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Irish republican grouping 1916-1922

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:15 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
Irish republican grouping 1916-1922

as follows are a list of the following Irish groups involved in the War of Independence

Cumann na mBan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:16 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
Cumann na mBan

Is an Irish republican women's paramilitary organisation formed in Dublin on April 1914 as an auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers Although it was otherwise an independent organization, its executive was subordinate to that of the IV.


In 1913, a number of women decided to hold a meeting in Wynn's Hotel, Dublin, for the purpose of discussing the possibility of forming an organisation for women who would work in conjunction with the recently formed Irish Volunteers. On April 4, 1914 Cumann na mBan was launched at a meeting held in the Pillar Room in the Mansion House. The first branch was named the Ard Chraobh, which held their meetings in Brunswick Street, before and after the 1916 Easter Rising.


The constitution of Cumann na mBan contained explicit references to the use of force by arms against crown forces in Ireland. Under its constitution, the primary aim of the organisation was to "advance the cause of Irish liberty" and "teach its members first aid, drill, signalling and rifle practice in order to aid the men of Ireland".


Its recruits were from diverse backgrounds, mainly white-collar workers and professional women, but with a significant proportion also from the working class. In September 1914, the Irish Volunteers split over John Redmond’s appeal for its members to enlist in the British Army. The majority of Cumann na mBan members supported the rump of 2-3,000 volunteers who rejected this call and who retained the original name, the Irish Volunteers.

Role in 1916 Easter Rising

On 23 April 1916, when the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood finalised arrangements for the Easter Rising, it integrated Cumann na mBan, along with the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, into the ‘Army of the Irish Republic’. Patrick Pearse was appointed overall Commandant-General and James Connolly as Commandant-General of the Dublin Division.

On the day of the Rising, 40 Cumann na mBan members, including Winifred Carney, who arrived armed with both a Webley revolver and a typewriter, entered the General Post Office on O'Connell Street in Dublin with their male counterparts. By nightfall, women insurgents were established in all of the major rebel strongholds throughout the city - bar one. Éamon de Valera steadfastly refused, in defiance of the orders of Pearse and Connolly, to allow women fighters into the Boland's Mill garrison.

The women in the rebel garrisons fought alongside the men and were not confined, as is commonly believed, to nursing duties or other tasks traditionally assigned to women such as making tea and sandwiches for the fighting men. Members also gathered intelligence on scouting expeditions, carried despatches and transferred arms from dumps across the city to insurgent strongholds.

Constance Markiewicz for example - armed with a pistol - during the opening phase of the hostilities shot a policeman in the head near St Stephen's Green. Later, Markiewicz along with other female fighters - after a day of carrying out sniper attacks on British troops in the city centre - demanded that they be allowed to bomb the Shelbourne Hotel. Helena Moloney was among the soldiers who attacked Dublin Castle, and she and other women also fought as snipers. During the Rising, British soldiers became confused and hostile when they realized there were women fighting in the battles.

A number of Cumann na mBan members died in the Rising, including volunteer Margaretta Keogh who was shot dead outside the South Dublin Union.

At the Four Courts they helped to organise the evacuation of buildings at the time of surrender and to destroy incriminating papers. This was exceptional; more typical was the General Post Office (GPO), where Pearse insisted that most of them leave at noon on Friday, 28 April. The building was then coming under sustained shell and machine-gun fire, and heavy casualties were anticipated. The following day the leaders at the GPO decided to negotiate surrender. Pearse asked Cumann na mBan member Elizabeth O’Farrell (a mid-wife at the National Maternity Hospital) to act as a go-between. Under British military supervision she brought Pearse’s surrender order to the rebel units still fighting in Dublin. Over 70 women, including many of the leading figures in Cumann na mBan, were arrested after the insurrection, and many of the women who had been captured fighting were imprisoned in Kilmainham; all but 12 had been released by 8 May 1916.

After the Rising

Revitalized after the Rising and led by Countess Markiewicz, Cumann na mBan took a leading role in popularising the memory of the 1916 leaders, organizing prisoner relief agencies and later in opposing conscription, and canvassing for Sinn Féin in the 1918 general election, in which Countess Markiewicz was elected Teachta Dála. Jailed at the time, she became the Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic from 1919 to 1922.

During the Anglo-Irish War, its members were active. They hid arms and provided safe houses for volunteers, helped run the Dáil Courts and local authorities, and in the production of the Irish Bulletin, official newspaper of the Irish Republic.

In the Irish elections of May 1921, Markiewicz was joined by fellow Cumann na mBan members Mary MacSwiney, Dr. Ada English and Kathleen Clarke as Teachtaí Dála.

The Treaty

On 7 January 1922 the Anglo-Irish Treaty was approved by the Second Dáil by a close vote of 64-57. On 5 February a convention was held to discuss this, and 419 Cumann na mBan members voted against as opposed to 63 in favour. In the ensuing Civil War, its members largely supported the anti-Treaty Republican forces. Over 400 of its members were imprisoned by the forces of the Provisional government which became in December 1922 the Irish Free State.

Sinn Féin (Irish: "Ourselves Alone" or "We Ourselves" )

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:17 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
Sinn Féin (Irish: "Ourselves Alone" or "We Ourselves" )

is the name of an Irish political party founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith.

Sinn Féin provided a focus for Irish Nationalism in its various forms. Consequently, it encompassed political philosophies from the left and right, Republican and Monarchist, theocrats and atheists. Its break-up during the Irish Civil War in 1922 has had a dramatic effect on politics in Ireland to this day. Even the legitimacy of the assertion made by the party that is registered today as Sinn Féin that it is the primary successor of the original Sinn Féin, is widely disputed.

Dual Monarchy: 1905 to 1917

Arthur Griffith, Founder (1905) and Third leader (1908 - 17)The original Sinn Féin movement crystallised around the propaganda campaign of Arthur Griffith, a nationalist typesetter, and William Rooney, a republican office clerk, both of whom were extremely active in Dublin's nationalist clubs at the beginning of the 20th century. In his account of the movement's early years, the propagandist Aodh de Blácam says that Sinn Féin "was not a party: it was the amorphous propaganda of the Gaelicised young men and women". Griffith was first and foremost a newspaperman with an impressive network of friends in the Dublin printing industry. His propaganda newspapers, the United Irishman and Sinn Féin, channeled the enormous energy of the self-help generation into an unorthodox political project based on the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy of 1867 and the theories of the German nationalist economist Friedrich List. Tapping into the growing self awareness of an Irish identity which was reflected in movements like the Gaelic Athletic Association, the Gaelic League (Conradh na nGaeilge) and in the founding of the Abbey Theatre, he created a loose federation of nationalist clubs and associations which competed with John Redmond]'s Irish Parliamentary Party to embody the aspirations of 20th century nationalists.

