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The Irish Civil War
Transcript of The Irish Civil War
The Irish Civil War
After the Dail debates, the divisions between the Pro Treaty and the Anti Treaty sides grew wider.
The slide towards civil war began when a group of Republicans took over the Four Courts in the centre of Dublin in April 1922.
However, a general election in June 1922 gave a huge majority in favour of the Treaty.
The Fighting Begins
Fighting in Dublin
The Free State army led by Collins, borrowed artillery from the British army to shell the Four Courts.
To examine the Irish Civil War
Explain the key words below -
Anglo Irish Treaty
General Election 1918
The British army began to withdraw from barracks around the country. As it did so, different groups of pro-treaty and anti-treaty IRA members took over the barracks.
The pro Treaty IRA became known as the Free State Army or the 'Regulars', while anti Treaty IRA members were called Republicans or 'Irregulars'.
This was a direct challenge to the government.
Collins did not wish to attack them, because he hoped that peace could be made with the anti treaty side.
This put the government in a stronger position.
When the Republicans in the Four Courts captured a Free State general, Griffith and Collins decided to attack them.
How do we know the armed men are not regular soldiers?
Is this a primary or secondary source?
Within two days the 200 Republicans inside surrendered.
Fighting continued in the centre of Dublin for a few more days, but government forces defeated the Republicans easily.
The Munster Republic
The Republicans retreated south of a line from Limerick to Waterford. This area became known as the Munster Republic.
But Limerick and Waterford were easily captured by the Free State Army , which now had 60,000 soldiers.
Collins decided to use ships to carry troops to Cork, and to Fenit in Kerry.
The Republicans were now forced to retreat to the countryside.
Death of Griffith and Collins
The two most important leaders of the Free State government died within a short time of each other.
Griffith died on the 12th of August 1922 of a brain haemorrhage.
Collins was killed ten days later in an ambush on Beal na mBlath Co. Cork.
W.T Cosgrave and Kevin O' Higgins became the new leaders of the Free State government.
The Republicans now resorted to guerilla warfare.
But they were not as successful as they had been in the War of Independence.
Most people now supported the Treaty.
The Free State Army knew the country as well as the Republicans did.
The Civil War became very bitter.
Both sides carried out brutal killings.
The war dragged on until Liam Lynch, leader of the anti Treaty IRA, was killed in April 1923.
Frank Aiken replaced him as chief of staff.
Aiken and De Valera decided to call a ceasefire in May 1923.