Advertisement

Republican Social Attitudes and Perceptions of the Free State

Chapter
  • 208 Downloads

Abstract

The preceding chapter examined the social attitudes, animosities, and perceptions that underlay pro-treaty critiques of the republican movement during the civil war. This chapter will take up the other side of the treaty split by examining the social content of anti-treaty or republican discourses in the civil war, particularly concerning how republicans viewed their opponents in the conflict. As with the pro-treaty camp, issues of nationalist legitimacy initially dominated republican discourses. From the republican perspective, former comrades who accepted the treaty were unprincipled apostates and ‘sell-outs’, the Free State itself was merely a British puppet regime, and support for the new government resulted from materialism, fear, ‘slave-mindedness’, a pro-English outlook, and weak national principles. Countering the pro-treaty camp’s rhetorical efforts to paint the anti-treaty IRA as post-truce recruits overcompensating for their earlier apathy and cowardice, republican propagandists seized on Free State recruitment of demobilized British Army soldiers, ex-RIC men, unemployed workers, and other non-Sinn Féin elements as evidence of the ‘un-Irish’ and ‘mercenary’ character of enemy forces.1 Taken together, these attitudes might appear to justify historians’ tendency to emphasize the political fundamentalism, anti-materialism, militarism, moral elitism, and revolutionary vanguardism of the anti-treaty movement.2