Most historians opt for 28 November 1905 as a founding date because it was on this date that Griffith first presented his 'Sinn Féin Policy'. In his writings, Griffith declared that the Act of Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1800 was illegal and that, consequently, the Anglo-Irish dual monarchy which existed under Grattan's Parliament and the so-called Constitution of 1782 was still in effect.

Though Sinn Féin had a high name recognition factor among voters it attracted minimal support. By 1915 it was, in the words of one of Griffith's colleagues, "on the rocks", so insolvent financially that it could not pay the rent on its party headquarters in Harcourt Street in Dublin. It was rescued by the mistaken belief among the British administration running Ireland from Dublin Castle that it had been behind the 1916 Rising, an unsuccessful attempt to establish an Irish Republic.

Republicanism: 1917 to 1922

The Easter Rising, 1916 / Éirigh amach na Caisc 1916

Sinn Féin was not involved in the failed Easter Rising, despite being blamed by the British Government for it. The leaders of the Rising were certainly looking for more than the Sinn Féin proposal a separation stronger than Home Rule under a Dual Monarchy. Any group that disagreed with mainstream constitutional politics was branded 'Sinn Féin' by British commentators. The term 'Sinn Féin Rebellion' was also used by the mainstream Irish media, the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) and even by a few of those involved in the Rising.

Later in 1916, surviving members of the Rising led by Éamon de Valera joined the party and soon took control of it. De Valera replaced Griffith as president. It nearly split between its monarchist and republican wings at its 1917 Ard Fheis (conference) until, in a compromise motion, it proposed the establishment of an independent republic, after which the people could decide whether they wanted a monarchy or republic, subject to the condition that if they chose a monarchy, no member of the British Royal Family could serve as monarch.

Sinn Féin's status was boosted in public opinion by the anger over the execution of Rising leaders. This was despite the fact that, before the executions, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the Irish Independent newspaper (the biggest selling daily newspaper in Ireland then and now) and many local authorities actually called for the mass execution of Rising leaders. Yet even that public sympathy did not give Sinn Féin decisive electoral advantage, It fought a tough battle with the Irish Parliamentary Party under John Redmond, later John Dillon, with each side winning by-elections. It was only after the Conscription Crisis, when Britain threatened to impose conscription to boost its war effort, that support decisively swung behind Sinn Féin.

1918 electoral victory

Sinn Féin won 73 of Ireland's 106 seats in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland parliament at the general election in December 1918 and many of the seats it won were uncontested. There were four reasons for this. Firstly, despite being the largest party in Ireland for forty years, the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) had not fought a general election since 1910. In many parts of Ireland its organisation had decayed and was no longer capable of mounting an electoral challenge. Other seats were uncontested because of mass support, with other parties deciding that there was no point in challenging Sinn Féin given it was certain to win. Contemporary documents also suggest a degree of intimidation of opponents. (Piaras Béaslaí recorded one example in a by-election in Longford in 1917 where a Sinn Féin activist put a gun against the head of a Returning Officer and forced him to announce the election of the Sinn Féin candidate even though the IPP candidate had more votes. Potential candidates who were thought of as serious challengers to Sinn Féin candidates were warned against seeking election in some Ulster constituencies and in Munster.) Because so many of the seats were uncontested under sometimes dubious circumstances, it has been difficult to determine what the actual support for the party was in the country. Various accounts range from 45% to 80%. Academic analysts at the Northern Ireland demographic institute (ARK)[1] estimate a figure of 53%[2]. Another estimate would suggest Sinn Féin had the support of approximately 65% of the electorate (unionists accounting for approximately 20-25% and other nationalists for the remainder). Lastly, emigration was very difficult during the war, which meant that tens thousands of young people were in Ireland who would not have been there under normal circumstances.

On 21 January 1919 Sinn Féin MPs assembled in Dublin's Mansion House and proclaimed themselves the parliament of Ireland, Dáil Éireann. They elected an Aireacht (ministry) headed by a Príomh Aire (prime minister). Though the state was declared to be a republic, no provision was made for a head of state. This was rectified in August 1921 when the Príomh Aire (also known as President of Dáil Éireann was upgraded to President of the Republic, a full head of state.

In the 1920 city council elections, Sinn Féin gained control of ten of the twelve city councils in Ireland. Only Belfast and Derry remained under Unionist and IPP (respectively) control. In the local elections of the same year, they won control of all the county councils except Antrim, Down, Londonderry and Armagh.

Sinn Féin subsequently underwent successive splits (1922, 1926, 1970 and 1986), from which emerged a range of parties, Cumann na nGaedhael, now known as Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Official Sinn Féin, later Sinn Féin The Workers Party, later The Workers Party and then Democratic Left, which finally joined the Irish Labour party after serving in government with them, the present day Sinn Féin and Republican Sinn Féin.

The Split over The Treaty

Éamon de Valera, Fourth leader of Sinn Féin (1917–26)Following the conclusion (December 1921) of the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations between representatives of the British Government and de Valera's republican government and the narrow approval of the Treaty by Dáil Éireann, a state called the Irish Free State was established. Northern Ireland (a six county region set up under the British Government of Ireland Act 1920) opted out, as the Treaty allowed.

The reasons for the split were various, though partition was not one of them — the IRA did not split in the new Northern Ireland and pro- and anti-treaty republicans there looked to pro-treaty Michael Collins for leadership (and weapons). The principal reason for the split is usually described as the question of the Oath of Allegiance to the Irish Free State, which members of the new Dáil would be required to take. It explicitly recognised that the Irish Free State would be part of the British Empire and many republicans found that unacceptable. The pro-treaty forces argued that the treaty gave "freedom to achieve freedom".

