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The Irish Civil War
Transcript of The Irish Civil War
They signed the treaty on December 6th, 1921
The terms of the treaty:
Members of Parliament had to swear allegiance to British Monarch
British retained three naval bases along Irish coast
Confirmed the Partition of the North and South
British Military Garrison was withdrawn
The RIC Police were disbanded
The Republican Side
The Anglo-Irish Treaty
First, Henry Wilson was shot dead in London by 2 IRA members and people believed Michael Collins ordered this killing as revenge
The British assumed that the Anti-Treaty Four Courts were responsible and warned Collins that if he did not act, British troops would be used to re-take Dublin
Collins warned the Four Courts and when time ran out the pro-Treaty troops open fired on June 28th, 1922
This is known as the Battle of Dublin and seen as official start of the Civil War
This caused IRA units to take sides and most sided with the anti-Treaty headed by Liam Lynch
Eamon de Valera rejoined the IRA as a volunteer but later set up a republican government to oppose the Free State
This was the side that was supportive of the Treaty with the British
Claimed that since the Dail had voted for the treaty, they were upholding democracy.
Significant Members included Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith.
Collins created a new Irish National Army with IRA units that supported the treaty.
Irish Republican Party Leader: Eamon de Valera
Seemed to be a step backwards since it dissolved the Republican state
Wanted Ireland to be united not separated, didn't want division of Irish Free State from Northern Ireland, or for Ulster to remain part of the U.K.
Argued that the Treaty was an imposition of the British under war threat
Believed that the Irish Free State was not completely independent
without threat of British reoccupation
Claimed that the Provisional government was really a puppet doing Britain’s bidding.
June 1922 - May 1923
Overview of The War
Irish Civil War Video:
The Irish Civil war was between Irish nationalists in 1922 - 1923 over whether or not to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty
The Treaty was a result of political agitation and guerrilla warfare by the Irish Republican movement
It was organized respectively in Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army between 1918 and 1921
In 1918, Sinn Fein won the election on the promise to withdraw from British Parliament, declare an Irish Republic and secede from the British Empire
Led to two sides the Pro-Treaty and the Anti-Treaty
The Irish Civil War
Outbreak of War
The Aftermath of the War
Anti-Treaty IRA men take up positions on College Street (Trinity College top left, Bank of Ireland top middle)
Influence of the Irish Civil War on the Development of Ireland
By the end of August 1922 the pro-Treaty forces appeared to be winning
The pro-Treaty forces took Dublin after a weeks’ fighting and proceeded to secure the other places held by the anti-Treatyites
An election was held in August 1923, where the pro-treaty party won
The anti-Treaty Party went on a hunger strike in November, killing three
Prisoners of the anti-treaty party were not released until mid 1924
The estimated casualties were 1,500 with thousands more injured
The free state established an unarmed police corps, the Garda Siochana
National Army Officers threatened a mutiny in protest against demobilization of the army and the lack of progress towards a united Ireland
The anti-treaty party came into politics as Fianna Fail in 1927, then peacefully came into power in 1932
After being driven from Dublin, the anti-treaty IRA relied more on Guerrilla warfare.
This is the use of ambushes, assassinations and property damage.
These ambushes caused great losses to the National Army, and disrupted the new Government.
The most notable loss was the death of Michael Collins in August 1922.
12,000 IRA soldiers were captured over the course of the war and between 77-81 were executed.
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Increased discontent over unequal political representation
Economic consequences weakened financial status of Ireland
Limits on civil rights, political freedom from Great Britain, and other social issues continued for all Irish citizens
Prevented democratic right to national re-unification, national independence and sovereignty of one nation
Discontent and bitterness continued to grow due to lack of real changes & reform - social, economic and political
The Irish Civil War increased discontent. Little changed after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.
Political divisions grew wider for pro-treaty and anti-treaty supporters after the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921 - political reform was still needed
Economic, political and social segregation and oppression continued for Catholics
Impact of the Irish Civil War on "The Troubles"
Michael Collins addressing a mass meeting in Cork as a demonstration in support of the Free State. Accessed online through the National Library of Ireland, 3/09/14
The Troubles 1968-1998
The murals of Falls Road in West Belfast in Northern Ireland depicting the British Army operation in July 1970. Accessed online, through Flickr, 3/9/14
Issues of Conflict
Unequal rights and educational opportunities
Lack of national identity
Preference for independence from Great Britain
Lack of common identity
Unequal allocation of housing
Unequal employment opportunities
Lack of voting rights
Lack of opportunities for social interaction
End of the Fighting
After the assassination of Sean Hales, a pro-treaty member of parliament, several IRA leaders were executed.
By 1923 due to the high numbers of dead and POWs, the IRA efforts were reduced primarily to property damage.
Liam Lynch was killed in action in April 1923, and his successor, Frank Aiken, called for Republican troops to "dump arms and go Home" in May.
The war was essentially over although no official surrender or treaty between the two sides ever took place.
Bombing of the Four Courts in Dublin