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De Valera’s return from the United States saw a disagreement over the conduct of the War of Independence. He believed that the ambushes and assassinations were mere “pinpricks” and that to bring the British to the negotiating table they would need large propaganda spectacles. Months of planning eventually led to the attack on the Custom House; seen…
 
As the War of Independence approached its conclusion another conflict was taking shape; that between Michael Collins and Cathal Brugha. Most often Brugha is castigated as petty, bitter and jealous, trying to knock down the man who was single handedly fighting off the British. The reality is that Brugha was unnerved by the power Collins possessed, a…
 
While de Valera had plans to remain on in the United States into 1921, his stay came to an end in December. By then he had moved against the Friends of Irish Freedom and created a new organisation, though he had left before it grew to over 700,000 members. He would leave as quietly has he had arrived, but he and the Irish Delegation had done much t…
 
Two men are claimed to have been shot during the false surrender, not 3 as given here.The Kilmichael Ambush stands as one of the most famous actions of the War of Independence but remains shrouded in mystery. An audacious operation which boosted Republican morale and shocked the British government, debate continues over the false surrender alleged …
 
On the morning of the 21st of November 1920 teams of IRA men shot and killed British Intelligence agents throughout Dublin in a concentrated attack. Hours later British forces responded by entering a Gaelic Football match at Croke Park and firing into the crowd, resulting in the deaths of 14 civilians. Immortalized as Bloody Sunday, just one of a n…
 
At the end of October 1920 a nationwide offensive was ordered to coincide with the execution of Kevin Barry. Though called off at the last moment, attacks went ahead in Kerry, leading to what became known as the Siege of Tralee. While the British government had to finally step in and order the Black and Tans to lift the siege, Britain would stage a…
 
Unwilling to create another martyr like Thomas Ashe, British authorities had taken to releasing hunger strikers and then re arresting them when they recovered. When released IRA prisoners would often go on the run and RIC morale was crumbling as they lost faith in the British government to protect them. When the Lord Mayor of Cork began a hunger st…
 
In October 1920 the new British intelligence structure operating from Dublin Castle closed in around Dan Breen, convinced he was responsible for the killing of a high ranking RIC officer in Cork. He would be hospitalized after a dramatic battle in Drumcondra but British agents would continue to stalk his close friend Seán Treacy.References:Joe Ambr…
 
Deployed alongside the Black and Tans and sent to make Ireland “an appropriate hell for those whose trade is agitation”, poor conditions and a lack of a clear objective would lead the Auxiliaries on a war path of drunkenness, destruction and murder. Though consisting of just 2,100 men they would be the IRA’s main opponent for the duration of the Wa…
 
With both major parties nominating candidates for the US Presidential election, de Valera and the Friends of Irish Freedom tried to put their differences aside to campaign for a resolution on Irish Independence. However hostilities broke out again at the Republican Convention in June where de Valera would actively sabotage the success achieved by C…
 
From Michelangelo da Caravaggio to Michael Collins and from The Taking of Christ to The Terrorising of Clarke, Italian Renaissance Art and the Irish Republican Army aren’t topics often discussed in the same breath, but an act of revenge and the grief it caused would link forever the names of Collins, Clarke and Caravaggio with District Inspector an…
 
June 1920 saw the new military figures appointed to take charge of policing in Ireland prepare the ground for legislation which would give British forces a freer hand in dealing with the IRA. However, attempts to use the RIC to assist the army as scouts started a mutiny in Kerry and the publication of an inflammatory speech given by the Divisional …
 
Most discussions on the life of Lord French end with his removal from command of the British Expeditionary Forces during the First World War but after this event he would have a dramatic effect on the course of Irish history. In command of the Home Forces during the 1916 Rising, he would support the executions carried out by Sir John Maxwell and la…
 
Following the Civil War and in the absence of a meaningful opposition, Cumann na nGaedheal dominated Irish politics. In this time they also allowed the party to stagnate and had become overconfident that their record in government would secure reelection in 1932; instead de Valera’s Fianna Fáil took office and they increased their grip on power in …
 
The Irish Civil War left a bitter legacy which lasted long after the conflict ended. In 1927 Kevin O’Higgins, the Minister for Justice who had signed 77 death warrants during the Civil War, was murdered on his way to Sunday mass. While it was a terrible blow for the government, they also saw it as an opportunity to put pressure on their Anti-Treaty…
 
Though he held some of the most important roles in the War of Independence little is known about Cathal Brugha’s life as he left very few written records. He served as President of Dáil Éireann until Éamon de Valera was released from prison and as Minister for Defense he refused to take a salary for what he considered to be his civic duty. Most wel…
 
Throughtout the War of Independence is said to have begun on the 21st of January 1919 just 15 RIC and DMP officers would be killed by the IRA over the next year. IRA General Headquarters in Dublin remained silent, refusing to sanction attacks and privately denouncing the likes of Tipperary’s Big Four for their escapades. The suppression of Sinn Féi…
 
In the hopes of stopping Sinn Féin’s dramatic growth the British government introduced proportional representation for all local elections held in Ireland in 1920. But just as it did in the 1918 general election, Sinn Féin stormed the polls and were in a position to appoint a number of Lord Mayors when the new councils met on the 30th of January. I…
 
On the 29th of November 1919 John Barton was shot dead in Dublin on the orders of Michael Collins. Though he had only recently transferred to G Division of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Barton had found an arms dump belonging to the Irish Republican Army and was investigating the shooting of another officer. It’s possible that with pressure mounti…
 
While government ministers in Ireland operated with the constant threat of arrest hanging over them, Éamon de Valera continued his grand tour of the United States, speaking to massive crowds from Philadelphia to San Francisco. However, the arrival of this foreign agitator wasn’t always welcomed and the first opposition to his mission in America beg…
 
