the anti treaty republican side on the basis of small numbers is entirely inconsistent with having been "out" in easter week etc.

I can understand collins ( perhaps because he got plugged before things got really nasty ) and the writings of someone like dalton ( emmet not charlie........obviously) are also understandable.....but Wt, Higgins, Mulcahy even....... it is I guess entirely to be put down to facing what they saw as a mortal danger, both personally and nationally, but even so....there is more empathy in the writings and actions of, for example, union politicians and commanders in the US civil war....
Is it truly that surprising? Plenty of independence movement disintegrate into fratricidal slaughter once the common enemies that keeping the factions and strong personalities together ups and leaves.

Compared to some other post-colonial countries, Ireland got it easy.
 

McTell

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No
The point of the anti-treaty crowd before the war was to provoke the brits into occupying us all over again. Which the brits showed no intention of doing.

So they had failed in their aim even before the first shot was fired on the 4 courts.

What is called the "civil war" was really an untidy tidying-up operation of the armed guys who just didn't get it. Thank god it wasn't like a real civil war.

In the meantime, the british forces left the 26 counties by the end of 1922, as they had said they would.
 

Civic_critic2

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I suppose my point in posting the two quotes was to show that although the anti-Treaty side had more fighters in June 1922, they didn't have the support of the people and the support of the people was crucial.
It ought to be plain as your nose that it was the support of the British that was most important. Like most who submit to force you are prepared to blame the weaker elements within a rationalisation that is stunning in its blindness. It was the british who imposed a treaty dividing the country, a treaty which insisted on an explicit oath of fidelity to a foreign power that had killed millions and a treaty which was imposed on the basis of a threat of 'immediate and terrible war' if it wasn't submitted to. The proxy army representing certain sections of the Irish middle-class who had long been collaborators with the British which was armed by the British to impose the treaty was an army of Britain and British interests. The history of the south over the last century testifies to that.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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It was the british who imposed a treaty dividing the country
Lloyd George and co. were seeking a settlement for all Ireland. Look at the invitation to de Valera and Craig (24 June 1921). Follow the series of documents that follow from that. Note that de Valera met not just with Lloyd George but also with Craig (15 & 18 July). Document 141 (Lloyd George's terms and conditions) should be particularly helpful. Document 146 (Harry Boland to de Valera) is clear evidence that American opinion was a motivation for an urgent settlement. When, in Document 153 (12 September 1921) de Valera is emphatic about the principle of 'government by consent of the governed', are you arguing that — in the context of later 1921 — he was ignorant of what was already in train in the Six Counties?
certain sections of the Irish middle-class who had long been collaborators with the British which was armed by the British to impose the treaty was an army of Britain and British interests. The history of the south over the last century testifies to that.
Does that faff about 'collaborators' apply to The Emergency of 1939-1945?
 

Talk Back

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Is it truly that surprising? Plenty of independence movement disintegrate into fratricidal slaughter once the common enemies that keeping the factions and strong personalities together ups and leaves.

Compared to some other post-colonial countries, Ireland got it easy
.
They didn't leave - England still rules in Ireland today.

Should you be presenting your missals to the public given you are not sound on the National question?
 
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Talk Back

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What authority did the renegade Free State army (deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles) have to attack the Irish Republic on June 28th, and suppress Dail Eireann two days before it was scheduled to meet to discuss the results of the 'Pact' election on June 30th, and to form the new Dail Eireann (3rd) on July 1st. at 12 PM???
 

Éireann_Ascendant

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They didn't leave - England still rules in Ireland today.
Someone should tell our elected representatives in Leinster House, then. They've been going to the wrong place instead of Westminster this whole time.

If you're talking about the North, well, that's for the people there to decide. It's certainly beyond the scope of my humble missal, as you put it (good word, btw).

Should you be presenting your missals to the public given you are not sound on the National question?
Why not?
 

Bleu Poppy

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The Republicans didn't have the resources of the Imperial British armed forces at their behest as the Provisional Government had. They managed to recruit a lot of ex British army types and many RIC who were told of all the hiding places by traitors who went against the oath to the Republic.

If symbols meant so little to those happy to sign the treaty, why was it so important to the British to impose them, to divide and rule of course.

They fell for that idiotic treaty hook line and sinker.
The Irregulars did NOT have the support of the people.

That was made clear by the electorate in the General Election, June 27, 1922.

It became evident to the Irregulars as their areas of influence dwindled.

It became a catastrophe for the Irregulars as the government responded to De Valera's posturing about shedding gallons of Irish blood, and Lynch's fanaticism, by fighting fire with fire.... with little or no outcry from the populace.

And the results of the 1923 General Election confirmed how little support the Shinners had.
 

Bleu Poppy

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What authority did the renegade Free State army (deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles) have to attack the Irish Republic on June 28th, and suppress Dail Eireann two days before it was scheduled to meet to discuss the results of the 'Pact' election on June 30th, and to form the new Dail Eireann (3rd) on July 1st. at 12 PM???
The government 'attacked' your precious non-existent Irish Republic because, from the previous April, officers and men of the National Army had been murdered throughout the land, from north to south, and east to west, and on June 27th the Deputy Chief of Staff, General J.J. O'Connell, had been kidnapped and held illegally in the Four Courts. The 'pact' was a farce and fell to pieces the moment the first Labour, Unionist, Farmer, Independent, and so on, was nominated to stand. Only a fraction of the constituencies were uncontested- some because the Irregular/Shinners intimidated candidates to step aside.

The electorate had rejected some of the 'star' anti-treatyites. Doubly bereaved Mrs. Pearse- lost her seat. Similarly doubly bereaved Kathleen Clarke (whose brother had commanded the Four Courts garrison in 1916, and made the supreme sacrifice as a result)- lost her seat. A brother of Sean McSweeney was rejected by the electorate in a Cork constituency. Breen, Childers, Mellows, Markiewicz and other leading lights- gone from the Dáil. The Electorate's verdict was clear. The men and women of violence were rejected comprehensively and, consequently, only a fifth of the seats for the Third Dáil were taken by Anti-Treatyites.... 80% by candidates who supported the Treaty. What was there to discuss? How many more officers and men of the nascent State's Army were to be murdered in cowardly ambushes, would that have been a topic? As Enda Kenny has stated on more that one occasion- "You do not argue with the people's decision". So, what was there to discuss? Nothing. Parliamentary Democracy held sway. The second Dáil was dead, and gone. The Third Dáil was yet to assemble.... the threat of violence spoken of by the Anti-Treatyites, demonstrated during the campaign at rallies and throughout the country, had again encompassed a senior staff officer- was the government and its armed forces to stand idly by and wait for his body to be dumped on the quayside?
 

Talk Back

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Someone should tell our elected representatives in Leinster House, then. They've been going to the wrong place instead of Westminster this whole time.

If you're talking about the North, well, that's for the people there to decide. It's certainly beyond the scope of my humble missal, as you put it (good word, btw).



Why not?
once the common enemies that keeping the factions and strong personalities together ups and leaves.

Compared to some other post-colonial countries, Ireland got it easy.
The 'Southern Ireland' State is obviously not Ireland - so you are posting rubbish. England still rules in Ireland today. Sorry if my comments seems harsh but Irish people need to get real about England's ongoing occupation of our country and its real consequences - Brexit being a prime example of this.
 
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