One hundred years ago: The first IRA prisoner dies on hunger strike

I wrote this article which was originally published online by The Irish Times on Saturday, 17 October 2020. That date marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Michael Fitzgerald, the first republican to die during the Irish War of Independence. See the link to the original article here.

One hundred years ago today, Michael Fitzgerald, a high-ranking IRA officer, became the first republican to die on hunger strike during the Irish War of Independence. Continue reading “One hundred years ago: The first IRA prisoner dies on hunger strike”

80 years ago: how Éamon de Valera had his old comrades executed

I wrote this article which was originally published online by The Irish Times on Friday, 4 September 2020. The article was timed for the 80th anniversary on 6 September 2020 of the state executions of Patrick McGrath and and Thomas Harte, the first such executions of IRA members since the Civil War. See the link to the original article here.

IRA members Thomas Harte (pictured left) and Patrick McGrath (pictured right).

Eighty years ago this week, a barely remembered event in the history of law and order within the Irish state occurred, yet the significance of it cannot be underestimated. Continue reading “80 years ago: how Éamon de Valera had his old comrades executed”

‘In the steady spirit of service of Pearse and Tom Clarke and Seán MacDermott?’ Richard Mulcahy and the National Army during the Civil War of 1922-23

Richard Mulcahy in the uniform of the National Army, circa 1922. Source.

Introduction
One individual to the fore on the victorious side of the Irish Civil War of 1922-23 was Richard Mulcahy. Mulcahy was initially the chief-of-staff, and later, commander-in-chief of the National Army of the Irish Free State. This army was formed in the early months of 1922 before the outbreak of the civil war on 28 June 1922 and had to immediately contend with the anti-Treaty IRA forces opposed to the new state. Throughout this period, Mulcahy also held a role in the new Irish government as Minister of Defence, thereby giving him an influence over military policy. For the purposes of this study, this writer will give an overview at how Mulcahy, in both his political and military roles, was to oversee this new army in light of various challenges from within and without. He occupied a fascinating place in running this new army, the chief purpose of which was to ensure the survival of a burgeoning state that emerged after a prolonged period of revolution. Continue reading “‘In the steady spirit of service of Pearse and Tom Clarke and Seán MacDermott?’ Richard Mulcahy and the National Army during the Civil War of 1922-23”