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Irish War of Independence centenary

I think it's good to read all three books.

Tom Barry's book is actually a good description of guerrilla warfare, even if he does big up his own role (well he would, wouldn't he?) and some of his tales don't ring true, or at least are a bit embellished.

Hart's book is excellent, except oddly enough when it comes to Kilmichael, when it descends into overt partisanship and is frankly nonsense at times, it's odd that such a good book should be most recalled for its weakest chapter.

Meda Ryan is fun, like a night in a pub singing all the old rebel songs for the crack, sometimes it's just good for a laugh to read old, unreconstructed, unrevised Irish history, while realising that a lot of it is bollocks but still entertaining.

Read all three and form your own judgement.
The arguments between Ryan and Hart were interesting, particularly about Kilmichael and the aftermath.
 
The arguments between Ryan and Hart were interesting, particularly about Kilmichael and the aftermath.
Yeah, it does get personal, and yet despite Hart being such an excellent researcher on other issues when it comes to Kilmichael I think Ryan is by far the more persuasive.

It was the Auxies versus the West Cork IRA, this was a grudge match, neither side was playing by the Queensbury rules, both sides knew the nature of the battle, both sides knew that one side was going to win and one side was going to lose and no quarter would be given or expected, those were the rules and both sides understood them.

Hart gets a little bit precious about it all, in the terms of the later Troubles, it was a big boys game and the big boys' rules applied.
 
Do you really think that the FSA would have been able to take and hold the North against the opposition of a million heavily armed truculent Protestants?
Collins seems to have been a pragmatist and was certainly experienced in insurgency/asymmetric warfare type operations. "There were strict orders given to IRA units to avoid prolonged engagements with the better-armed British forces."

The Customs House shootout/debacle in May 1921 happened after De Valera arrived back from the USA and Collins was overruled. It was supposed to demonstrate that the IRA was a proper army, rather than a small bunch of civilian part-time assassins. It eliminated much of the IRA in Dublin.

He might have continued the insurgency in the North, if he'd survived. I suspect he'd recognised the reality of his situation in signing the treaty and knew that the Free State was all he could get out of the British.
 
The island has two M1 motorways. The one in the North gos East to West to avoid going South,and the one in the South gos North to avoid the cost of living. ;)
Well if you drive far enough west in the north you'll end up in the south anyway. There are even parts of the south where you have to go further south to go to the north.
 


Who knew Baldrick ended up in the Auxiliaries?
 
Healthy row of ribbons there
I noticed in the list of fatalities were two DFCs and two MCs and Ford also had an MC.

One thing that puzzles me somewhat about Ford is that he passed out of Sandhurst in 1915, served through the war, won an MC, and yet at the end of the war he was still a lieutenant (acting captain). Four years after the greatest holocaust of junior officers in British military history when officers were regularly promoted from the ranks and yet he never got past lieutenant.

He was an artilleryman and mostly served in sideshows, Salonika and Palestine etc. but it still seems odd that he made such little progress.
 
He was an artilleryman and mostly served in sideshows, Salonika and Palestine etc. but it still seems odd that he made such little progress.
There is your answer. A high casualty rate is allways good for wartime promotion. Perhaps if he had served on the Western Front and survived he would have risen higher.
 
He might have continued the insurgency in the North, if he'd survived. I suspect he'd recognised the reality of his situation in signing the treaty and knew that the Free State was all he could get out of the British.
If you watch the YouTube interview of Emett Dalton, Collins Chief of Staff which I posted earlier in the thread. He said that the Custom House attack that they could not go on much longer as they were running out of weapons and ammunition. They were unable to get a resupply and they were running out of trained men.
 
30 November 1920

Cadet Cecil Guthrie was executed by the IRA near Macroom, Co. Cork. Guthrie escaped the Kilmichael Ambush and was making his way back to Macroom on foot when he was captured.

Constable James Malynn died of gun-shot wounds received in an IRA attack on Baltinglass RIC barracks on 24 January. Originally from Cork, Malynn lived in Moate, Co. Westmeath with his wife. Age 31, he joined the RIC in July 1914 and had previously been a policeman in Hull.

Two IRA men, Patrick Tierney, QM in Ardee Company, and John O’Carroll. Lieutenant, 3rd Bn, Louth Bde, were taken from their homes in Ardee, Co. Louth by uniformed men and executed.

Lunch took place in London for the RC Archbishop of Perth, Joseph Clune. Clune was an uncle of Conor Clune who was killed in Dublin Castle on Bloody Sunday. Joe Devlin MP arranged a meeting for Clune with Lloyd George the following day.

The British Labour Party Commission on Ireland met in Dublin. They subsequently travelled to Limerick, Kilkenny and Cork.
Also in November

Ballykinlar Internment Camp opened in Co. Down.
 


The Laramie Boomerang had its eye on Ireland a century ago.


Closer to home the Mirror covers the attacks in Liverpool.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer


Who knew Baldrick ended up in the Auxiliaries?
The medals show a lot of experience, they are not just Western Front medals, most show prewar service. Be nice to get a close up?
 

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