A short but bitter Irish Civil War (June 1922 – April 1923) erupted between the supporters of the Treaty and its opponents. De Valera resigned as President of the Republic and sided with the anti-treatyites. The victorious pro-treaty "Free Staters", who amounted to a majority of Sinn Féin TDs and a majority of the electorate, set up the Irish Free State. The pro-treaty Sinn Féin TDs changed the name of the party to Cumann na nGaedhael, subsequently merging with the Centre Party and the Blueshirts in 1933 to form Fine Gael.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:19 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
The Irish Republican Army (IRA)

(Irish: Óglaigh na hÉireann) was a military organisation descended from the Irish Volunteers in April 1916 and which was recognised in 1919 by Dáil Éireann (its elected assembly) as the legitimate army of the unilaterally declared Irish Republic, the Irish state proclaimed in the Easter Rising in 1916 and reaffirmed by the Dáil in January 1919. In Irish, it was known as Óglaigh na hÉireann.

Though a series of organisations later claimed to be a continuation of the IRA from the 1920s to today, many Irish people disagree with these claims. After the signature of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, members of the IRA who supported the Treaty formed the nucleus of the National Army founded by IRA leader Michael Collins in 1922. While the anti-Treaty IRA continued to exist after its defeat in the Irish Civil War, by the late 1930s it had lost most of the legitimacy with which most supporters of the Republican side initially regarded it. A small minority of Irish people accepts later claimants to the name as the political heirs of the original Irish Republican Army, though none had their claims accepted by Dáil Éireann.

To distinguish between the army of the Irish Republic, and later claimants to the name, the original army recognised by the Dáil is sometimes called the Old IRA.


Physical force Irish republicanism as an ideology had a long history, from the United Irishmen of the 1798 and 1803 rebellions, to the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848 and the Irish Republican Brotherhood rebellion of 1867. In addition, the methods of the IRA were to some extent inspired by the traditions of militant agrarian Irish secret societies like the Defenders, the Ribbonmen and the supporters of the Irish Land League.

The acronym IRA was first used by the IRB organization in America (also known as the Fenian Brotherhood). This "Irish Republican Army" of the 1860s comprised the American Fenians' paramilitary forces, organized into a number of regiments. Fenian soldiers wearing IRA insignia fought at the Battle of Ridgeway on 2 June 1866. However the term Irish Republican Army in its modern sense was first used in the second decade of the 20th century for the rebel forces of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizens Army during the Easter Rising. It was subsequently, and most commonly, used for those Volunteers who fought a guerrilla campaign in 1919–1921 in support of the Irish Republic declared in 1919.

Background—Home Rule and the Volunteers

James ConnollyThe political violence that broke out in Ireland between 1916 and 1923 had its origins in Irish nationalist demands for Home Rule within the UK and British Empire and unionist resistance to these demands. By 1914, this issue was at an impasse, with the British government prepared to concede Home Rule or self government to Ireland. This led to the formation of unionist and nationalist armed militias, respectively, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Irish Volunteers.

The Government of Ireland Act 1914, more generally known as the Third Home Rule Act, was an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament in May 1914 which sought to give Ireland regional self-government within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Although it received Royal Assent in September 1914, its implementation was postponed until after the First World War, amid fears that opposition to home rule by Irish Unionists and illegal gun-running by the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Irish Volunteers would lead to civil war.

The standoff was temporarily averted by the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914. The Irish Volunteers split. The National Volunteers, with over 100,000 members led by Irish Parliamentary Party leader John Redmond were prepared to accept British promises to deliver Home Rule and about 20,000 of them served in the war in the British Army. However about 12,000 Volunteers, led by Eoin MacNeill and dominated by the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood, refused to join the British war effort and kept the name Irish Volunteers. Whereas MacNeill intended to use force only to resist the imposition of conscription on Ireland, the IRB men intended to launch an armed rebellion in pursuit of Irish independence.

A smaller organisation, the Irish Citizen Army—originally a worker's defence association under socialist James Connolly—independently planned their own rebellion. To avoid confusion, the IRB co-opted Connolly onto their supreme council in 1915. McNeill, however was never told of the planned insurrection.

Easter Rising / Éirigh amach na Caisc

The Proclamation of the Republic read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO in 1916.
Pádraig Pearse head of the 'Provisional Government' proclaimed in the Easter Rising.Weapons were supplied by Germany under the auspices of a leading human rights campaigner, Sir Roger Casement—including over 20,000 rifles and 10 machine guns. However, the plot was discovered on 21 April 1916 and the weapons were lost when the ship carrying them, the Aud, was scuttled to prevent the arms from falling into the hands of the British.

The Rising broke out on 24 April 1916. However, Eoin MacNeill, the Volunteer leader found out about the plot at the last minute and issued countermanding orders to Volunteer units around the country. As a result, less than 2,000 Volunteers out of 12,000 turned out. The IRB plan was to seize a compact area of central Dublin and launch simultaneous Risings around the country. In the event, the rising consisted of a week's street fighting in the Irish capital after which the rebels surrendered. The British used overwhelming force, including over 16,000 troops, artillery, and a naval gunboat, to put down the rebellion. Over half the 500 or so killed were civilians caught in the crossfire.

The leaders seized the General Post Office (GPO), raising a green flag bearing the legend "Irish Republic", and proclaiming independence for Ireland. While the Rising later became a celebrated episode for Irish nationalists, it was very unpopular at the time. The rebel Volunteers were a minority faction among Irish nationalists and up to 200,000 Irishmen were serving on the British side in the First World War. Moreover, the public largely blamed the rebels for the death and destruction caused in the fighting. There were calls for the execution of the "ringleaders" in the major Irish nationalist daily newspaper, the Irish Independent, and local authorities also sought the ringleaders. After the Rising, Dubliners spat, threw stones at them, and emptied chamber pots down on the rebels as they were marched towards the transport ships that would take them to the Welsh internment camps.

However, public opinion dramatically shifted to the rebels' side in the next two years. Initially, this was caused by the revulsion over the summary executions of 16 senior leaders—some of whom, such as James Connolly, were too ill to stand—and of other people thought complicit in the rebellion. As one observer described, "the drawn-out process of executing the leaders of the rising, it was like watching blood seep from behind a closed door." Opinion shifted even more in favour of the Republicans in 1917–18 with the Conscription Crisis, an attempt by Britain to impose conscription on Ireland to bolster its flagging war effort. By 1917, this was extremely unpopular in Ireland due to heavy casualties on the Western Front.

