About Me

img_0114My doctoral project is a re-examination of the Irish civil war utilising newly released documents from the Military Archives of Ireland. The consensus understanding of the Irish civil war, in that such a consensus exists, is that of a binary divide that occurred within the Irish revolutionary movement after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the creation of a new Irish Free State. However, this narrative of an inevitable divide in revolutionary movements once the colonial power has been ‘vanquished’ is simplistic and fails to account for the complexities within these types of movements. In the Irish context, the sides involved in the Irish civil war are often broken down into pro- and anti-Treaty factions which ostensibly divided over the issue of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the type of state to be created; Republic vs. Free State. Instead of viewing the Irish civil war as a conflict between two large amorphous factions, this thesis posits that the conflict should be viewed as one faction, the pro-Treaty forces attempting to create a new state, in opposition to a number of anti-Treaty factions throughout the country. That instead of a civil war, the conflict is a war of consolidation by a centralising power.