On this episode, John Dorney discusses his new book, The Civil War in Dublin: The Fight for the Irish Capital, 1922–1924. The start of the Irish Civil War was signalled by the artillery bombardment of the Four Courts in Dublin on 28 June 1922. A week later, the Four Courts was gutted and O’Connell Street a smouldering ruin, but the anti-Treaty IRA was driven from the city. Most accounts of the fighting in Dublin end there.
The Civil War in Dublin reveals the complete, shocking story of Ireland’s capital during the ten-month guerrilla war that followed – a ruthless and bitter cycle of execution, outrage and revenge. The strategy of the anti-Treaty forces, often ignored or dismissed in previous histories, is brought to the fore.
Dorney’s exacting research provides total insight into how the city of Dublin operated under conditions of disorder and bloodshed: how civilians and guerrilla fighters controlled the streets, the patterns of IRA violence and National Army counter-insurgency alternated, and – for the first time – how the pro-Treaty ‘Murder Gang’ emerged from Michael Collins’ IRA Intelligence Department, ‘the Squad’, with devastating effect.
The Civil War in Dublin brings the chaos of these years to life through meticulous detail, revealing unsettling truths about the extreme actions taken by a burgeoning Irish Free State and its anti-Treaty opponents.
On this episode of the show, John Dorney interviews Dr.Brian Hanley about the life and legacy of Martin McGuinness. McGuinness was the former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and Vice President of Sinn Féin.
In 1921, Ireland was partitioned between north and south, but it was far from the only new state or new border in Europe. This talk puts Irish partition in context. William Mulligan teaches history at University College Dublin. This lecture was part of a series of talks, aimed at putting Ireland’s revolutionary experience of 1916-1923 in a world context. The lecture took place in the Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square on the 1st of March 2017.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the Easter Rising, the Irish Labour movement found itself in a new state of ferment. How did Irish Labour fare after James Connolly’s death in 1916? How did the trade union movement rebuild itself? What was its role in the independence movement? This lecture explores these questions. Brian Hanley is an historian and author of many books on Irish Republican history. The lecture was delivered in the Teachers’ Club in Dublin on the 22nd of February 2017 as part of the People’s College lecture series ‘Ireland in a World of Revolutions’ organised by John Dorney.
In early 2017 John Dorney orgainsed a series of lectures for the Peoples’ College in Dublin aimed at putting Ireland’s revolutionary experience of 1916-1923 in a world context. John delivered the first lecture entitled ‘Ireland in a World of Revolutions 1917 – 23.’ How did Ireland’s experience of revolution in the post World War One period compare and contrast with other European nations? This lecture was delivered in the Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square on the 25th of January 2017.
On the 7th of December 1922, Pro – Treaty TDs, Sean Hales of Cork and Pádraig Ó Máille of Mayo, emerged from their lunch at a hotel on Ormonde Quay, along Dublin’s river Liffey, for the short drive to the Dáil in Leinster House.
Both had been active in Sinn Féin and the IRA in the struggle against the British, but had supported the Treaty. Hales had a brother, Tom, in hills of west Cork fighting with the Anti-Treaty IRA. As they were getting into the car that would drive them to the Dáil, two gunmen opened fire on them, killing Hales and severely wounding Ó Máille, before disappearing into the backstreets behind the Quays.
Liam Lynch, Anti-Treaty IRA Chief of Staff, had ordered the killing of any TD who had voted for the “Murder Bill” and also threatened hostile judges and newspaper editors. Frank Henderson, head of the IRA Dublin Brigade had, apparently, ordered the killing only of Ó Máille, the Leas Cean Comhairle, or Deputy Speaker of the Dail, and was dismayed that Hales had been killed. For 16 years afterwards he had his son, a priest, say a Mass for Hales.
The Cabinet met in an emergency session and decided, after an all-night debate, on retaliatory executions of four Republican leaders captured in the Four Courts back in July – Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey. The executions were no more and no less than a reprisal killing for the death of Seán Hales. The four had been captured months before the Government had even proposed its emergency legislation in September 1922.
On Episode 31 of the Irish History Show we have part 2 of our discussion on the Siege of Jadotville in 1961. John Dorney interviews Declan Power, whose book on the siege was recently adapted for the screen in a Netflix movie. The engagement took place during the United Nations intervention in the Katanga conflict in Congo-Léopoldville, in Central Africa. “A” Company, 35th Battalion (UN service) of the Irish Army ONUC contingent was attacked by Katanga Gendarmerie troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister Moise Tshombe. The lightly armed Irish soldiers, besieged in Jadotville (modern Likasi), resisted Katangese assaults for six days as a relief force of Irish and Swedish troops unsuccessfully attempted to reach the Irish.
On Episode 30 of the Irish History Show we look at the Siege of Jadotville in 1961. John Dorney interviews Declan Power, whose book on the siege was recently adapted for the screen in a Netflix movie. The engagement took place during the United Nations intervention in the Katanga conflict in Congo-Léopoldville, in Central Africa. “A” Company, 35th Battalion (UN service) of the Irish Army ONUC contingent was attacked by Katanga Gendarmerie troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister Moise Tshombe. The lightly armed Irish soldiers, besieged in Jadotville (modern Likasi), resisted Katangese assaults for six days as a relief force of Irish and Swedish troops unsuccessfully attempted to reach the Irish.
On Episode 29 of the Irish History Show we look at the Anglo – Irish Treaty. The Anglo – Irish Treaty was signed on the 6th of December 1921 in London. The Treaty led to the establishment of the Irish Free State. It’s narrow approval by Dáil Éireann on the 7th of January 1922 would lead to a civil war. In this episode we will look at the negotiations leading up to the signing. We will also look at the content and some of the misconceptions that still surround it.
Episode 28 of the Irish History Show. In this episode, we look at the Bridges Job when the Anti – Treaty IRA attempted to destroy the infrastructure around Dublin during the Civil War. We also discuss the state’s plans for the Decade of Centenaries.