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The Civil War: Why did Dev's mob not invade the six Counties?


IbrahaimMohamad

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Feb 5, 2013
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It just beggars belief! The whole Civil War. Ever since the Unionists imported arms on a massive scale the Nationalists knew they were not getting a 32 County State. At any rate there was no prospect of a peaceful 32 County State.

The Ulster Covenant and the importation of arms by Unionists put the gun into Irish politics. The so called Civil War has framed and shaped the nature of Irish politics since.

One of the peculiar aspects of the Civil War is that it was all but exclusively fought in the 26 Counties.
Why did the anti treaty forces not just invade the 6 northern counties or limit their activities to that area?

Instead they attacked the part that was freed?

One obvious reason was that they would have been facing unsurmountable military opposition there.

The option of refusing the Anglo Irish Treaty would have delivered nothing!

Just what was the Civil War all about?

Was it just about venting fustration at former comrades?

What Collins setteled for in 1921 Dev settled for in 1927 and Gerry and Martin settled for in 1998!
 

ruserious

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Because they were trounced back into Munster initially before being assaulted from the sea all over county Cork.
Certa Bonum Certamen.
 

Ed O'Leary

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they couldn't get past Tipperary - let alone make it to Cavan
 

mickterry

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May 8, 2009
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It just beggars belief! The whole Civil War. Ever since the Unionists imported arms on a massive scale the Nationalists knew they were not getting a 32 County State. At any rate there was no prospect of a peaceful 32 County State.

The Ulster Covenant and the importation of arms by Unionists put the gun into Irish politics. The so called Civil War has framed and shaped the nature of Irish politics since.

One of the peculiar aspects of the Civil War is that it was all but exclusively fought in the 26 Counties.
Why did the anti treaty forces not just invade the 6 northern counties or limit their activities to that area?

Instead they attacked the part that was freed?

One obvious reason was that they would have been facing unsurmountable military opposition there.

The option of refusing the Anglo Irish Treaty would have delivered nothing!

Just what was the Civil War all about?

Was it just about venting fustration at former comrades?

What Collins setteled for in 1921 Dev settled for in 1927 and Gerry and Martin settled for in 1998!
There were more counties used for executions than were involved in the fighting during the civil war
 

wombat

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Jun 16, 2007
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31,939
Just what was the Civil War all about?
I could never understand how so many friends could kill each other over so little until I saw the split that took place over Saipan. Sometimes we are not very rational people:-(
 

Brenny

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Dec 8, 2008
Messages
1,223
It just beggars belief! The whole Civil War. Ever since the Unionists imported arms on a massive scale the Nationalists knew they were not getting a 32 County State. At any rate there was no prospect of a peaceful 32 County State.

The Ulster Covenant and the importation of arms by Unionists put the gun into Irish politics. The so called Civil War has framed and shaped the nature of Irish politics since.

One of the peculiar aspects of the Civil War is that it was all but exclusively fought in the 26 Counties.
Why did the anti treaty forces not just invade the 6 northern counties or limit their activities to that area?

Instead they attacked the part that was freed?

One obvious reason was that they would have been facing unsurmountable military opposition there.

The option of refusing the Anglo Irish Treaty would have delivered nothing!

Just what was the Civil War all about?

Was it just about venting fustration at former comrades?

What Collins setteled for in 1921 Dev settled for in 1927 and Gerry and Martin settled for in 1998!
There was IRA activity north of the border but the presence of blood thirsty Unionist groups like the B-specials meant that things were going to get messy if there was an assault. The b-specials and their ilk needed little excuse to murder Catholics and if there actually had been a serious attack on the northern Unionists they would have responded by wiping out the Catholic population of Belfast. The few solitary attacks on members of the security forces in the north during the War of Independence often resulted in inordinately large reprisals, basically they were saying if you kill one of ours we'll kill ten of yours and burn about 160 houses to go along with it.

Also, many believe that Collins did not settle for anything in 1921 and it seems that after the Truce he started to covertly ramp up the IRA activity in the north and this did result in a number of fatalities, both security forces and civilians (mainly Catholic). Collins got side-tracked by the Civil War then but many believe that once that was dealt with he was going to resume a full-scale attempt to subvert the northern state by funding the IRA activity in the area. He died so we'll never know what would have happened.

There's a number of threads on this site about what Franck Aiken got up to in June 1922, you should have a look, also try google Altnaveigh.

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/157924-frank-aiken-man-war-man-peace.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/205937-frank-aiken-time-reassessment.html
 

Baztard

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Feb 3, 2009
Messages
314
Because perhaps they were a shower of spineless ************************s!
 