A small nationalist Irish party, Sinn Féin, was widely, but wrongly, credited with orchestrating the Easter Rising although its leader Arthur Griffith in fact advocated Irish self government under a dual monarchy. The Republican survivors of the Rising, under Éamon de Valera, infiltrated and took over Sinn Féin in 1917 and committed the party to founding an Irish Republic.

From 1916 to 1918, the two dominant nationalist movements, Sinn Féin and the Irish Parliamentary Party, fought a tough series of battles in by-elections. Neither won a decisive victory; however, the Conscription Crisis tipped the balance in favor of Sinn Féin. The party went on to win a clear majority of seats in the 1918 general election: of the 73 seats in which Sinn Féin were elected, 25 were uncontested. The Sinn Féin MPs withdrew from the British Parliament and declared an Irish Republic, with themselves as the legitimate government. They met in their own parliament, which they called the Dáil.

In this new position of strength, the Irish Volunteers, who had been swollen to over 100,000 men in the conscription crisis, were re-organised as the army of this Republic. Hence they began to refer to themselves as the Irish Republican Army.

The emergence of the IRA after the Easter Rising

Cathal Brugha, TD Príomh Aire (January–April 1919) Long-term Minister for Defence and rival to Michael Collins.The first steps towards reorganizing the defeated Irish Volunteers were taken on 27 October 1917 when a convention took place in Dublin. This convention, that subsequently became known as an IRA convention, was called to coincide with the Sinn Féin party conference.

Nearly 250 people attended the convention; internment prevented many more from attending. In fact, the Royal Irish Constabulary estimated that 162 companies of volunteers were active in the country, although other sources suggest a higher figure of 390.

The proceedings were presided over by Éamon de Valera, who had been elected President of Sinn Féin the previous day. Also on the platform were Cathal Brugha and many others who were prominent in the reorganising of the Volunteers in the previous few months, many of them ex-prisoners.

De Valera was elected president. A national executive was also elected, composed of provincial representatives (including Dublin). In addition, a number of directors were elected to head the various IRA departments. Those elected were: Michael Collins (Director for Organisation); Diarmuid Lynch (Director for Communications); Michael Staines (Director for Supply); Rory O'Connor (Director of Engineering). Seán McGarry was voted General Secretary, while Cathal Brugha was made Chairman of the Resident Executive, which in effect made him Chief of Staff.

The other elected members were: M. W. O'Reilly (Dublin); Austin Stack (Kerry); Con Collins (Limerick); Seán MacEntee (Belfast); Joe O'Doherty (Donegal); Paul Galligan (Cavan); Eoin O'Duffy (Monaghan); Seamus Doyle (Wexford); Peadar Bracken (Offaly); Larry Lardner (Galway); Dick Walsh (Mayo) and another member from Connacht. There were six co-options to make-up the full number when the directors were named from within their ranks. The six were all Dublin men: Eamonn Duggan; Gearóid O'Sullivan; Fintan Murphy; Diarmuid O'Hegarty; Dick McKee and Paddy Ryan.

Of the 26 elected, six were also members of the Sinn Féin National Executive, with Éamon de Valera president of both. Eleven of the 26 were elected Teachta Dála in the 1918 general election and 13 in the May 1921 election.

Dáil Éireann and the IRAMain article: First Dáil

Éamon de ValeraSinn Féin MPs elected in 1918 fulfilled their election promise not to take their seats in Westminster but instead set up an independent "Assembly of Ireland", or Dáil Éireann, in the Irish language. On January 21, 1919, this new, unofficial parliament assembled in the Mansion House in Dublin. As its first acts, the Dáil elected a prime minister (Príomh Aire), Cathal Brugha, and inaugurated a ministry called the Aireacht. In theory, the IRA was responsible to the Dáil and was the army of the Irish Republic. In practice, the Dáil had great difficulty controlling the actions of the Volunteers.

The new leadership of the Irish Republic worried that the IRA would not accept its authority, given that the Volunteers, under their own constitution, was bound to obey their own executive and no other body. The fear was increased when, on the very day the new national parliament was meeting, 21 January 1919, the South Tipperary IRA volunteer unit, acting on their own initiative, seized a quantity of gelignite, and two Royal Irish Constabulary constables (James McDonnell and Patrick O'Connell) were killed in the process by Seán Treacy and Dan Breen.

Technically, the men involved were considered to be in a serious breach of IRA discipline and were liable to be court-martialed, but it was considered more politically expedient to hold them up as examples of a rejuvenated militarism. The conflict soon escalated into guerrilla warfare by what were then known as the Flying Columns in remote areas. Attacks on remote Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks continued throughout 1919 and 1920, forcing the police to consolidate defensively in the larger towns, effectively placing large areas of the countryside in the hands of the Republicans.

Moves to make the IRA the army of the Dáil and not its rival had begun before the January attack, and were stepped up. On 31 January the IRA organ, An t-Óglách published a list of principles agreed between two representatives of the Aireacht, acting Príomh Aire Cathal Brugha and Richard Mulcahy and the Executive. It made first mention of the organisation treating "the armed forces of the enemy—whether soldiers or policemen—exactly as a national army would treat the members of an invading army".

An article in An tÓglách stated that

"The Irish Government claims the same power and authority as any other lawfully constituted Government; it sanctions the employment by the Irish Volunteers of the most drastic measures against the enemies of Ireland . . . England must be given the choice of evacuating the country or holding it by foreign garrison, with a perpetual state of war in existence."

In the statement the new relationship between the Aireacht and the IRA was defined clearly.

The Government was defined as possessing the same power and authority as a normal government.
It, and not the IRA, sanctions the IRA campaign;
It explicitly spoke of a state of war.

Richard Mulcahy, who, with Cathal Brugha, helped redefine the relationship between the Aireacht and the IRA.As part of the ongoing strategy to take control of the IRA, Brugha proposed to Dáil Éireann on 20 August 1919 that the Volunteers were to be asked, at this next convention, to swear allegiance to the Dáil. He further proposed that members of the Dáil themselves should swear the same oath. On 25 August Collins wrote to the Príomh Aire, Éamon de Valera, to inform him "the Volunteer affair is now fixed".

Though this was "fixed" at one level, another year passed before the Volunteers took an oath of allegiance to the Irish Republic and its government, "throughout August 1920".

