The centenary of the civil war is a dark year of commemoration

IRELAND’S DECADE OF COMMEMORATIONS enters its most difficult period as the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.

The War of Independence was interrupted by a truce in July 1921 and ended with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty five months later.

The treaty established the Irish Free State (which came into being in December 1922, a year after the treaty was signed), giving the 26-county state the status of an autonomous dominion within the British Empire.

The compromise agreement did not result in a republic and did not include the six counties of Northern Ireland.

For many in the Republican movement, this represented a betrayal of what they had fought for and it saw communities, friends and families fall apart as Ireland sank into more violent and more violent conflict. violent.

Discussions around this year’s commemorations will cover many sensitive topics and incidents. To prepare for the year ahead, here is a non-exhaustive timeline of some of the events that may be remembered and discussed this year.


January 7, 1922: After weeks of long and controversial debates, the Dáil approved the Anglo-Irish treaty by a total of seven votes (64-57).

January 9, 1922: Éamon de Valera resigns from his post as president of the Dáil Éireann.

January 10, 1922: De Valera loses a motion for his re-election as President of the Dáil by two votes. Arthur Griffith was then elected after the departure of De Valera and his supporters.

January 16, 1922: Michael Collins, in his role as President of the Provisional Government, takes control of Dublin Castle from the last Viceroy of Ireland, Lord FitzAlan-Howard.

January 31, 1922: The Free State Army takes possession of its headquarters at Beggars’ Bush Barracks in Dublin.


February 5, 1922: The treaty is rejected by Cumann na mBan.

February 11, 1922: Four Ulster Special Agents and an IRA member are killed in a shootout at Clones Station, Co Monaghan. Many more are injured, including civilians. The evacuation of British troops is temporarily suspended.

12-15 February 1922: Sectarian violence breaks out in Belfast, killing around 30 people and injuring dozens more. One incident saw six children die when a bomb was thrown in the courtyard of a Catholic school on Weaver Street.


March 2, 1922: The anti-treaty IRA disembarks a shipment of German arms at Helvick Head, County Waterford.

March 11, 1922: After a stalemate, anti-treaty forces cede control of Limerick to pro-treaty troops. 1

March 5, 1922: De Valera forms the political party Cumann na Poblachta (League of the Republic) of the anti-treaty wing of Sinn Féin.

March 26, 1922: The anti-treaty IRA agents hold a convention where they reject the treaty and repudiate the authority of the Dáil.

March 29, 1922: Catholic businessman Owen McMahon, four members of his family and one of his employees are shot dead at the McMahon family’s home in Belfast. Survivors of the attack say the gunmen wore police uniforms. The attack is said to be in retaliation for the murder of two police officers the day before.

March 29, 1922: Anti-Treaty forces seize large quantities of firearms, ammunition and explosives in Cobh, County Cork. The armaments were waiting to be shipped to England.


April 13-14, 1922: Around 200 anti-treaty soldiers, led by Rory O’Connor and Liam Mellows, take control of the four courts in Dublin.

April 26, 1922: After meeting in Maynooth, the Catholic hierarchy issues a statement supporting acceptance of the treaty.


May 1, 1922: Anti-Treaty forces take over £ 750,000 in raids on Bank of Ireland branches.

May 20, 1922: Collins and De Valera agree to a pact whereby Sinn Féin’s candidates in the June general election will be chosen from pro and anti-Treaty parties in proportion to their current Dáil strength. The pact angered the British government and Collins and Griffith were summoned to London.

20-22 May 1922: 14 people are killed in sectarian clashes in Belfast. British West Belfast Member of Parliament WJ Twaddell is shot dead.

May 31, 1922: The shooting of two police officers in Belfast provokes reprisals. 80 Catholic families are burnt in their homes and eight are killed.


June 16, 1922: The pro-treaty candidates win 58 seats in the general election; The anti-treaty candidates win 36; Labor wins 17; Farmers Party wins seven; small parties and independents gain 10.

June 18, 1922: An IRA convention at Dublin’s Mansion House is divided over the question of resuming the offensive against British troops.

June 26, 1922: Anti-treaty irregulars based in the four courts kidnap Free State General JJ “Ginger” O’Connell in retaliation for the arrest of anti-treaty agent Leo Henderson.

June 27, 1922: Collins issues a final ultimatum to the Quatre Courts garrison to surrender before it is attacked.