Brenny

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Dec 8, 2008
Messages
1,223
It just beggars belief! The whole Civil War. Ever since the Unionists imported arms on a massive scale the Nationalists knew they were not getting a 32 County State. At any rate there was no prospect of a peaceful 32 County State.

The Ulster Covenant and the importation of arms by Unionists put the gun into Irish politics. The so called Civil War has framed and shaped the nature of Irish politics since.

One of the peculiar aspects of the Civil War is that it was all but exclusively fought in the 26 Counties.
Why did the anti treaty forces not just invade the 6 northern counties or limit their activities to that area?

Instead they attacked the part that was freed?

One obvious reason was that they would have been facing unsurmountable military opposition there.

The option of refusing the Anglo Irish Treaty would have delivered nothing!

Just what was the Civil War all about?

Was it just about venting fustration at former comrades?

What Collins setteled for in 1921 Dev settled for in 1927 and Gerry and Martin settled for in 1998!
Anti-treaty forces didn't regard the 26 counties as 'freed' since there hadn't been a full break from the crown established. Also (and this always confounds me) partition of the North wasn't actually the number one grievance with the anti-treaty side, dominion status bothered them far more, we look back now at the truce and all we can see is partition but when you read accounts of the time everyone is giving out about swearing allegiance to the King. I think a lot of people didn't take the Northern Irish state seriously until the boundary commission.
 

Beachcomber

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Nov 11, 2010
Messages
10,500
The Civil War: Why did Dev's mob not invade the six Counties?

Short answer: they were too busy taking on the pro-Treaty forces.

Longer answer: the issue became the whole Treaty, and not just partition. Dev's lot refused to accept the Treaty and decided to fight about that issue. That meant taking on their former comrades on the issue of accepting less than the 32 county Irish Republic. Meanwhile the unionists looked south and smiled at the 'republicans' fighting each other. As it turned out Dev's anti-Treaty bunch couldn't even deal with the pro-Treaty forces, never mind start a second front by attacking NI.
 

Beachcomber

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Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
10,500
There was IRA activity north of the border but the presence of blood thirsty Unionist groups like the B-specials meant that things were going to get messy if there was an assault. The b-specials and their ilk needed little excuse to murder Catholics and if there actually had been a serious attack on the northern Unionists they would have responded by wiping out the Catholic population of Belfast. The few solitary attacks on members of the security forces in the north during the War of Independence often resulted in inordinately large reprisals, basically they were saying if you kill one of ours we'll kill ten of yours and burn about 160 houses to go along with it.

Also, many believe that Collins did not settle for anything in 1921 and it seems that after the Truce he started to covertly ramp up the IRA activity in the north and this did result in a number of fatalities, both security forces and civilians (mainly Catholic). Collins got side-tracked by the Civil War then but many believe that once that was dealt with he was going to resume a full-scale attempt to subvert the northern state by funding the IRA activity in the area. He died so we'll never know what would have happened.

There's a number of threads on this site about what Franck Aiken got up to in June 1922, you should have a look, also try google Altnaveigh.

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/157924-frank-aiken-man-war-man-peace.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/205937-frank-aiken-time-reassessment.html


"Franck Aiken"?

Are you referring to the sectarian murderer?
 

eoghanacht

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Apr 18, 2006
Messages
33,340
It just beggars belief! The whole Civil War. Ever since the Unionists imported arms on a massive scale the Nationalists knew they were not getting a 32 County State. At any rate there was no prospect of a peaceful 32 County State.
I suppose some saw it as a betrayal of northern Nationalists, some might say they were right

The Ulster Covenant and the importation of arms by Unionists put the gun into Irish politics. The so called Civil War has framed and shaped the nature of Irish politics since.
So called civil war? I think you'll find it was an actual civil war.

One of the peculiar aspects of the Civil War is that it was all but exclusively fought in the 26 Counties.
Why did the anti treaty forces not just invade the 6 northern counties or limit their activities to that area?
You have already answered your own question, Unionists were armed to the teeth and the BA would have stepped in as soon as it kicked off :roll:

Instead they attacked the part that was freed?
They attacked what they saw as an illegitimate state hoping to overthrow said state and to unite the island under one sovereign independent state.

One obvious reason was that they would have been facing unsurmountable military opposition there.
It's like you start off threads on a whim without giving your own OP due care and attention and either answer or contradict yourself i them.

The option of refusing the Anglo Irish Treaty would have delivered nothing!
Did you ever hear of the UWC strike, no?