A power struggle continued between Brugha and Collins, both cabinet ministers, over who had the greater influence. Brugha was nominally the superior as Minister for Defence, but Collins's powerbase came from his position as Director of Organisation of the IRA and as his key powerbase as a member of the Supreme Council of the IRB. De Valera too resented Collins's clear power and influence, which he saw as coming from the secretive IRB than from his position as a Teachta Dála (TD) and minister in the Aireacht. Brugha and de Valera both urged the IRA to undertake larger, more conventional military actions for the propaganda effect, but were ignored by Collins and Mulcahy. Brugha at one stage proposed the assassination of the entire British cabinet. This was also discounted due to its presumed negative effect on British public opinion. Moreover, many members of the Dáil, notably Arthur Griffith did not approve of IRA violence and would have preferred a campaign of passive resistance to British rule. The Dáil belatedly accepted responsibility for IRA actions in April 1921, just three months before the end of the Irish War of Independence.

In practice, the IRA was commanded by Collins, with Richard Mulcahy as second in command. These men were able to issue orders and directives to IRA guerrilla units around the country and at times to send arms and organisers to specific areas. However, because of the localised and irregular character of the war, they were only able to exert limited control over local IRA commanders such as Tom Barry, Liam Lynch in Cork and Seán Mac Eoin in Longford.

The War of Independence

IRA campaign and organisation

The IRA fought a guerrilla war against the Crown forces in Ireland from 1919 to July 1921. The most intense period of the war was from November 1920 to July 1921. The IRA campaign can broadly be split into three phases.
The first, in 1919, involved the re-organisation of the Irish Volunteers as a guerrilla army. Organisers such as Ernie O'Malley were sent around the country to set up viable guerrilla units.
On paper, there were 100,000 or so Volunteers enrolled after the conscription crisis of 1918. However, only about 15,000 of these participated in the guerrilla war. In 1919, Collins, the IRA's Director of Intelligence, organised the "Squad"—an assassination unit based in Dublin which killed police involved in intelligence work; the Irish playwright Brendan Behan's father Stephen Behan was a member of this squad.
Typical of Collin's sardonic sense of humour, the squad was often referred to as his "Twelve Apostles". In addition, there were some arms raids on Royal Irish Constabulary barracks for arms. By the end of 1919, four Dublin Metropolitan Police and 11 RIC men had been killed.
The RIC abandoned most of their smaller rural barracks in late 1919. Around 400 of these were burned in a co-ordinated IRA operation around the country in April 1920.

The second phase of the IRA campaign, roughly from January to July 1920, involved attacks on the fortified police barracks located in the towns. Between January and June 1920, 16 of these were destroyed and 29 badly damaged.
Several events of late 1920 greatly escalated the conflict. Firstly, the British declared martial law in parts of the country—allowing for internment and executions of IRA men. Secondly they deployed paramilitary forces the Black and Tans and Auxiliary Division and more British Army personnel into the country.
Thus, the third phase of the war (roughly August 1920–July 1921) involved the IRA taking on a greatly expanded British force, moving away from attacking well defended barracks and instead using ambush tactics. To this end the IRA was re-organised into "flying columns"—permanent guerrilla units, usually about 20 strong, though sometimes larger. In rural areas, the flying columns usually had bases in remote mountainous areas.

While most areas of the country saw some violence in 1919–1921, the brunt of the war was fought in Dublin and the southern province of Munster. In Munster, the IRA carried out a significant number of successful actions against British troops, for instance the ambushing and killing of 17 of 18 Auxiliaries by Tom Barry's column at Kilmicheal in West Cork in November 1920, or Liam Lynch's men killing 13 British soldiers near Millstreet early in the next year.
At the Crossbarry Ambush in March 1921, 100 or so of Barry's men fought a sizeable engagement with a British column of 1,200, escaping from the British encircling manoeuvre. In Dublin, the "Squad" and elements of the IRA Dublin Brigade were amalgamated into the "Active Service Unit", under Oscar Traynor, which tried to carry out at least three attacks on British troops a day. Usually, these consisted of shooting or grenade attacks on British patrols.
Outside Dublin and Munster, there were only isolated areas of intense activity. For instance, the County Longford IRA under Seán Mac Eoin carried out a number of well planned ambushes and successfully defended the village of Ballinalee against Black and Tan reprisals in a three-hour gun battle. In Mayo, large scale guerrilla action did not break out until spring 1921, when two British forces were ambushed at Carrowkennedy and Tourmakeady. Elsewhere, fighting was more sporadic and less intense.

In Belfast, the war had a character all of its own. The area had a Protestant and Unionist majority and IRA actions were responded to with ferocious reprisals against the Catholic population, including killings and the burning of many homes. The IRA in Belfast and the north generally, was therefore mostly involved in protecting the Catholic community from loyalists and state forces. The violence in Belfast alone, which continued long after the truce in the rest of the country, killed around 450 people, mostly civilians.

In April 1921, the IRA was again reorganised, in line with the Dáil's endorsement of its actions, along the lines of a regular army. Divisions were created based on region, with commanders being given responsibility, in theory, for large geographical areas. In practice, this had little effect on the localised nature of the guerrilla warfare.

In May 1921, the IRA in Dublin attacked and burned the The Custom House. The action was a severe blow to the IRA, who had five killed and eighty captured.

By the end of the war, in July 1921, the IRA was very hard pressed by the deployment of more British troops into the most active areas and a chronic shortage of arms and ammunition. It has been estimated that the IRA had only about 3,000 rifles (mostly captured from the British) during the war, with a larger number of shotguns and pistols. An ambitious plan to buy arms from Italy in 1921 collapsed when the money did not reach the arms dealers. Towards the end of the war, some Thompson submachine guns were imported from the United States; however 450 of these were intercepted by the American authorities and the remainder only reached Ireland shortly before the Truce.

By June 1921, Collins' assessment was that the IRA was within weeks, possibly even days, of collapse. It had few weapons or ammunition left. Moreover, almost 5,000 IRA men had been imprisoned or interned and over 500 killed. Collins and Mulcahy estimated that the number of effective guerrilla fighters was down to 2,000–3,000. However in the summer of 1921, the war was abruptly ended.

Atrocities on both sides

The Irish War of Independence was a brutal and bloody affair, with violence and acts of extreme brutality on both sides. The British sent hundreds of World War I veterans to assist the RIC. The veterans at first wore a combination of black police uniforms and tan army uniforms (because of shortages), which, according to one etymology, inspired the nickname Black and Tans.
The brutality of the "Black and Tans" is now legendary, although the most excessive repression attributed to the Crown's forces was often that of the Auxiliary Division of the Constabulary. One of the strongest critics of the Black and Tans was King George V. When the Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney lay dying on hunger strike the King personally intervened to try to get MacSwiney's release from jail.