June 28, 1922: The civil war finally begins as the provisional government begins to bombard the four courtyards at 4:15 am. Collins borrows two 18-pounder field guns to lead the offensive. This is the first use of artillery by the Free State Army.

June 30, 1922: Anti-treaty forces abandon all four courts. A huge explosion detonates a wing of the Four Courts, including the Public Record Office. Free State troops claim the building has been mined.

A week of fighting ensued after the bombardment of the Quatre Cours.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo

July 5, 1922: Fighting ends in Dublin when anti-treaty troops surrender or flee. Republican leader Cathal Brugha was fatally injured in front of the Hamman hotel after refusing to surrender, he died two days later. Dublin is now under the control of the Provisional Government. More than 300 people have been killed in the fighting in the capital. The vast majority were civilians.

July 20, 1922: The cities of Limerick and Waterford fall under the provisional government. More than 450 people are killed in sectarian fighting in Belfast in June and July.

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A smiling National Army soldier with a captured IRA member in July 1922.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo


August 8, 1922: Free State forces make landings by sea in County Cork. Over a thousand men disembark in three separate landings at Passage Ouest, Youghal and Glandore. There is heavy fighting in Rochestown as irregulars attempt to stop the Free State’s advance on Cork City.

August 10, 1922: Free State troops enter Cork after anti-treaty forces abandon the city.

August 11, 1922: Anti-Treaty forces abandon Fermoy, the last town under their control. The Republicans abandon the city holding policy and continue the guerrillas.

12 August 1922: Dáil president Arthur Griffith dies in hospital from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 51 years old. He is replaced by WT Cosgrave.

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August 22, 1922: Michael Collins is ambushed in Béal na Bláth, Co Cork. The incident took place not far from his family home. Collins was the sole victim of the shooting. The man who shot him is said to be Denis ‘Sonny’ O’Neill.

August 28, 1922: Massive crowds line the streets of the capital as Michael Collins’ funeral takes place in Dublin. Five civilians are killed in Westport, Co. Mayo, after anti-treaty troops opened fire on a crowd, leaving a mass staged for Collins.

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Michael Collins’ coffin passing through Gardiner Street Lower on August 28, 1922.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo


September 9, 1922: The third Dáil meets, WT Cosgrave is elected president. Anti-treaty parliamentarians apply a policy of abstention. Anti-Treaty troops attack Kenmare, Co Kerry. They kill a local Free State officer and take 120 Free State soldiers prisoner, but later release them. They capture 110 rifles and 20,000 cartridges.

September 28, 1922: Legislation on the emergency powers of the army is adopted by the Dáil. It comes into force the following month and empowers military courts to impose the death penalty. A total of 77 anti-treaty Republicans were executed between November 1922 and May 1923.


October 3, 1922: The Free State offers an amnesty to anti-treaty fighters who surrender their arms and recognize the government. Attacks and clashes continue across the country as they have for months.

25 October 1922: Éamon de Valera sets up a “Republican Cabinet” made up of anti-treaty DTs.

October 29, 1922: An anti-treaty IRA column takes Clifden, County Galway, capturing 80 Free State soldiers, after a 10-hour shootout. They take guns and burn the barracks before retreating.


November 17, 1922: The first executions of the Civil War take place as four men are killed in Kilmainham Prison.

November 24, 1922: Erskine Childers is executed. Childers was arrested earlier in the month after he was found in possession of a gun, which was a gift from Michael Collins. He had led the anti-treaty propaganda.


December 6, 1922: The Irish Free State was born after being officially established by the British House of Commons.

December 7, 1922: Seán Hales TD is shot dead on his way to a Dáil meeting. Leas Ceann Comhairle Padraic Máille is also injured in the incident.

8 December 1922: In retaliation for Hales’s murder, four anti-treaty leaders captured in the four courts in July (Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows, Dick Barrett and Joseph McKelvey) are executed.

December 10, 1922: TD Seán McGarry’s house is deliberately burnt down and his son dies in the flames.

December 13, 1922: Republicans led by Tom Barry take Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, in a surprise attack. They capture 107 rifles, two Lewis Guns and two armored cars but do not attempt to hold the city.

December 17, 1922: The last British soldiers leave the Free State. These are the remains of a 5,000-strong garrison that had been maintained in Dublin until then.

December 19, 1922: Seven Republicans are executed.

24 December 1922: 22 members of an anti-treaty guerrilla column are arrested at midnight mass in Curraheen, County Kerry.

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