Irish War of Independence centenary...and The Truce

25 October 1921

Talks resumed in Downing Street. From now on the talks will be between sub-conferences and various committees. The Irish side at sub-conferences will always be represented by Collins and Griffith. Today Chamberlain and the Attorney-General, Gordon Hewart, represented the British side and the subject under discussion was Ulster. Griffith proposed that Ulster could retain existing legislative powers, but under an Irish Parliament, not Westminster. Griffith dangled the carrot of association with the British Crown in return for Irish unity. The meeting broke up after two hours with no date set for a resumption.

Over in Northern Ireland William Coote MP declared that the talks in London were doomed to failure and that the British government was treasonous for entering into talks in the first place. The UVF and the Orange Order would defend Ulster Coote declared.

Eamon de Valera replied to Griffith's account of yesterday's meeting in Downing Street. He opposed any association with the King and that the British must be convinced that Ireland was prepared for war if it was forced on them. Any agreement which would compel Tyrone and Fermanagh to remain under the Northern Parliament was to be avoided. De Valera suggested that an undertaking might be not to import munitions during the negotiations, although De Valera did not consider it a breach of the truce.
 
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26 October 1921

It appears to be De Valera's week for making people angry. Having annoyed the Pope and much of the British government, Dev now launched his wrecking ball at the Irish delegation. His memo of the day before, in which he said war would be better than considering any relationship with King, landed on their desk. Collins and Griffith were furious, threatening to abandon the talks. Griffith insisted their hands be free to discuss terms. After some discussion, a letter of protest was sent to Dublin, signed by all of the plenipotentiaries. The letter read 'We strongly resent, in the position in which we are placed, the interference with our powers. The responsibility, if this interference breaks the very slight possibility there is of settlement, will not and must not rest on us'. It went on to ask de Valera to come to London secretly. Collins disagreed with this last, saying that De Valera should come to London in any case, secretly or openly.

Beverly Ussher, a Protestant farmer from Cappagh, Co. Waterford and E. P. Bridges, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary discussed the plight of Unionists in southern Ireland, presumably in the pages of a newspaper. They questioned why they were putting their faith in the British government rather than in their fellow Irishmen to ensure their welfare.
 
27 October 1921

Extracts from a memorandum from Harry Boland to Robert Brennan (Dublin)

Washington, 27 October 1921

My dear R.,
[Matter omitted]

We are cudgelling our brains to discover the best method to keep the Irish cause before the American people at this time. It is very difficult to decide on the best line of policy, as, with the negotiations going on in London, all public men here are very chary of taking action. However, arrangements have been completed to open our Bond Drive in Washington, D.C., and Illinois on November 15; and the Bond campaign in Washington will be at its height during the progress of the Conference. With this method we hope to keep the question a live issue under the eyes of the delegates.

We will also take advantage of the presence of so many representatives of foreign countries to supply them with our literature.

We presume we will be advised if you consider it necessary to call a halt to our activities. We are rather perturbed at the notion of Mr. Lloyd George coming here without a final decision being arrived at as regards Ireland.1


1 For the Washington Naval Conference
 
I watched the Michael Collins film a while ago, and they ended with a quote from Dev, which paraphrased said that much of his efforts and the credit he received would in time be eclipsed by Collins. Whether Collins is the one to do it I am not informed enough to say, but this thread definitely is showing that Dev was something of a liability.
 
I watched the Michael Collins film a while ago, and they ended with a quote from Dev, which paraphrased said that much of his efforts and the credit he received would in time be eclipsed by Collins. Whether Collins is the one to do it I am not informed enough to say, but this thread definitely is showing that Dev was something of a liability.

He was absolutely correct

DeV wanted the stereotypical Ireland, mainly rural agriculture based economy, devote Roman Catholicism, industrial schools, mother and baby homes, insular economy etc. As a result of Dev later coming to power, Ireland’s economic and social development was held back 20-30 years
 

JCC

LE
He was absolutely correct

DeV wanted the stereotypical Ireland, mainly rural agriculture based economy, devote Roman Catholicism, industrial schools, mother and baby homes, insular economy etc. As a result of Dev later coming to power, Ireland’s economic and social development was held back 20-30 years

A strange bloke - on one hand it's comely maidens dancing at crossroads, and on the other hand establishing the Institute for Advanced Studies and bringing in Schrodinger.
 
