Episode 20-Interview with James Nagle

Today we have a very special episode where we spoke to James Nagle about what life was like for an average IRA recruit and a British soldier. If you enjoyed our big picture overview but want to dive deeper into what life was like for an IRA recruit on the run, a civilian having to please both the IRA and the British, or a Black and Tan riding a convoy worried about an ambush, this is the interview for you!

James is the host of the Irish Nation Lives, a history document on YouTube about the Irish War of Independence. Be sure to check his videos out and follow James on Twitter!

History in 5ish minutes 5 facts about Arthur Griffith

History in 5ish minute: 5 Facts About Arthur Griffith

Welcome to History in 5ish minutes, a new episode format in which we discuss a historical event or person in roughly 5 minutes. Today we’ll be discussing the 5 facts about Arthur griffith

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Ways to Help Win the Georgia Runoff Election

Register to Vote by December 7th (especially if you’re goig to turn 18 by January 5th)

Register to help phonebank

Phonebank with Jon Ossoff

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History in 5ish minutes: 5 tactics the IRA used to defeat the British during the Irish War of Independence

Welcome to History in 5ish minutes, a new episode format in which we discuss a historical event or person in roughly 5 minutes. Today we’ll be discussing the 5 tactics the IRA used to defeat the British during the Irish War of Independence

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Episode 16-Cathal Brugha and the Irish War of Independence

Today we’ll be discussing Cathal Brugha’s role during the Irish War of Independence, including his struggles as minister of defense, his difficult relationship with Collins and Mulcahy, and his role in the Treaty debates.

Transcript

Voting Links:

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Virus Free Voting

Payback Project

Protecting Ruth Ginsberg’s Seat Until After the Election

Resources

Irish Nation Lives Episode on Cathal Brugha

Cathal Brugha by Fergus O’Farrell 2018, University College Dublin Press

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922 by Ronan Fanning, 2013, Faber & Faber

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend, 2015, Penguin Group

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Richard Mulcahy: From the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace, 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, 2018, Irish Academic Press

Episode 14-Northern Ireland and the Irish War of Independence

Episode 14-Northern Ireland and the Irish War for Independence

Today we discuss Northern Ireland and the role it played during the Irish War Of Independence, discussing figures such as James Craig, Edward Carson, and David Lloyd George.

Transcript

Donation Links for California:

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References

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/james-craig-backbone-of-revolt-the-soul-of-intransigence-1.508452

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/ireland-s-first-world-war-veterans-shunned-ostracised-murdered-1.3691036

https://www.irishnews.com/news/easterrising/2016/03/26/news/1916-46-000-from-belfast-volunteered-for-first-world-war-443443/

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922 by Ronan Fanning, 2013, Faber & Faber

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend, 2015, Penguin Group

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Episode 13 Michael Collins’ Intelligence War

Episode 13-Michael Collins’ Intelligence War

Today we discuss Michael Collins and his intelligence war including the formation of the Squad, his spies such as Ned Broy, David Neligan, and James MacNamara, and Bloody Sunday

Transcript

Theme Sound: Symphony no. 5 in Cm, Op. 67 – III. Allegro

Image designed by @GraphicsHub3

References:

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922 by Ronan Fanning, 2013, Faber & Faber

Richard Mulcahy: From the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace, 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, 2018, Irish Academic Press

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War: Britain’s Counterinsurgency Failure by J. B. E. Hittle, 2011, Potomac Books

Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State by Gabriel Doherty, 1998, Mercier Press

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/michael-collins-the-squad

https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/commentanalysis/arid-30939952.html

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/michael-collins-the-squad

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/michael-collins-twelve-apostles-who-was-in-charge

https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/spies-in-the-castle-michael-collins

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/michael-collins-s-women-spies-couriers-and-mothers-1.3071543

Episode 12-Hunger Strikes During the Irish War of Independence

 

In this episode, we discuss the role of hunger strikes during the Irish War of Independence, including the story of Thomas Ashe, the Mountjoy Prison and General Strike of 1918, and Terence MacSwiney.

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Episode 10-Richard Mulcahy and the Irish War of Independence

In this episode we discuss Richard Mulcahy’s role as Chief of Staff of the IRA during the Irish War of Independence, including his efforts to instill discipline and organization, his difficult relationship with Brugha and DeValera, and his increased radicalization.

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Transcript

Theme Sound: Symphony no. 5 in Cm, Op. 67 – III. Allegro

Image designed by @GraphicsHub3

BLM Links

Breathe Act

The Black National Convention

100 Days until Election

Three States One Mission

Movement for Black Lives

SURJ Chicago

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

8toAbolition

Episode References

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Richard Mulcahy: From the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace, 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, 2018, Irish Academic Press

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Valiulis, M. G. (1993). Portrait of a Revolutionary: General Richard Mulcahy and the Founding of the Irish Free State. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

Episode 9-Richard Mulcahy and Easter Rising

In this episode we talk about IRA”s chief of Staff, Richard Mulcahy’s role in Easter Rising and the efforts to rebuild the IRA up to 1919.

