#OTD in 1923 – Liam Lynch, chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army, is mortally wounded by Free State troops in the Knockmealdown Mountains, Co Tipperary.

Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, Co Limerick. He joined the Irish Volunteers after witnessing the arrests of the Kent family by British forces after the failed Easter Rising of 1916. Two of the Kent brothers, David and Richard were shot during their arrest. Richard would later die of his wounds and a third brother, […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Anti-Treaty IRA members reconvened to put into effect their motion from 26 March when it stated the IRA would be the legitimate army of the Irish Republic, which was in defiance of the Dáil Éireann vote.

Civil war was now a virtual certainty as the delegates adopted a new constitution and elected a new 16-member Executive composed of the following members: Liam Lynch (Cork), Frank Barrett (Clare), Liam Deasy (Cork), Tom Hales (Cork), Tom Maguire (Mayo), Joseph McKelvey (Belfast), Liam Mellows (Galway), Rory O’Connor (Dublin), Peadar O’Donnell (Donegal), Florence O’Donoghue (Cork), […]

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#OTD in 1886 – Home Rule Bill introduced in English Parliament by William Gladstone.

The Acts of Union 1800, united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations. Rebellions were launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try to […]

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#OTD in 1872 – Birth of founder of Sinn Féin and co-signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Arthur Griffith, in Dublin.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. He founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”. Griffith’s fierce criticism of the Irish Parliamentary Party’s alliance with British Liberalism […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Craig-Collins Pact was signed in London. The Irish Free State formally recognised Northern Ireland government.

David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, concerned that violence in the north of Ireland would cause the collapse of the new Northern Ireland administration, organised a meeting in London between Michael Collins and Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, both to try to stop the IRA violence which Collins had been tacitly encouraging […]

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#OTD in 1922 – An IRA anti-treaty army convention announced it would no longer accept the authority of Free State Minister for Defence Richard Mulcahy.

Further movement to Civil War: An IRA convention was held in the Mansion House in defiance of a Dáil Éireann 15th March 1922 decree, despite the Dáil prohibiting it. Richard Mulcahy, the new Minister of Defence having succeeded the anti-Treaty Cathal Brugha, promised that the IRA would remain loyal to the government. However, the army […]

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#OTD in 1922 – McMahon killings: In Belfast, policemen break into the home of a Catholic family and shoot all eight males inside, killing six.

At about 1.00 am on 24 March, gunmen broke into the home of a middle-class Catholic family who lived at 3 Kinnaird Terrace, near the Antrim Road in North Belfast. Publican Owen McMahon lived there with his wife, six sons, his daughter, and his barman, Edward McKinney. The McMahon family had no connection to any […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The seeds continue to be sown for an Irish civil war.

Rory O’Connor holds what was to become an infamous press conference at the headquarters of the republican party (Cumann na Poblachta) in Suffolk Street, Dublin. He declares that the army is ‘in a dilemma, having the choice of supporting its oath to the Republic or still giving allegiance to the Dáil, which, it considers, has […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Sinn Fein member, Robert Barton, escapes from Mountjoy Jail, courtesy of some excellent planning by Michael Collins which involved smuggling a file into the prison.

Robert Barton was born in Co Wicklow into a wealthy Irish Protestant land-owning family; namely of Glendalough House. He was the double first cousin of and close friend of Robert Erskine Childers and would later be best man at the wedding of Robert Erskine Childers and Molly Osgood. He became an officer in the Royal […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Michael Collins addressed a mass meeting at the Grand Parade in Co Cork.

This British Pathe video shows Michael Collins addressing a large gathering about the Anglo-Irish Treaty before it gets broken up by several men firing guns in the crowd, however, Collins refused to be frightened by the opponents’ tactics. Collins can be seen on a platform above the crowd as they wave hats and handkerchiefs at […]

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