What Collins setteled for in 1921 Dev settled for in 1927 and Gerry and Martin settled for in 1998!
It's like the rump of Unionist intransigence is an enigma to you
 

Beachcomber

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Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
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Anti-treaty forces didn't regard the 26 counties as 'freed' since there hadn't been a full break from the crown established. Also (and this always confounds me) partition of the North wasn't actually the number one grievance with the anti-treaty side, dominion status bothered them far more, we look back now at the truce and all we can see is partition but when you read accounts of the time everyone is giving out about swearing allegiance to the King. I think a lot of people didn't take the Northern Irish state seriously until the boundary commission.


You're right. I've read the Dail debates and partition gets barely a mention. They all go at each other about constitutional status and oaths.
 

Brenny

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Dec 8, 2008
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"Franck Aiken"?

Are you referring to the sectarian murderer?
I wasn't referring to anything, I was merely suggesting something that the OP should investigate and he can make his own mind up, the whole thing is debated to death in those two threads.

Also there is no such thing as THE sectarian murderer when discussing this period. There was a lot of them at it on both sides try google John Williams Nixon the b-special
 

Dame_Enda

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Dec 14, 2011
Messages
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There were some incidents in the Six Counties - especially Frank Aiken in Armagh. But the costs of anything more far outweighed the gains. It would have played into the hands of Protestant extremists who would have used it as a stick to beat the Catholics with. Remember the expulsion of 700 Catholic workers from H+W by a Protestant mob. There could have been something like a 'Final Solution to the Catholic Question' if things had been ratcheted up too much such were the hatreds back then.
 

DrNightdub

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Jun 12, 2011
Messages
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@DrNightdub
1. They planned to do so in May 1922 in conjunction with an uprising by all the northern divisions of the IRA
2. The Republicans were to send guns to the northern IRA via the FS Army, the FS Army was to reimburse them with guns supplied to the FS by the British
3. Republicans went north (to Donegal) and did mount attacks across the border
4. Then it all went pear-shaped

As to how and why it all went pear-shaped, this (among other things) is addressed in a book published just this week:

From Pogrom to Civil War - Tom Glennon and the Belfast IRA
 

Kev408

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Feb 26, 2006
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The Civil War: Why did Dev's mob not invade the six Counties?

Short answer: they were too busy taking on the pro-Treaty forces.

Longer answer: the issue became the whole Treaty, and not just partition. Dev's lot refused to accept the Treaty and decided to fight about that issue. That meant taking on their former comrades on the issue of accepting less than the 32 county Irish Republic. Meanwhile the unionists looked south and smiled at the 'republicans' fighting each other. As it turned out Dev's anti-Treaty bunch couldn't even deal with the pro-Treaty forces, never mind start a second front by attacking NI.
Extraordinarily ill-informed, embarrassingly biased and your mention of unionists looking south and smiling at the 'republicans' fighting each other is merely a figment of your imagination. In fact that comment alone shows you haven't a clue about what was going on. Go read a book and quit lying. Posts like yours is why history graduates ( I know of two others besides myself) stay away from the History forum. Thanks for the reminder.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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Seriously, Mods, can there be a limit on how many threads a user can start in one day?

Please. I'm begging you.

Really.
 
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controller

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Feb 25, 2009
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Why didn't they invade? Because history has shown us that Dev and all his followers were crooks and conmen, more interested in looking after themselves than others. Why would they care about the six counties when they could get rich and powerful in the remaining 26 counties?
 

Hitch 22

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You obviously don't know your history.

After the Treaty in late 1921 Pro-Treaty and Anti-Treaty IRA co-operated in attacks on Northern Ireland in the first half of 1922. After many deaths on both sides but clear victories for the police it petered out as the Civil War started in Southern Ireland. The pact between Collins and Dev came to an end after Pro-Treaty parties won more votes than Anti-Treaty SF. Meanwhile the Pro-Treaty IRA was transformed in a much better equipped and disciplined National Army. After the fighting in Dublin the fighting switched to Munster and later became a guerrilla war. The IRA were in no position to defeat Pro-Treaty forces never mind the more heavily armed unionists. By the end of the Civil War in 1923 thousands of Anti-Treaty IRA were dead, in prison or in exile.

You don't know much about warfare either.

The Anti-Treaty IRA had limited weapons and were literally counting their bullets and toward the end of the Civil War were reduced to stealing or begging like tramps while on the run. The Donegal IRA numbered only handfuls of men here and there who were starving to death when they finally surrendered.
They were in no fit state to continue a fight.
 
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Cruimh

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Why didn't they invade? Because history has shown us that Dev and all his followers were crooks and conmen, more interested in looking after themselves than others. Why would they care about the six counties when they could get rich and powerful in the remaining 26 counties?
The invasion of Pettigo and Belleek taught them a lesson.
 
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