I watched the Michael Collins film a while ago, and they ended with a quote from Dev, which paraphrased said that much of his efforts and the credit he received would in time be eclipsed by Collins. Whether Collins is the one to do it I am not informed enough to say, but this thread definitely is showing that Dev was something of a liability.
“It’s my considered opinion that in the fullness of time history will record the greatness of Collins and it will be recorded at my expense.”

Having Alan Rickman ( Hans Gruber/Sheriff of Nottingham/Severus Snape/Marvin the depressed robot) play de Valera, suggests the film makers had set opinions on who the baddie was .

 
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A strange bloke - on one hand it's comely maidens dancing at crossroads, and on the other hand establishing the Institute for Advanced Studies and bringing in Schrodinger.
You don't understand, we can know if they are comely or we can know if they are dancing but not both.
 
27 October 1921

Collins and Griffith met with Lloyd George and Birkenhead for 90 minutes of informal talks. Griffith understood from the session that if the Irish agreed to accept the Crown, the British would talk Craig into a united Ireland. The Irish delegates received a memo from the British team on five key areas for discussion;

On Finance, that Ireland would pay its share of Imperial debt. That is, War Debt, which was later set at £155 million.


On the Crown, memo said we must know definitely whether or not Irish Delegates are prepared Ireland should maintain its ancient allegiance to the Throne, not as state subordinate, but as one of Nations of Commonwealth, in close association with Realm of England, Scotland, Wales.

On Citizenship, 'His Majesty’s Government must therefore know whether or not the Irish Delegates will acknowledge this common citizenship and the full partnership in the fortunes of the fraternity of nations known as the British Empire which it entails'.

On Defence, the British memo says; 'of supreme importance...Ireland will have no Navy and no Air Force, and it is manifest that Great Britain, to whom will belong the vital task of Naval and Air Defence, must have, such facilities of access and the like as are required.

On Trade and Commerce, the memo said; 'Neither side shall impose protective duties or other restrictions upon the flow of transport, trade and commerce between all parts of these islands'.

higgins wedding.jpg

De Valera had a busy day, attending the Sinn Féin Árd Fheis in Dublin, the wedding of Kevin O’Higgins and smoothing things over with the delegates in London. The wedding photo appeared in the Irish Independent on October 28th. Standing are De Valera, Kevin O’Higgins and Rory O'Connor. Seated are Irene O’Higgins, Brigid Cole, the bride and her sister, Molly Cole. O’Connor will be executed by the Free State just over a year later, with O’Higgins, as the Free State’s Minister for Justice, signing the Writ of Execution. In turn O’Higgins will be assassinated by the IRA in 1927.
 
28 October 1921

Tom Jones, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, takes a turn at smoothing ruffled feathers, explaining to Erskine Childers the wording of the memo outlining British terms for an agreement. Jones said that Lloyd George had to appease certain elements of his cabinet on various matters.

Fr. Michael O'Flanagan, the Vice President of Sinn Féin, and Professor William Stockley left Cobh for America. They were to join the mission promoting the Irish Republic.

In Reading, the British Secretary for War, Laming Worthington-Evans, a member of the British negotiating team, said that Britain would resume war in Ireland if needed for the safety of the Empire. Ireland could not, he said, claim sovereignty as a foreign state.
 
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30 October 1921

Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins attended a meeting with Lloyd George, Churchill, and Lord Birkenhead in Churchill’s home. Lloyd George said that he could persuade Loyalists to agree to a six-county Parliament subordinate to a national Parliament. Lloyd George suggested Irish military forces should be limited to 40,000 of which 10,000 would be allotted to Ulster. Griffith replied that under no circumstances could they agree to an Ulster army, to which Lloyd George suggested a militia for Ulster.

