Episode 17-the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty

In today’s episode we discuss the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, including the many controversial decisions made by DeValera during the Truce, the struggle Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Michael Collins, and Arthur Griffith faced from internal and external stakeholders during the negotiations, and the tragic fracture that occurred within the Irish people after the Dail approved the Treaty.

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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 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

 

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

Episode 4-The First Dail

Episode 4- The First Dail

In this episode we talk about the creation of the first Dail and its relation with the IRA

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

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

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

Eamon DeValera by Ronan Fanning, 2016, Harvard University Press

Episode 3-Ireland 1917-1918: Resurrecting a Rebellion

In this episode we talk about Ireland between 1917 and 1918, focusing on how Sinn Fein and the Irish Volunteers were able to rebuild themselves after Easter Rising.

Transcript

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

Image designed by @GraphicsHub3

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Irish Women Who went on Hunger Strike

Hunger strikes are a familiar weapon in the war against colonial policies and wrongful imprisonment. Although today it is associated primarily with Gandhi or with the IRA, like Bobby Sands, it is an old tactic practiced all over the world and by all genders, such as revolutionaries in Imperial Russia, suffragettes in Britain and the U.S., and men kept in Guantanamo or the U.S.’s concentration camps on the American-Mexican border.

The tactic of voluntarily giving up food until a political demand is won, originated with the Russian Revolutionaries in the 1890s. It is a versatile weapon that requires utmost dedication from the striker while placing all the moral and legal responsibility on the oppressor and highlighting the wretched conditions that enables a striker to go on hunger strike in the first place.

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Episode 2-Women of Easter Rising

 

This episode will talk about five women who contributed to Easter Rising: Constance Markievicz, Kathleen Clarke, Winifred Carney, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, and Molly Osgood.

Transcript-Episode Two (PDF)

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

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

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

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

Thursday and Friday were some of the bloodiest days during Easter Rising. Cathal Brugha made a brilliant stand on Thursday, during the famous battle for South Dublin Union and Daly held the British forces at the Four Courts from Wednesday to Friday. Most importantly, Commander-in-chief General Sir John Maxwell arrived in Ireland on Friday. General Maxwell, perhaps, did more to ensure the spiritual and political success of the Rising than anyone else.

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Easter Rising-Tuesday and Wednesday

Despite knowing about the upcoming Rising, the British government in Ireland did little to prepare for it. Monday morning there were a total of 400 British soldiers on hand to respond to the rebellion. Townshend claims that there were 100 for each of the four barracks (Richmond, Marlborough, Royal, and Portobello). The rest of the police force had taken advantage of the holiday and had gone to the races. The small force engaged the rebels during Monday afternoon, but were unable to displace the Volunteers. This was a short lived victory for the rebels however, as by Monday night General Lowe had taken command, an additional 150 troops had arrived from Belfast with more reinforcements coming from England, and a colonel had brought up the artillery from Athlone. Lowe’s plan was to establish communication along the Kingsbridge-North Wall-Trinity College line, cutting the city in half, and then isolate the rebel forces from each other.

Martial law was declared that Monday, and the fate of Dublin was left in the military’s hands.

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Easter Rising: Sunday

Easter Rising is one of the most momentous Irish rebellions in its long, tortuous and bloody history. It caught the British by surprise (despite the Castle knowing all there was to know about the planned exertion) and lasted from April 24th to April 29th, before being defeated by the British Army under General Maxwell. It was concentrated mostly in Dublin, with a few engages in the countryside. While the rebellion itself was a failure, the execution of its leaders and the determination of its survivors, turned it into a spiritual and political victory that set the stage for the Anglo-Irish War and the Irish Civil War.

It nearly didn’t happen.

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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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Book Review: The Year of Liberty: the History of the Great Irish Rebellion of 1798

The Year of Liberty: the History of the Great Irish Rebellion of 1798 by Thomas Pakenham. Published in 1993 by Random House, Inc.

 

I have been fascinated by the 1798 rebellion ever since I first discovered the band the Wolfe Tones and realized they were named after an Irish rebel. Needless to say, I was excited when I found this book-two years ago. Please don’t judge me, my tbr pile is at least six hundred books. Anyway, I finally got around to reading it and found it enlightening.

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Book Review: Portrait of a Revolutionary

Portrait of a Revolutionary General Richard Mulcahy and the Founding of the Irish Free State by Maryann Valiulis Published in 1992 by University Press of Kentucky

Richard Mulcahy is a criminally underappreciated Irishmen. Born in the 1890s and starting his career as a postal worker, he would eventually study to become an engineer, before taking part in Easter Rising, and ending up as Chief of Staff of the IRA. Working together with men like Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera, and Cathal Brugha, Mulcahy struggled to install order on an unruly group of insurgents. His most important contribution to the creation of the Irish Free State, however, was his firm leadership during the Irish Civil War and the 1924 Mutiny that followed. The Mutiny pushed him to the background as De Valera took the spotlight, but Mulcahy remained a permanent feature of Irish Politics becoming party leader of Fine Gael in 1944 and serving in a various number of ministries throughout his long life. He even cobbled together a coalition government that forced De Valera’s party to the opposition in the 1948 elections. He died in 1971 at the age of 85.

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Book Review: Easter 1916 the Irish Rebellion

Easter 1916 the Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend. Published in 2015 by Penguin

I’m going to start this review with a warning: Charles Townshend is one of my favorite historians. I have read few historians who can take complicated messes and break them down into short, easy to understand chapters within a chapter, while also providing keen analysis and insight in a mostly unbiased way. Additionally, his book, the Rising,  may or may not have saved my ass when writing my graduate paper.

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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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The Importance of Land

I have recently finished R. F. Foster’s book Modern Ireland 1600-1972 and it got me thinking about land distribution during and after conflict.

In Ireland, Cromwell targeted the land once owned by those who rebelled. This happened to be the elite of Irish society and he redistributed the larger tracts to his followers and Anglo-Irish as well as small tracts of land to Catholics who swore fealty to the crown. The Protestant population was always a minority within Ireland, but because of the land they owned and the favor they received from England, they were able to build a Protestant Ascendancy whereas the Catholics remained poor farmers or out migrated.

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