Irish Civil War

5 October 2022
Sibhialta Atá mé -  Civil I am

Westmeath County Council, as part of its Decade of Centenaries programme, welcomes a new exhibition of photos from the Irish Civil War. Titled ‘Civil I Am’, the exhibition showcases around 40 images from the conflict, all collected from various archives and libraries. Curated by Galway-based historian Damien Quinn, the exhibition was recently displayed in Galway’s […]

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5 September 2022
The guerrilla phase of the Irish Civil War

In the second of two articles, guest contributor Dr. John O’Callaghan explains how the anti-Treaty IRA responded to the victories won by the National Army during the early weeks of the Civil War. The opening phase of the Civil War was characterised by large-scale, fixed-position, conventional confrontations between the pro-Treaty National Army and the anti-Treaty […]

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30 August 2022
The conventional phase of the Irish Civil War

Dr John O’Callaghan, our latest guest contributor, provides an overview of the fighting during the early stages of the Civil War. The opening, conventional phase of the Civil War was characterised by large-scale confrontations between the anti-Treaty IRA and the pro-Treaty National Army in the summer of 1922, after which the National Army had established […]

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22 August 2022
‘Tragedy and Shame’: the death of Michael Collins

by Ian Kenneally ‘A thrill of horror’, according to the Westmeath Independent, ‘of shame, of despair, of the deepest distress went through the length and breadth of our land on Wednesday morning last when it was learned that General Michael Collins had been shot dead in Cork. Another great Irishman is gone; another great loss has […]

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11 August 2022
A divided town: part one

In an earlier edition of the blog we discussed the shooting dead of George Adamson in April 1922. In that article, Dr John Gibney described Adamson’s career and the local reaction to Adamson’s death. It was an event that shocked people in Westmeath and nationally. Here, we look in more detail at the subsequent propaganda battle in which both pro- and anti-Treaty forces blamed each other for Adamson’s death.

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2 August 2022
A Shooting in Custume Barracks

by Ian Kenneally During the Irish Civil War, Custume Barracks served both as a headquarters for the Provisional Government’s National Army and as a vast prison for captured members of the anti-Treaty IRA. Although Custume Barracks briefly housed prisoners in April 1922 following the shooting dead of George Adamson, it was not until the summer […]

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14 July 2022
The first week of the Irish Civil War in Westmeath: part two

by Dr. Paul Highes Athlone and south Westmeath Reports of the outbreak of civil war published by the Westmeath Independent were redolent of those sensational and bewildered paragraphs which appeared in the Westmeath Examiner in the wake of the 1916 rising. ‘No news and too much rumour’ read one headline, while another column carried eyewitness reports of the fighting […]

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12 July 2022
The first week of the Irish Civil War in Westmeath: part one

by Dr. Paul Hughes One hundred years ago last week, in the early hours of Wednesday, 28 June 1922, the anti-Treaty Irish Republican Army Executive’s headquarters at Dublin’s Four Courts was attacked by the National Army with two eighteen-pounder guns, which had been placed across the Liffey. This action, vividly recreated in Neil Jordan’s 1996 […]

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8 June 2022
The prelude to civil war in Westmeath: the Protestant experience

by Dr. Paul Hughes Between the Irish censuses of 1911 and 1926, the Protestant population of Westmeath – that is, people living in the county who professed the creeds of ‘Protestant Episcopalianism’ (Church of Ireland/Scotland/England), Methodism and Presbyterianism – fell by 49.4 percent.[mfn]Census of Ireland reports, 1911 and 1926 (available at[/mfn]  According to figures cited by […]

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26 January 2022
Book review: Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

Diarmaid Ferriter’s new history of the Irish Civil War seeks to get at the human experience and day-to-day texture of the war and its aftermath. In Between Two Hells, combat itself is skimmed over quickly. Other books have dealt with the strictly military side of things, but Ferriter has other interests. He has delved into […]

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