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					The War of Independence

• M. Collins, C. Brugha & R. Mulcahy had been
  preparing to fight
• Active in the Volunteers
  – Led by an Executive Committee
  – Set up a GHQ
  – Mulcahy in charge, Collins Director of Intelligence
• Volunteers around the country organised into
  brigades & battalions with elected officers
  Soloheadbeg Ambush, Jan 1919
• Same day as the First Dáil met
• Marked the beginning of the War of
• Group of Tipperary IRA men attacked an RIC
  patrol & stole their weapons, killing two of the
• Led by Dan Breen & Sean Treacy
               Michael Collins
• Est. a spy network
  – Believed earlier rebellions had failed because of
  – Built up a network of contacts around the country
  – Passed on information to Collins
• Est. The ‘Squad’ in 1919
  – Handpicked team of Volunteers who killed detectives
    from Dublin Castle
  – Ruthless in his use of terror
  – Tactics worked, British sources of info dried up
           The IRA Campaign
• Disorganised, IRA Volunteers fought their own
  way -
• Relied on the support of the local population
• Violence was slow in 1919 – consisted mostly
  of raids on RIC barracks
• Dáil did not sanction violence
• RIC began to lose the fight
 British Government Decide Policy
• Conclude that some form of partition is
• Want to protect the Unionists
  – Decided to give them control of Ulster
• HR due to come into effect having been
  suspended in 1914
  – Decided first defeat the IRA & then negotiate with
 The ‘Black & Tans’ and the Auxiliaries
• Ex-World War I soldiers sent to Ireland to help
  the army fight the IRA
  – Uniform had light khaki trousers & dark green
    tunic which appeared black from a distance
• Group of officers
  – Went on a campaign to defeat the IRA throughout
  – Both earned a reputation for ruthless behaviour
   Flying Columns & Guerilla War
• IRA used ambush tactics – hit and run
• They were organised into small groups called
  ‘flying columns’ of between 20-30 men
  – Paid as full-time soldiers from late 1920 onwards
  – Better trained than the average Volunteer
• Attacks provoked reprisals from the B &T’s
  – Increased support for SF/IRA
IRA ‘Flying Column’
     Bloody Sunday, 21 Nov 1920
• Collins orders his ‘Squad’ to execute 12 British
  spies (aka the ‘Cairo Gang’) & 2 Auxiliaries
  around Dublin
• In response the Black & Tans went to Croke
  Park and opened fire on the crowd
• 14 people were killed including Michael
  Hogan, a Tipperary player
• 30 people were dead at the end
           IRA Under Pressure
• Martial Law was introduced in most of
  Munster at the end of 1920
• Other problems:
  – Griffith & other Dáil members arrested
  – Mass arrests of Volunteers
  – Difficult to obtain arms
  – More people passing info to the British
• Divisions emerging between IRA & SF leaders
 Return of De Valera from America
• Dec. 1920 he returns to Ireland
• Uneasy at the war the IRA are fighting
• Jealous of Collins’ reputation
• 1921, Lloyd George wants to make peace
• Had already given the Unionists their own state
• Irish people desperate for peace
• De Valera & the IRA agree to a truce on 11 July
• IRA had not been beaten but Ireland was still not
• Peace Talks would have to take place to form a
  lasting settlement
Sovereignty & Partition (P&A)

               Unionists & SF
• Changes in Irish Nationalism not in Unionism
  – 1916 reinforced their fears of being ruled by a
    Dublin government
  – SF victory in 1918
  – IRA campaign
    Unionists Stronger After 1918
• 1918 election put the UU in a stronger
  position than in 1914
• Won 26 seats & Conservatives dominated in
  Lloyd George’s coalition government
• SF abstentionist policy also strengthened the
• Only 6 nationalists in Westminster in 1919
• Easier for Carson & Craig to get what they
        SF Attitude to Unionists
• De Valera dismissive of the Unionists
• Saw the problem as two-dimensional
  – Irish/English NOT nationalist/unionist/English
• Completely unrealistic
  – Unionists had real fears of a Dublin government
  – Ignored Conservatives loyalty to the Unionists
  1920: Start of Violence in the North
• IRA not as strong in Ulster
• Began to attack the RIC there in 1920
• Unionists revived the UVF
  – Sectarian violence the result
• Belfast pogroms in June 1920
  – 5,500 Catholics expelled from the shipyards
• Violence spreads throughout the province
• Special Constables est. in Sep 1920
              Belfast Boycott
• Shops in the South boycotted goods from
• August 1920, the Dáil adopted the Belfast
  boycott as official policy
  – Ended up damaging Catholic businesses in Belfast
• Boycott self-defeating
  – Seemed to support the partition of the country
        “Home Rule All Round”
• Proposal to divide Ireland into two states:
  Northern Ireland & Southern Ireland
  – Each state would have a HR parliament
• Lloyd George wanted NI to contain all 9 Ulster
• Carson & Craig only wanted 6 so they would
  have a permanent majority
  Government of Ireland Act 1920
• Passed in Dec 1920
• Main terms
  – Ireland to be divided into two states
  – Each state to have its own parliament
  – Each parliament to elect a government
  – MPs would be elected to Westminster
  – Council of Ireland which would oversee areas of
    common interest
     Setting Up Northern Ireland
• Elections for the new NI parliament held in
  May 1921
• Unionists triumphed winning 40 seats
         Electing a Second Dáil
• Elections also held in the South
• Only SF candidates put forward
• Trinity College elected four Unionists
               Talking to SF
• Lloyd George under pressure to talk to SF
• Couldn’t afford to take direct control of
• King George V speech in Belfast in June 1921
  gave Lloyd George the excuse to talk to SF
The Truce & Treaty Negotiations

