#OTD in 1923 – Éamon de Valera announces end of operations against the Irish Free State, effectively ending the Irish Civil War.

Éamon de Valera offered terms for negotiation to end the war which were rejected. But time was running out for the anti-Treaty side and on 24 May, de Valera issued the order to dump arms.

In doing so he declared: “Soldiers of the Republic, Legion of the Rearguard… Military victory must be allowed to rest for the moment with those who have destroyed the Republic” but added “other means must be sought to safeguard the nation’s right”. Thereafter, de Valera resorted to constitutional means.

The Civil War was over and just as Tom Clarke forecasted on the eve of his execution, Ireland had been through hell, but the bitterness it engendered remained.

Image: Declan Kerr – Irish Art

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