The Black and Tans Other critics of British policy included Sir Samuel Hoare, a future British cabinet minister, who said that

If what is now going on in the Austrian Empire, all England would be ringing with denunciation of the tyranny of the Hapsburgs and of denying people the right to rule themselves.

Typical British reprisals included the burning of houses and businesses, the owners of whom occasionally had no connection to the IRA. In addition, after August 1920, the British began executing IRA prisoners. The IRA responded by killing British prisoners. Spies and suspected spies were shot by the IRA and publicly dumped on roadsides.

Perhaps the worst — certainly the most high profile — atrocity of the war took place in Dublin in November 1920, and is still known as Bloody Sunday. In the early hours of the morning, Collins' "Squad" assassinated 14 British agents, some in front of their wives and families. In reprisal, that afternoon, British forces opened fire on a football crowd at Croke Park, killing 14 civilians. Towards the end of the day, two prominent Republicans and a friend of theirs were arrested and killed by Crown Forces.

The IRA was also involved in the destruction of many stately homes in Munster. These belonged to prominent Loyalists who were aiding the Crown forces, and were burnt to discourage the British policy of destroying the homes of Republicans, suspected and actual. Many historic buildings in Ireland were destroyed during the war, most famously the Custom House in Dublin, which was disastrously attacked on de Valera's insistence, to the horror of the more militarily experienced Collins. As he feared, the destruction proved a pyrrhic victory for the Republic, with so many IRA men killed or captured that the IRA in Dublin suffered a severe blow.

This was also a period of social upheaval in Ireland, with frequent strikes as well as other manifestations of class conflict. In this regard, the IRA acted to a large degree as an agent of social control and stability, driven by the need to preserve cross-class unity in the national struggle, and on occasion being used to break strikes.


Assessments of the effectiveness of the IRA's campaign vary. The IRA did not in any sense defeat the British military in Ireland. Nor were they ever in a position to engage them in conventional warfare. Richard Mulcahy bemoaned the fact that they had not been able to drive the British, "out of anything bigger than a fairly good size police barracks". On the other hand, the guerrilla warfare of 1919–21 had made Ireland ungovernable except by military means. The political, military and financial costs of remaining in Ireland were higher than the British government were prepared to pay and this in a sense forced them into negotiations with the Irish political leaders. According to historian Michael Hopkinson, the guerrilla warfare, "was often courageous and effective" .
Another historian, David Fitzpatrick notes that, "The guerrilla fighters...were vastly outnumbered by the forces of the Crown...the success of the Irish Volunteers in surviving so long is therefore noteworthy" .

Truce and Treaty

Main article: Anglo-Irish Treaty
David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, at the time, found himself under increasing pressure (both internationally and from within the British Isles) to try to salvage something from the situation. This was a complete reversal on his earlier position. He had consistently referred to the IRA as a "murder gang" up until then. An unexpected olive branch came from King George V, who, in a speech in Belfast called for reconciliation on all sides, changed the mood and enabled the British and Irish Republican governments to agree to a truce. The Truce was agreed on 11 July 1921. On 8 July, de Valera met General Macready, the British commander in chief in Ireland and agreed terms. The IRA was to retain its arms and the British Army was to remain in barracks for the duration of peace negotiations. Many IRA officers interpreted the truce only as a temporary break in fighting. They continued to recruit and train volunteers, with the result that the IRA had increased its number to over 72,000 men by early 1922.

The signed last page of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.Negotiations on an Anglo-Irish Treaty took place in late 1921 in London. The Irish delegation was led by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins.

The most contentious areas of the Treaty for the IRA were abolition of the Irish Republic declared in 1919, the status of the Irish Free State as a dominion in the British Commonwealth and the British retention of the so called Treaty Ports on Ireland's south coast. These issues were the cause of a split in the IRA and ultimately, the Irish Civil War.

Under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Ireland was partitioned, creating Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish agreement of 6 December 1921, which ended the war (1919–1921), Northern Ireland was given the option of withdrawing from the new state, the Irish Free State, and remaining part of the United Kingdom. The Northern Ireland parliament chose to do the latter. An Irish Boundary Commission was then set up to review the border.

Irish leaders expected that it would so reduce Northern Ireland's size, by transferring nationalist areas to the Irish Free State, as to make it economically unviable. Partition was not the key breaking point between pro- and anti-Treaty campaigners; both sides expected the Boundary Commission to emasculate Northern Ireland. Moreover, Michael Collins was planning a clandestine guerrilla campaign against the Northern state using the IRA. In early 1922, he sent IRA units to the border areas and sent arms to northern units. For this reason, the future of Northern Ireland was not the cause of the Irish Civil War. It was only afterwards, when partition was confirmed that a united Ireland became the preserve of anti-Treaty Republicans.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:20 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
The Irish Republican Brotherhood

(IRB; Irish: Bráithreachas na Poblachta) was a secret fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic Republic" in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The IRB played an important role in the history of Ireland. It was the chief advocate of republicanism during the campaign for Ireland's independence from the United Kingdom during the latter half of the nineteenth century. It was formed on 17 March 1858 by James Stephens, along with Thomas Clarke Luby, John O'Leary and Charles Kickham, in Lombard Street, Dublin. As part of the New Departure, in the 1870s and 1880s, IRB members attempted to democratise the Home Rule Leagueand its successor, the Irish Parliamentary Party, as well as taking part in the Land War.

Its counterpart in the United States of America was organized by John O'Mahony and became known as the Fenian Brotherhood (later Clan na Gael), a faction of which would organize several raids into British Canada from 1866 to 1871 in an effort at exchanging control of Canada for Ireland's freedom. The Fenian Brotherhood also organised the abortive Fenian Rising of 1867 in Ireland. The United Irishmen of America, yet another faction, was behind a dynamite campaign in English cities in the 1880s, inspired by the British secret service, though the IRB was held responsible.

The members of both wings of the movement are often referred to as "Fenians".


James Stephens, one of the "Men of 1848" (i.e. a participant in the 1848 revolt) had established himself in Paris, and was in correspondence with John O'Mahony in the United States and other advanced nationalists in Ireland and elsewhere. This included the Phoenix National and Literary Society, which was formed in 1856 by Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa in Skibbereen.