           Truce (11 July 1921)
• Collins & De Valera realised that the IRA could
  not win the war by totally defeating the British
• Needed to negotiate with the British (They
  also wanted this)
• War was expensive and unpopular with the
  British people
• Lloyd George invites Dev to talks in London
          Preliminary Negotiations
•   July-Oct 1921
•   Dev met LG four times in London
•   Dev wanted a 32-county Republic
•   LG wanted:
    – Ireland to remain in the British
      Commonwealth as a dominion
    – To maintain the gov. of NI
    – Naval bases for the British Navy
• Brit proposals rejected by the Dáil
           Negotiating a Treaty
• Both sides agreed to
• October 1921, an Irish
  delegation went to
  London to negotiate a
  treaty with Britain
                The Irish Team
• Michael Collins, Arthur
  Griffith, Robert Barton,
  Eamon Duggan &
  Charles Gavan Duffy
• Dev did not go
• Delegation given
  plenipotentiary powers
            Why didn’t Dev go?
• He was head of state
• He was needed in
  Dublin – keep extreme
  republicans in check
• Would give the
  delegation an excuse to
  refer to Dublin & resist
  Brit pressure
              The British Team
• David Lloyd George,
  Winston Churchill &
  Austen Chamberlain
• All experienced & clever
• Determined not to give
  the Irish a fully
  independent Republic
Treaty Negotiations (Oct-Nov 1921)
• Irish demands
  – A totally independent Irish Republic
  – The end of partition which had become law with
    the Government of Ireland Act, 1920
• British unwilling to accept either of the Irish
• Offered partial independence for 26 counties
• Collins & Griffith didn’t want this
          Treaty Negotiations
• The British promised a Boundary Commission
• Irish delegation led to believe that Fermanagh
  & Tyrone would be taken out of N. Ireland
• Irish delegation felt that N. Ireland would be
  too small to last on its own & would want to
  unite with the rest of Ireland
• Irish delegation agreed to sign the Treaty
  under immense pressure from Lloyd George
• He threatened ‘an immediate & terrible war’
           Treaty Negotiations
• Collins knew the Irish would not be able to
  withstand such a war against the British
• The Irish delegation signed the Treaty in the
  knowledge that the Treaty would mean
  nothing unless the Dáil voted to accept it
              Anglo-Irish Treaty
• Signed on the 6 December 1921
• Stated:
  1. Ireland called the Irish Free State
  2. Would have its own army, flag & currency
  3. Remain part of the British Empire & all TDs would have
     to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the King of Britain
  4. The six partitioned counties would remain partitioned
     until the Boundary Commission made its report
  5. Britain would keep a Governor General in Ireland
  6. Britain would retain control of the three ‘Treaty ports’
     around Ireland for the use by the British navy
          Reaction to the Treaty
• Irish nationalists were divided by the Treaty
• Collins argued that the Treaty was:
   a) a ‘stepping stone’ to a Republic
   b) gave Ireland the ‘freedom to achieve freedom’
   c) that the Oath of Allegiance could be said but not
• Simply put, Collins argued that the Treaty was
  the best deal possible at that moment in time
• Majority of Irish people supported him
         Opposition to the Treaty
• Led by de Valera, Cathal Brugha, Kevin Barry & Dan
• Saw it as a betrayal of what they had fought for
• Sinn Fein/IRA split between:
    1. Pro-Treaty
    2. Anti-Treaty
•   Two sides debated the Treaty in the Dáil in Dec 1921
•   A vote was taken in January 1922 and the result was
    64 to 57 in favour of accepting the Treaty
•   The anti-Treaty TDs refused to accept this result and,
    led by de Valera, walked out of the Dáil
P. 378
Q’s 1-8
The Civil War

• Collins & Griffith along with Richard Mulcahy,
  WT Cosgrave & Kevin O’Higgins, set about
  establishing the government of the new Irish
  Free State
• Those who opposed the Treaty refused to
  accept the new State
• Anti-Treaty IRA became known as the
         Siege of the Four Courts
• A group of Irregulars led
  by Rory O’Connor took
  over the Four Courts in
• On 28 June 1922, the
  Irish Free State Army
• Signalled the beginning
  of the short but bloody
  civil war
                   Civil War
• Vast majority of the country supported Michael
  Collins & the Provisional Government
• Free State Army quickly defeated the Irregulars
  and the Civil War ended in May 1923
• Collins & Griffith both died during this time
• Collins was shot dead by the Irregulars at Béal na
  mBlath in west Cork on 22 August 1922
• Following the death of Liam Lynch, de Valera
  persuaded his predecessor, Frank Aiken, to stop
  the fighting
• The pro-Treaty Sinn Fein members formed a
  new party called Cumann na nGaedheal
• Led by WT Cosgrave & Kevin O’Higgins
• They formed the first independent
  government of the new Irish Free State

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