#OTD in 1922 – De Valera and Collins agree to a pact whereby a national coalition panel of candidates will represent the pro- and anti-Treaty wings of Sinn Féin throughout Ireland in the forthcoming general election.

As in the Irish elections, 1921 in the south, Sinn Féin stood one candidate for every seat, except those for the University of Dublin and one other; the treaty had divided the party between 65 pro-treaty candidates, 57 anti-treaty and 1 nominally on both sides. Unlike the elections a year earlier, other parties stood in […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin are arrested. 150 were arrested on the night of 16–17 May and taken to prisons in England.

During the last year of the First World War, on the night of 17/18 May, over 70 leading members of Sinn Fein were arrested under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act. The arrests had been made following the discovery of a supposed plot on the part of Sinn Féin to help Germany […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, suggested the formation of a “Special Emergency Gendarmerie, which would become a branch of the Royal Irish Constabulary.”

In response to ongoing violence and rebellion in Ireland and a brutal campaign of attrition against members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the ADRIC was recruited in Great Britain from among ex-officers who had served in World War I, especially those who had served in the British Army (including the Royal Flying Corps). Most […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Led by Rory O’Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seized the Four Courts in Dublin.

Anti-Treaty forces led by Rory O’Connor seized the Four Courts. O’Connor, with approximately 200 men under his command. Their hope was that the British army, who were still based in Dublin, would attack them, thereby reigniting the war of independence and perhaps healing the split. Arthur Griffith, who was the President of Dáil Éireann, wanted […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The ‘Arnon Street Massacre’ – Belfast.

Six Catholic civilians, three in Arnon Street, were shot dead. It is believed that members of either the Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) or of the RIC were responsible, acting in retaliation for the killing of an RIC officer by the IRA. Although the Irish War of Independence officially ended in July 1921, the IRA’s conflict with […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Third meeting of Dáil Éireann – Éamon de Valera was elected President of Dáil Éireann (or Príomh Aire) and appointed a cabinet.

De Valera issued a statement saying that “There is in Ireland at this moment only one lawful authority, and that authority is the elected Government of the Irish Republic”. When the First Dáil met in 1919, Éamon de Valera was the president of Sinn Féin and thus the natural choice for leadership. However he had […]

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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 1948 – Death of Gearóid O’Sullivan. He had the honour of raising the Tricolour over the GPO as fighting raged the streets of Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Gearóid O’Sullivan, then 25, was the youngest IRB officer fighting in the GPO (three months younger than his cousin Michael Collins). He had been personally chosen by leader Seán Mac Diarmada to serve as his aide-de-camp. He was an Irish teacher, Irish language scholar, army officer, barrister and Sinn Féin and Fine Gael politician. Following […]

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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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