Pro-Treaty Social Attitudes and Perceptions of Republicans



When assessed in terms of casualty figures or the duration and scale of fighting, the Irish Civil War scarcely measures up to many other countries’ experiences of civil war.1 But while hardly prominent in the annals of military history, the 1922–3 fight between Irish nationalists stands out for the ferocity of the invective and partisan rhetoric that accompanied it.2 The notorious intensity of enmities between ‘Staters’ and ‘Irregulars’, among other less civil epithets the two sides traded, reflects the intimate, close-knit nature of Ireland’s revolutionary movement, which, when it ultimately foundered on the treaty question, produced a correspondingly ‘bitter, incestuous conflict’ tellingly known as the ‘war of friends’.3 The contrast between Sinn Féin’s unity of purpose (or, at least, ‘harmonization of political differences’)4 between 1916 and 1921, and the rancorous and highly public falling-out of movement leaders and factions from late 1921 is among the most rapid and dramatic transformations in a hectic decade of revolutionary change.


Hunger Strike Republican Movement Revolutionary Violence Irish Nationalist Discursive Theme 
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Copyright information

© Gavin Maxwell Foster 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Concordia UniversityCanada

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