Transcript coming

Theme Sound: Symphony no. 5 in Cm, Op. 67 – III. Allegro

Image designed by @GraphicsHub3

BLM Links

Movement for Black Lives
SURJ Chicago
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
8toAbolition

Episode References

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Richard Mulcahy: From the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace, 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, 2018, Irish Academic Press

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend, 2015, Penguin Group

Valiulis, M. G. (1993). Portrait of a Revolutionary: General Richard Mulcahy and the Founding of the Irish Free State. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

OBrien, P. (2012). Field of fire: The Battle of Ashbourne, 1916. Dublin: New Island.

https://www.rte.ie/archives/exhibitions/1993-easter-1916/portraits-1916/792906-portraits-1916-richard-mulcahy/

https://www.thepensivequill.com/2020/06/richard-mulcahy-from-politics-of-war-to.html

The 1916 Series: The Battle of Ashbourne

https://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/easter-1916-the-forgotten-battle/

https://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/ashbourne

 

Episode 8: Anglo-Irish War Part III 1921

Before we begin, we want to make it clear that this podcast and website knows Black Lives Matter and support the protesters demanding justice and arguing for the abolition of the police. There are links below on how we can help support the movement and challenge our own prejudices and educate ourselves.

This is the third and final episode in our three part special about the Anglo-Irish War. In this episode we briefly discuss Britain’s final attempts to defeat the IRA, DeValera’s return to Ireland and his attempts to exert control over the war, Mulcahy’s efforts to reorganize the IRA to ensure its survival, and the events that lead up to the truce.

Transcript coming

Theme Sound: Symphony no. 5 in Cm, Op. 67 – III. Allegro

Image designed by @GraphicsHub3

BLM Links

Movement for Black Lives
SURJ Chicago
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
8toAbolition

Episode References

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Richard Mulcahy: From the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace, 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, 2018, Irish Academic Press

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War: Britain’s Counterinsurgency Failure by J. B. E. Hitte

Eamon DeValera by Ronan Fanning, 2016, Harvard University Press

Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922 by Ronan Fanning, 2013, Faber & Faber

 

Overview of the Members of the GHQ Staff

 

In last week’s episode (included above), I talked about how the IRA organized itself, the tactics it used, and its relationship with members of the Dail. Since then, I’ve done some research into the members that made up the General Headquarters Staff. I even made a spreadsheet, capturing basic information about the men: GHQ Spreadsheet

Screenshot_2020-05-15 Members of IRA GHQ Staff - Members of IRA GHQ Staff pdf

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Episode 5 IRA: Formation and Organization

In this episode we talk about the IRA as an organization, how it was formed, the many different command structures it tried, its tactics, it’s relationship with civilian ministers, and the relationship between ground troops and General Headquarters

Transcript coming

Theme Sound: Symphony no. 5 in Cm, Op. 67 – III. Allegro

Image designed by @GraphicsHub3

References:

The Republic: the Fight for Irish Independence by Charles Townshend, 2014, Penguin Group

Richard Mulcahy: From the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace, 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, 2018, Irish Academic Press

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter, 2015, Profile Books

Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War: Britain’s Counterinsurgency Failure by J. B. E. Hitte, 2011, Potomac Books

Green Against Green: the Irish Civil War by Michael Hopkinson, 2004, Gill Books

Book Review: The Good Friday Agreement

The Good Friday Agreement by Siobhan Fenton, 2018, Biteback Publishing

Pros: Quick and Easy read

Provides needed context on women’s and LGBTQ issues in Ireland

A great overview of what’s happened in Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement

Cons: Lacking in deep analysis on any issues

This book is a breezy and easy read of North Ireland, 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement. When I initially bought the book, I was hoping there would have been a little more analysis done on how the Good Friday Agreement was negotiated and signed, but still found this book incredibly interesting. Interestingly, a lot of topics covered in this book are also discussed in Patrick Radden Keefe’s book Say Nothing.

Siobhan focuses on how the Good Friday Agreement affected minorities in Ireland, the efforts to deal with the missing people and trauma of the war, the breakdown of government in North Ireland, and how Brexit looms large on the horizon. The most interesting chapters are the ones that discuss domestic violence during and after the Troubles, how the various political parties use LGBTQ issues to push their own agendas, and the government’s refusal to properly address the war’s trauma. I found this chapter particularly interesting since I learned about the many different approaches communities can take to heal after a mass genocide or war while in grad school, and Ireland hasn’t done anything. There are the governmental trials to investigate into the many missing person’s cases, but they are half-hearted attempts and it is clear that the government would rather do nothing than risk the fragile peace that was earned by the agreement.