Linda Kearns, Eithne Coyle, Eileen Keogh and Kathleen Burke, all Cumann na mBan members, escaped from Mountjoy Prison.
 
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30 October 1921

Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins attended a with Lloyd George, Churchill, and Lord Birkenhead in Churchill’s home. Lloyd George said that he could persuade Loyalists to agree to a six-county Parliament subordinate to a national Parliament. Lloyd George suggested Irish military forces should be limited to 40,000 of which 10,000 would be allotted to Ulster. Griffith replied that under no circumstances could they agree to an Ulster army, to which Lloyd George suggested a militia for Ulster.

Linda Kearns, Eithne Coyle, Eileen Keogh and Kathleen Burke, all Cumann na mBan members, escaped from Mountjoy Prison.
More on the escape here:

 
history ireland.jpg


History Ireland has a special edition out on the road to Civil War.
 
31 October 1921

Lloyd George faced a vote of censure in the House of Commons, winning it by 439 votes to 43. Lloyd George’s government was a shaky coalition of Liberals and Conservatives. The Conservatives also included various Irish and Ulster Unionists among whom there was disquiet over the direction negotiations with SF were going. One of them, Colonel John Gretton, entered a motion of censure against the Government for treating with SF under any circumstances. LG pointed out that the SF delegates were MPs elected under an Act of Parliament and asked with whom were they to negotiate if not the elected representatives of the Irish people. LG won the vote as I said but his government was on its last legs.

Trouble was also brewing in the Irish Camp. After the meeting in Churchill's home, Griffith called meeting of the Irish team. He said he intended sending Lloyd George a personal letter in which he would support movement on the Crown and other matters, provided the British ensured Irish unity. Griffith was supported by Collins but the other delegates were furious. Robert Barton would say that the Conferences between the English and Griffith/Collins were what killed the Republic. In reality as we know a Republic was never going to happen and Lloyd George had no intention of delivering on any promise except a continuation of the war.

After the tense meeting of the delegation Collins took Kitty Kiernan, who had travelled over to London a couple of days before, out to dinner in Prince's Restaurant, Picadilly.
 
1 November 1921

deverell kyle.jpg

Frances Kyle from Belfast and Averill Deverell from Greystones, Co. Wicklow became the first women to be called to the Bar in Britain or Ireland.

Following yesterday's disagreement with Griffith, Robert Barton wrote a letter saying Griffith had abandoned the policy of limited recognition of the Crown. I imagine the letter was for the benefit of any future court of enquiry. The debate continued and, over the course of the day, Griffith slowly yielded to the demands of Barton, Childers and Duffy. His letter to Lloyd George, which he had intended to be a personal one, turned into an official memo, whose wording is worked at all day before delivery on the following day.

The Times interpreted the Prime Minister's speech to the House of Commons of 31st October as a call for Ulster to agree to a unified Irish solution and an offer to resign rather than re-embark on a costly war in Ireland.
 
2 November 1921

Arthur Griffith passed a letter to the British agreeing acceptance of the Crown contingent upon the UK recognising “the essential unity of Ireland”. Griffith continued that they would agree to any necessary safeguards and to the maintenance of existing parliamentary powers in Northern Ireland. The suggestion for this formula had come from Tom Jones, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, who had passed it to Griffith via Eamonn Duggan. Duffy, Childers, and Barton opposed this letter.

During the day Collins and Griffith met with Birkenhead in the House of Lords and again, later in the afternoon, they went to 10 Downing Street for more discussions with Lloyd George, Chamberlain, and Birkenhead. Proposals from both meetings were brought back to Hans Place, where, after much argument, a final version was written and sent to Downing St.
 
Couldn’t think of a better place to put this


He simply doesn't care. CLC Jr has shown me similar things with him saying stuff laced with slang relating to the game "Among Us". Stump up the cash and he'll say anything short of actually swearing.

ETA
Are we sure Tom Barry himself didn't pay for this?
 

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