The object of Stephens, O'Mahony, John O'Leary, Thomas Clarke Luby and other leaders of the movement was to change the composition of Irish political society through the organisation. In propagating republican principles, they felt, the organisation would create a virtual democracy within the country, which would form the basis of an independence movement.
The Fenians soon established themselves in Australia, South America, Canada and, above all, in the United States, as well as in the large cities of Britain, such as London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The movement was denounced by the British establishment, the press, the Roman Catholic Church and Irish political elite, as had all Irish separatist and Republicanism movements.
One Irish bishop, David Moriarty of Kerry, declared that "Hell is not hot enough, nor eternity long enough, to punish these miscreants", i.e. the Fenians.

It was a few years after its foundation before the IRB made any headway. The Phoenix Club in County Kerry was crushed by the government. Some twenty leaders were put on trial, including O'Donovan; when they pleaded guilty they were, with a single exception, treated with leniency.

1867 revolt and land agitation

In 1863, Stephens began publishing the revolutionary journal Irish People, in Dublin. From 1865, large numbers of Irishmen who had participated in the American Civil War returned to Ireland, and the plans for a rising were worked on. The government, well served by informers, now took action. In September 1865, the Irish People was suppressed, and several of the more prominent Fenians were sentenced to terms of penal servitude; Stephens, through the support of a prison warder, escaped to France.
The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended in early 1866, and a considerable number of persons were arrested. The failed Fenian Rising the following year proved a serious setback for the IRB's hopes, with numerous arrests in both Ireland and Britain.

In 1882, a breakaway IRB faction calling itself the Irish National Invincibles assassinated the British Chief Secretary for Ireland Lord Frederick Cavendish and his secretary (see Phoenix Park Murders).

In March 1883 the London Metropolitan Police's Special Irish Branch was formed, initially as a small section of the Criminal Investigation Department, to monitor IRB activity.

Nineteenth-century Fenianism was among the most important movements in modern Irish history. Its radicalism influenced later leaders such as Patrick Pearse and Michael Collins, and the IRB was well placed in the subsequent independence movement with the latter at the helm.

Later history

Revitalised by Tom Clarke, from about 1910, the Military Council of the IRB was the chief organising force behind the Easter Rising of 1916, under the leadership of such men as Clarke, Sean MacDermott and Patrick Pearse. The IRB were behind the initiative which lead to the series of meetings leading up to the public inauguration of the Irish Volunteers.

Before and during World War I, the IRB in the United States was closely associated with the Ghadar Party, as was Clan Na Gael. The Brotherhood is believed to have played a major role in supporting Indian nationalists, as well as playing a key role in the Hindu German Conspiracy. Those closely involved with the Indian movement, and later involved in the plot, included major Irish republican and Irish-American nationalist figures, including John Devoy, Joseph McGarrity, Roger Casement, Éamon de Valera.

The IRB was greatly influential during the 1919–21 Irish War of Independence, as its president since the summer 1919 was Michael Collins, who was also a leader in the Irish Republican Army.

Anti-Treaty republicans like Ernie O'Malley,who fought during the civil war against the Treaty, saw the IRB as being used to undermine the Irish Republic. Following the end of the civil war in 1924, the Supreme Council, under Collins' protégé Richard Mulcahy as chairman, voted to dissolve the organization, deeming that its goals had been achieved.


The Irish Republican Brotherhood was led by an eleven member Supreme Council, consisting of representatives from the seven districts in which the organization was organised: the Irish provinces of Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht, as well as Scotland, North England, and South England. The remaining four members were co-opted. The Supreme Council elected three of its members to the executive, which consisted of the President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Presidents of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (1858-1922)

The Supreme Council of the IRB was established in 1869. Nevertheless, James Stephens and Thomas J. Kelly are usually recognized as presidents or chairmen of the organization. Theoretically, the presidency could have changed every two years between 1869 and 1922.

What follows is a list of known IRB presidents. As no formal records exist for the IRB, accurate dates cannot be provided in nall cases. The position of president was, at times, merely honorific.

James Stephens (1858-1866)
Thomas J. Kelly (1866-1867)
James Francis Xavier O'Brien (1869?-1872?)
Charles Kickham (1873-1882)
John O'Connor (1882?-1891?)
John O'Leary (1891?-1907)
Neal O'Boyle (1907-1910)
John Mulholland (1910-1912)
Seamus Deakin (1913-1914)
Denis McCullough (1915-1916)
Thomas Ashe (1916-1917)
Seán McGarry (1917-1919)
Harry Boland (1919-1920)
Patrick Moylett (1920)
Michael Collins (1920-1922)

The oath

The oath of the Irish Republican Brotherhood changed throughout the years, though the one probably best known goes as follows:

In the presence of God, I, …, do solemnly swear that I will do my utmost to establish the independence of Ireland, and that I will bear true allegiance to the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Government of the Irish Republic and implicitly obey the constitution of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and all my superior officers and that I will preserve inviolable the secrets of the organisation

The Irish Citizen Army

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:21 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
The Irish Citizen Army

(Irish name: Arm Cathartha na hÉireann), or ICA, was a small group of trained trade union volunteers established in Dublin for the defense of worker’s demonstrations from the police. It was formed by James Larkin and Jack White. Other prominent members included James Connolly, Seán O'Casey, Countess Markievicz, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1916, it took part in the Easter Rising – an armed insurrection aimed at ending British rule in Ireland.

The Lockout

The army rose out of the great strike of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union in 1913, known as the Lockout of 1913. The dispute was over the recognition of this labour union founded by James Larkin. It began when William Martin Murphy, an industrialist, locked out some trade unionists on August 19, 1913. In response, Larkin called an all out strike on Murphy's Dublin United Tramway Company. Other companies, encouraged by Murphy, sacked ITGWU members in an effort to break the union. The conflict eventually escalated to involve 400 employers and 25,000 workers.