Siobhan’s book is a good and quick read with moments of interesting analysis. It’s definitely something I would recommend to a person who knew little about North Ireland and wanted a primer on what’s happened since the Troubles. However, I found the book shallow in its analysis in many places and found myself wanting to know more. I think Say Nothing covers the trauma side of things much better than Siobhan’s book, but Siobhan provided desperately needed context on women’s and LGBTQ issues.

Overall, this was a good read, if a little light in deep analysis.

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Review for the Irish Civil war: Law, Execution, and Atrocity

Irish Civil War: Law, Execution, and Atrocity by Sean Enright, Merrion Press, 2019

4/5

A slightly dry, but fascinating read about the executions that took place during the Irish Civil War. Like his prior book on the Easter Rising Trial, Sean spends the first half of the book providing historical and legal context for the trials, before working through each execution in a linear process. This method can be a dry read, especially since he only provides short glimpses into the lives of those who are being executed, but that doesn’t mean this book isn’t interesting.

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Review for Fatal Path

Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1919-1923 by Ronan Fanning, Faber and Faber, 2013

4/5

A light and easy read about the British perspective during the Anglo-Irish War. I greatly enjoyed this book. Since I normally read about the conflict from the side of the IRA/Irish Nationalist’s, this book was enjoyable and provided needed context for the British reactions to the Irish rebels. Fanning is a strong writer and takes the minutia that is British parliamentary politics and make it easier to understand as well as interesting.

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Book Review of Richard Mulcahy from the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace 1913-1924

Book Review of Richard Mulcahy from the Politics of War to the Politics of Peace 1913-1924 by Padraig O Caoimh, Irish Academic Press 2019

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • A long overdue biography on a vital founder of the Irish Free State and Irish Army
  • Rich analysis that is easy to read
  • Provides needed context on the IRB’s role during the Irish-Anglo War and the Irish Civil War

Cons:

  • Provides little personal information about Richard Mulcahy
  • A few chapters are dense because of the amount of information being presented
  • There needs to a second volume

This biography is long overdue and excels at bringing Mulcahy out of Collin’s shadow, highlighting a career of various ups and down during the Irish War of Independence as well as the Irish Civil War.

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The Battle of Ashbourne

Tuesday 25, April 1916 was a fine, spring day. There had been gentle showers earlier, but the land had dried since then, and the rest of week promised to be warm. After a disastrous start on Easter Sunday, things had gone as smoothly as could be expected for Irish Volunteer, Lieutenant Richard Mulcahy. After reporting to the GPO in Dublin on Monday, he and two other Volunteers were sent into the countryside to destroy the telegraph lines at Howth. Despite one Volunteer needing to be sent back for his rifle and briefly being stopped by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), they reached their target and easily severed the lines[1]. Mulcahy on his way back to headquarters, stumbled upon the Fingal (5th) battalion, led by the charismatic and courageous Commandant Thomas Ashe. Mulcahy was instantly recognized and made Ashe’s second in command[2]. Together, they would spend a week, utilizing basic guerilla tactics to terrorize British forces in the countryside of Dublin County and capture three different British garrisons. They would end the week, with the Battle of Ashbourne, a desperate struggle that would pit Ashe’s leadership and Mulcahy’s analytical mind against the RIC’s discipline, arms, and experience. The battle, while often overshadows by the drama unfurling within Dublin, would provide a taste of what was to come during the Anglo-Irish War.

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Easter Rising Part 1: Pre-1916

Easter Rising is one of the most momentous moments in Irish history, setting the stage for the Anglo-Irish War in the 1920s, and continues to shape Irish society. But what is it and why did it happen? Easter Rising was an Irish protest concentrated mostly in Dublin with a few firefights in the countryside and was crushed by the British in about a week. Many consider the Rising itself to be a failure, but its political and social aftershocks made it a success.

To understand why the Rising happened, one most first familiarize themselves with Irish’s tortuous history. This post will briefly review some of the major events in Irish history, like Daniel O’Connell and the Young Irelanders, Charles Parnell and Home Rule, and John Redmond. It will then discuss the creation of the Irish Volunteers and the merging with the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) as well as provide brief biographers on the major players of Easter Rising. It will be followed by a post that will describe the rising itself and a final post that will discuss its aftermath and legacy.

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Eamon de Valera Part I

There are few men who participated in the Anglo-Irish War and the Irish Civil War who have as complicated a legacy as Eamon de Valera. He was a mathematics professor, last man to surrender during Easter Rising, leader of the Dáil and the IRA, instigator of the anti-treaty movement, political outcast, and Taoiseach, and, finally, president of Ireland. He did more to shape the Irish constitution and its relations with both North Ireland and England than any other single person. His decisions didn’t always make sense and he hurt his own legacy as much as it was twisted over the trauma of the civil war and his lengthy presidency. However, it is his legacy and the mythos that surrounded him that makes him an interesting historical figure to study. I will discuss his life and legacy in two different posts. This first post will discuss de Valera’s leadership during the Anglo-Irish and Civil War and the second post will de Valera’s presidency and later period of his life.

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