Michael Collins and the the Civil War

Michael Collins and the the Civil War

T. Ryle Dwyer

Language: English

Pages: 242

ISBN: 1781170320

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


During the Civil War, Michael Collins was commander-in-chief of the Free State Army. This new book sheds light on previously unknown information about actions taken by Collins and Churchill during the Civil War. On 14 April 1922 a group of 200 anti-Treaty IRA men occupied the Four Courts in Dublin in defiance of the Provisional Government. Michael Collins, who wanted to avoid civil war at all costs, did not attack them until June 1922, when British pressure forced his hand. This led to the Irish Civil War as fighting broke out in Dublin between the anti-Treaty IRA and the Provisional Government's troops. Under Collins' supervision, the Free State rapidly took control of the capital. In 'Michael Collins and the Civil War', Ryle Dwyer sheds new light on Collins' role in the Civil War, showing how in the weeks and months leading to the campaign he secretly persisted with guerrilla tactics in border areas. This involved not only assassination but also kidnapping and hostage taking. In confronting those tactics on behalf of the British, for instance, Winston Churchill engaged in similar behaviour, including killing and hostage-taking. But until now much of this has conveniently been swept under the carpet of history. T. Ryle Dwyer is a historian and journalist with 'The Irish Examiner'. He has written many books, notably on the period of the War of Independence and the Civil War, and on Éamon De Valera and Michael Collins. His most recent titles with Mercier Press are: 'I Signed My Death Warrant:Michael Collins and the Treaty' and 'The Squad'. Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and MP for Cork South in the first Dáil of 1919. He was Director of Intelligence for the IRA and a member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. During the Civil War, Michael Collins was Chairman of the Provisional Government and commander-in-Chief of the Free State Army. He was shot and killed in August 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

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worried about the pact, as people in the north thought it would be difficult to agree mutually on a boundary. Various deputations were sent to Dublin to express their uneasiness. ‘A peace policy has been started and should get a fair chance,’ Collins told Bishop MacRory. Although he had essentially recognised Northern Ireland by concluding the pact, Collins was determined to go no further. In essence he still pursued a policy of non-recognition of Northern Ireland, even though the bishop clearly

signed under duress the men who went to London broke faith with the Irish people,’ he declared. ‘If it was signed without duress they were traitors to the cause.’. 7.. It was particularly volatile stuff. The country was ‘in greater danger’ than at any time in the last 750 years, he said, because ‘for the first time in that period a suggestion was being made to give Britain democratic title in Ireland’. In other words, the Irish people were being asked to endorse a treaty which meant that the

create the Irish Free State after such an election. ‘The Irish terrorists,’ he added, ‘are naturally . drawn to imitate Lenin & Trotsky; while we should take our stand on the will of the people freely expressed.’. 10.. Churchill wrote to Collins on 15 May. ‘I think I had better let you know at once that any such arrangement would be received with world-wide ridicule and reprobation. It would not be an election in any sense of the word, but simply a farce, were a handful of men who possess lethal

them, and they must realise that without the people they have no hope.’ Collins was anxious to avoid recrimination. It was pointless placing blame, he warned Mulcahy. ‘What matters is not the past six months but the present position and the future six months and after the future six months, the entire future.’. 22.. Collins was perceptive about the government’s public image and agreed with Desmond Fitzgerald that censorship should be kept on broad, general lines. ‘It should be very nominal,’ he

must be the civic guard organisation,’ he wrote to Cosgrave on 6 August. ‘The matter is one on which we ought to hasten slowly.’ He did not want a casual force but one that was properly trained. ‘It is not necessary for me to illustrate this by pointing to the wretched Irish republican police system, and to the awful personnel that was attracted to its ranks,’ Collins continued. ‘The lack of construction and the lack of control in this force have been responsible for many of the outrageous things

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