This strike caused most of Dublin to come to an economic standstill and was marked by vicious rioting between the strikers and the Dublin Metropolitan Police, particularly at a rally on O'Connell street on August 31, in which two men were beaten to death and about 500 more injured. Another striker was later shot dead by a strike-breaker. The violence at union rallies during the strike prompted Larkin to call for a worker's militia to be formed to protect themselves against the police. The Citizen army for the duration of the lockout was armed with hurling sticks and bats in order to protect worker's demonstration from the police. Jack White, a former British Army Captain, volunteered to train this army and offered 50 pounds towards the cost of shoes to workers so they could train. In addition to its role as a self defence organisation, the army, which was drilled in Croydon Park in Fairview by White, provided a diversion for workers unemployed and idle during the dispute. After a six-month standoff, the workers returned to work hungry and defeated in January 1914. The original purpose of the ICA was over, but it would soon be totally transformed. In all the revolution is a big war between two countries or more, when a change occurs.


The Irish Citizen Army was totally reorganised in 1914. In March of that year, a demonstration of the Citizen Army was attacked by the police and Jack White, its commander, was arrested. Sean O'Casey then suggested that the ICA needed a more formal organisation. O'Casey wrote a constitution stating the Army's principles as follows: the ownership of Ireland, moral and material, is vested of right in the people of Ireland and to "sink all difference of birth property and creed under the common name of Irish people".

On Larkin's insistence, all members were also required to be members of a trade union, if eligible. In mid 1914, White resigned as ICA commander to join the mainstream nationalist Irish Volunteers and Larkin took over.

James Larkin left Ireland for America in October 1914, leaving the Citizen Army under the command of James Connolly. Whereas during the Lockout, the ICA had been a workers' self defence militia, Connolly conceived of it as a revolutionary organisation - dedicated to the creation of an Irish socialist republic. He had served in the British army in his youth and knew something about military tactics and discipline. Other active members in the early days included Sean O'Casey, Countess Markievicz, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. Sheehy-Skeffington and O'Casey left the ICA when it became apparent that Connolly was moving towards the radical nationalist group, the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

James Connolly was a convinced Marxist socialist and Irish Republican and believed that achieving political change through physical force, in the tradition of the Fenians, was legitimate.

The ICA was armed with Mauser rifles bought from Germany by the Irish Volunteers and smuggled into Ireland at Howth in July 1914. This organisation was one of the first to offer equal membership to both men and women and trained them both in the use of weapons. The army's headquarters was the ITGWU union building, Liberty Hall and they were almost entirely Dublin based. However, Connolly also set up branches in Tralee and Killarney in county Kerry. In October 1915, armed ICA pickets patrolled a strike by dockers at Dublin port.

Appalled by the participation of Irishmen in the First World War, which he regarded as an imperialist, capitalist conflict, Connolly began openly calling for insurrection in his newspaper, the Irish Worker. When this was banned, he opened another the Worker's Republic. The British authorities tolerated the open drilling and bearing of arms by the ICA, thinking that to clamp down on the organisation would provoke further unrest. A small group of Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) conspirators within the Irish Volunteers movement were also planning a rising. Worried that Connolly would embark on premature military action with the ICA, Connolly was approached and inducted into the IRB's Supreme Council to co-ordinate their preparations for the armed rebellion known as the Easter Rising.

Easter Rising

Mauser rifle used by members of the ICAThe army never numbered more than 250 men and women. On Monday April 24, 1916, 220 of them (including 28 women) took part in the Easter Rising, alongside a much larger body of the Irish Volunteers. They helped occupy the General Post Office on O'Connell Street (then Sackville Street), Dublin's main thoroughfare. Mallin, Connolly's second in command, along with Markievizc and an ICA company, occupied St Stephen's Green. Another company under Sean Connolly took over City Hall and attacked Dublin Castle. Finally, a detachment occupied Harcourt Street railway station. ICA men were the first rebel causalties of Easter Week, two of them being killed in an abortive attack on Dublin Castle. Sean Connolly, an ICA officer, was the first rebel fatality. A total of eleven Citizen Army men were killed in action in the rising, five in the City Hall/Dublin castle area, five in Stephen's Green and one in the GPO.

Connolly was made commander of the rebel forces in Dublin during the Rising and issued orders to surrender after a week. He and Mallin were executed by British army firing squad some weeks later. The surviving ICA members were interned in Frongoch in Wales until 1919.

Many of them later joined the new Irish Republican Army (IRA) from 1917 on, but the Citizen Army remained in existence until the 1930s. According to some reports,[attribution needed] ICA units were involved in various IRA operations during the Irish War of Independence, including the burning of the Customs House in May 1921. During the fighting in Dublin that began the Irish Civil War in July 1922, some elements of the ICA (which by this time had about 140 members) were involved in the Anti-Treaty IRA occupation and defence of the Four Courts while others occupied Liberty Hall, the Trade Union headquarters, to prevent it falling into the hands of either the Republicans or the Free State Army.

Post-Irish independence

In the 1920s and 1930s, the ICA was kept alive by veterans such as Seamus MacGowan, Dick McCormick and Frank Purcell, though perhaps only as an old comrades association by veterans of 1916.

Uniformed Citizen Army men provided a guard of honour at Constance Markievicz's funeral in 1927.

The ICA's last public appearance was to accompany the funeral procession of union leader James Larkin in Dublin in 1947.

Uniforms and banners

Uniforms: the uniform was dark green with a slouched hat. As many members could not afford a uniform, they wore a blue armband, with officers wearing red ones.

Their banner was the Plough and the Stars. Connolly said the significance of the banner was that a free Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars.

This was flown by the Irish Citizens Army during the 1916 rising.

Re: Irish republican grouping 1916-1922

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:45 am
by brendan
can you clarify whether this and other similar posts are based on your own primary research etc or are they taken from other sources.
- You know how we all get about knowing the sources and making sure that the right person gets acknowledged for the work (And if its you, well its a lot of work!)


Re: Irish republican grouping 1916-1922

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:52 am
by Na Fianna Éireann
the posts are a mixture of taken off the internet ... posts by others on another forum that has a subsection with the posters permission and some by me , as i wanted to replicate for the benefit for the users on this forum

Re: Irish republican grouping 1916-1922

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:20 pm
by brendan
Ok, just to make sure that credit is given where it is due (and providing the researcher is OK with it) can you include their names when posting.
A link to the other forum would also help promote use of that forum as well (if it is open access)...sharing the love! (and hits) :)


Re: Irish republican grouping 1916-1922

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:49 pm
by Na Fianna Éireann
hi brendan the forum is and all are welcome to log unto it and apply for membership of the war of independence section , feel free to come unto it brendan and participate .