On the 1st of September 1939 Adolf Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland and with it the start of World War 2. Committed to remaining neutral in the conflict Dáil Éireann declared a State of Emergency and for the next six years Ireland struggled in the face of adversity to retain its stability and its sovereignty. Drunken Nazis in Dingle, a US amba…
 
Slowly throughout 1919 Michael Collins had been expanding his intelligence operation, but the suppression of Dáil Éireann and a close escape in a British raid galvanised him into action. On the 19th of September 1919 he formally established “The Squad” who would become famed in the conflict ahead for striking terror into the hearts of British Intel…
 
(A bit of a delay on getting this out on Soundcloud!) The Irish Nation Lives turns one year old! Thank you all very much for your support over the past year. On this episode I recap the events so far, from the Conscription Crisis in March 1918 to the April 1919 Limerick Soviet.Social Media:Twitter: https://twitter.com/theirishnationFacebook: https:…
 
In August 1919 Cathal Brugha sought to formalise the relationship between the government and the Irish Volunteers by having them swear and oath of allegiance to Dáil Éireann. Brugha might also have been trying to out maneuver the Irish Republican Brotherhood who were recruiting Irish Volunteer officers with an aim to influencing the organisations c…
 
Following Éamon de Valera’s departure to the United States Michael Collins was finally in a position where he could begin his war against British Intelligence. It was clear that the Irish Volunteers could not hope to win in a fight against the British military but Collins believed that wiping out their spy network in Ireland would give the Voluntee…
 
On the 23rd of June 1919 Éamon de Valera strode into the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, taking up residence there for the next 18 months. While open warfare would break out in Ireland between Republican and Crown forces de Valera and his entourage would try to secure recognition of the Irish Republic and undertake a massive fund ra…
 
Michael Collins stands as one of the most important figures in Irish history. He would oversee the Dáil Loan, terrorise Dublin Castle and rise to the top of every organisation he was involved with. In this episode I take a look at his life leading up to the War of Independence, from his beginnings in London to the 1916 Rising to the creation of his…
 
Éamon de Valera led Ireland through the War of Independence and many view his actions around the Treaty debates as leading to the Civil War. He would go on to found one of the most successful political parties in Western Europe and establish the Irish Constitution through which he continues to cast a long shadow over modern Irish society. But who w…
 
Tipperary's Big Four had been on the run since the Soloheadbeg Ambush in January. A brief stop in May 1919 to raise funds led to the capture and dramatic rescue of Seán Hogan at Knocklong Station on the day of his 18th birthday.Joe Ambrose “Seán Treacy and the Tan War”Dan Breen “My Fight for Irish Freedom”Edmond O’Brien WS0597Dr. Joseph Kearney WS0…
 
I've been making shorter episodes and uploading them to Youtube, if you haven't done so already check out the channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzJ-Z_LCGFGf9xHh1MN1F_QFor two weeks in April 1919 the city of Limerick was governed by a workers council. The short lived Limerick Soviet was called in response to the imposition of martial law on t…
 
By the start of the Irish Revolution the Irish language had been in a state of decline since the 1600's and lacked many of the words needed to found a new state, such as "Republic" and "President". This episode takes a look at some of the oddities that arose in creating these new words as Gaeilge.The Irish language didn't always fare well after ind…
 
In this episode, as we approach the anniversary of the War of Independence, I take a look at modern research into what factors lead to insurgent campaigns. Using this research we can examine the years leading up to the War of Independence and see how and why events like the Home Rule Crisis affected the out break of violence.Seth G. Jones - "Waging…
 
Famed as the muse of W. B. Yeats, Maud Gonne shared with him a fascination of the occult. In her autobiography, A Servant of the Queen, Maud intermixes a number of paranormal and occult experiences with her campaign for Irish freedom. Throughout her life she feels the presence of otherworldly forces guiding her and punishing her enemies...Maud Gonn…
 
For decades Irish politicians agitated for Home Rule for Ireland. Ulster Unionists were prepared to engage in open treason against Britain to prevent it coming into the force and it almost caused a civil war to break out. The 1916 Rising is blamed for destroying Home Rule and the Irish people turned against it at the 1918 General Election. But what…
 
On the 20th of June 1918 the last by-election before the General Election in December was held. Coming on the back of the Conscription Crisis and the German Plot arrests Sinn Féin received a massive boost and stormed the poll. In this episode I look at this and the previous by-elections that set the ground for the massive upset in December.…
 
In April of 1918 two Irish Volunteers were killed in raid on an R.I.C. station at Gortatlea in County Kerry. Months before Soloheadbeg this was an early action in the War of Independence. On the 18th of June the Ballymacelligott Company set out to take revenge for their fallen comrades.Tadhg Kennedyhttp://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/reels/bmh/BM…
 
In May of 1918, as Ireland reeled from the arrests of many leading nationalists and as the threat of conscription seemed to grow, Cathal Brugha departed London and took up residence near Regents Park for 3 months. In this episode of Pages Out of Irish History I look at the reasons behind his expedition to London.Joseph Good: http://www.bureauofmili…
 
Britain has suffered heavy casualties in the Spring Offensive and attempts to introduce conscription to Ireland has been hampered by Nationalist opposition there. The new administration in Dublin Castle will use the appearance of a mysterious figure off on the west coast of Ireland to accuse Sinn Féin of being part of a German plot and on the 16-17…
 
Throughout April and early May of 1918 Ireland was in the grips of the Conscription Crisis. Often overlooked, this event would set the stage for much of what would follow throughout the rest of the year up to the December General Election. Episode 1 of The Irish Nation Lives takes a brief look at the crisis and introduces some of the people who wil…
 
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