Keywords

Labour Party Preceding Chapter Irish People Corrupt Party Idealistic Zealot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    On Free State Soldiers as ex-British Army, RIC, and other ‘mercenary’ elements: 20 June 1922 ‘Manifesto to the People of Ireland’, in anti-treaty party folder, MS 17,141, T. Johnson papers, NLI; The Fenian, 2 and 17 Aug. 1922; Poblacht na hEireann (Southern Edition), 1 September 1922; C. Markievicz cartoon, ‘Reinforcements for the Free Staters’, ‘Republican cartoons, CW period’, PD 3076 TX 17, NLI; Tom Maguire quoted in Uinseann Mac Eoin (1980) Survivors (Dublin), pp. 292–3;Google Scholar
  2. and Joe Baker (J. Duffy, ed.) (1988) My Stand for Irish Freedom: Autobiography of an Irish Republican Soldier (Westport), p. 66.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Tom Garvin (1996) 1922: the Birth of Irish Democracy (Dublin).Google Scholar
  4. See also Ronan Fanning, (1983) Independent Ireland (Dublin).Google Scholar
  5. Michael Laffan (1999) The Resurrection of Ireland: the Sinn Féin Party, 1916–1923 (Cambridge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 3.
    See F. M. L. Thompson (1988) The Rise of Respectable Society: a Social History of Victorian Britain 1830–1900 (Cambridge, MA);Google Scholar
  7. and George Mosse (1985) Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe (New York).Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    Stephen Collins (1996) The Cosgrave Legacy (Dublin), pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    C. S. Andrews (1982) Man of No Property: an Autobiography (Volume Two) (Cork), p. 7.Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    Francis Stuart (1995 edn) Black List Section H (Dublin), p. 94.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    C. D. Greaves (2004 edn) Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution (Belfast), p. 365.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Richard English (1993) Radicals and the Republic: Socialist Republicanism in the Irish Free State, 1925–1937 (Oxford), ‘Introduction’ passim.Google Scholar
  13. D. R. O’Connor Lysaght (1970) The Republic of Ireland: a Hypothesis in Eight Chapters and Two Intermissions (Cork), p. 70.Google Scholar
  14. Mike Milotte (1984) Communism in Modern Ireland: the Pursuit of the Workers’ Republic since 1916 (Dublin), pp. 61–2.Google Scholar
  15. 13.
    Donal Ó Drisceoil (2001) Peadar O’Donnell (Cork), pp. 26–9.Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    Letter to Joseph McGarrity cited in Seán Cronin (1980) Irish Nationalism: a History of its Roots and Ideology (Dublin), p. 148. For evidence of the complex and ambiguous nature of de Valera’s social thinking see de Valera to Father McKenna, 26 Dec. 1922; 25 Jan. 1923 Memo to ‘P. O’C.’; and other documents in de Valera Papers, P150/1729, UCDA.Google Scholar
  17. 27.
    Tom Garvin (1986) ‘The Anatomy of a Nationalist Revolution: Ireland, 1858–1928’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jul.), 484–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 28.
    John Regan (1999) The Irish Counter-Revolution 1921–1936: Treatyite Politics and Settlement in Independent Ireland (Dublin), pp. 82–94 passim.Google Scholar
  19. 29.
    C. S. Andrews (2001 edn) Dublin Made Me (Dublin), p. 218.Google Scholar
  20. 30.
    Ernie O’Malley (2012 edn) The Singing Flame (Cork), p. 182.Google Scholar
  21. 39.
    For an important revisionist perspective on popular perceptions of the ‘Tans’ see D. M. Leeson (2011) The Black and Tans: British Police and Auxiliaries in the Irish War of Independence (Oxford).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 41.
    All found in ‘Source of Ireland’s Awakening’, ‘Our Glorious Heritage’, and ‘Be Ready Now’, typed articles for the Volunteers, c.May 1922, MS. 31, 251, F. O’Donoghue Papers, NLI; and IRA ballad quoted in Patrick Twohig (1994) Green Tears for Hecuba: Ireland’s Fight for Freedom (Ballincollig, Co. Cork), p. 161.Google Scholar
  23. Peter Hart (1998) The IRA and its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916–1923 (Oxford), p. 142.Google Scholar
  24. 48.
    Reprinted in Bulmer Hobson (1968 edn) Ireland Yesterday and Tomorrow (Tralee, Co. Kerry), Appendix 1, p. 97.Google Scholar
  25. 51.
    Tom Barry (1995 edn) Guerilla Days in Ireland: a Personal Account of the Anglo-Irish War (Boulder, CO), pp. 7, 89–90. See also Hart, The IRA and its Enemies, p. 151.Google Scholar
  26. 53.
    Barry interviewed in his old age in Kenneth Griffith and Timothy O’Grady (1999 edn) Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution: an Oral History (Niwot, CO), p. 169.Google Scholar
  27. 54.
    Eoin Neeson (1989 edn), The Civil War 1922–23 (Swords, Co. Dublin), p. 131.Google Scholar
  28. 64.
    Gavin Foster (2012) ‘Res Publica na hÉireann? Republican Liberty and the Irish Civil War’, New Hibernia Review, Autumn, Vol. 16, No. 3, 20–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 65.
    See Tom Garvin (2005 edn) Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland 1858–1928 (Dublin), p. 30.Google Scholar
  30. 74.
    John Pinkman (Francis E. Maguire, ed.) (1998) In the Legion of the Vanguard (Boulder, CO), p. 194.Google Scholar
  31. 76.
    Patrick Maume (1999) The Long Gestation: Irish Nationalist Life 1891–1918 (Dublin), p. 33.Google Scholar
  32. 79.
    William O’Brien (1923) The Irish Revolution (Dublin), p. 447.Google Scholar
  33. 110.
    Michael Hopkinson (2004 edn) Green against Green: the Irish Civil War (Dublin), p. 13.Google Scholar
  34. 111.
    IRB Statement on the treaty in A. Mitchell and P. Ó Snodaigh (eds) (1985) Irish Political Documents: 1916–1949 (Blackrock, Co. Dublin), p. 122.Google Scholar
  35. 121.
    Bill Kissane (2005) The Politics of the Irish Civil War (Oxford). Regan, The Irish Counter-Revolution.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 126.
    Liam Deasy (1998) Brother against Brother (Dublin), p. 56.Google Scholar
  37. On the split as a conflict over jobs see D. Williams (1966) ‘From the Treaty to the Civil War’, in D. Williams (ed.) The Irish Struggle 1916–1926 (London), p. 122.Google Scholar
  38. 129.
    Michael Hopkinson (2002) The Irish War of Independence (Dublin), pp. 134–5.Google Scholar
  39. 133.
    On redundancy see 1981 Interview with Michael Flannery, MS. 41, 928, Seán O’Mahony papers, NLI. The term ‘outcasts’ come from Pax Ó Faoláin quoted in Mac Eoin, Survivors, p. 144. See also Mossie Harnett (J. H. Joy, ed.) (2002) Victory and Woe: the West Limerick Brigade in the War of Independence (Dublin), p. 127.Google Scholar
  40. 142.
    Dan Breen (1964 edn) My Fight for Irish Freedom (Tralee), p. 161.Google Scholar
  41. 143.
    Caitriona Lawlor (ed.) (2005) Seán MacBride: That Day’s Struggle: a Memoir 1904–1951 (Blackrock), p. 35.Google Scholar
  42. 146.
    Dorothy Macardle (1968 edn) The Irish Republic (London), p. 559.Google Scholar
  43. 147.
    M. Ó Suilleabháin (1965) Where Mountainy Men Have Sown: War and Peace in Rebel Cork in the Turbulent Years1916–21 (Tralee, Co. Kerry), p. 170.Google Scholar
  44. 148.
    13 May 1923 letter from de Valera to Michael Colivet, quoted in Lord Longford and T. P. O’Neill (1971) Eamon de Valera (Boston), p. 207.Google Scholar
  45. 154.
    Garvin, Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland, p. 30; Garvin (2005 edn), The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics (Dublin), p. 130; Garvin, 1922: the Birth of Irish Democracy, pp. 3, 92.Google Scholar
  46. 158.
    Constance Markievicz (Amanda Sebestyen, ed.) (1987 edn) Prison Letters of Countess Markievicz (London), p. 300.Google Scholar
  47. 159.
    Robert Briscoe (with Alden Hatch) (1958) For the Life of Me (Boston), pp. 237–8.Google Scholar
  48. 161.
    Diarmaid Ó Muirithe (2000) A Dictionary of Anglo-Irish: Words and Phrases from Gaelic in the English of Ireland (Dublin), p. 175.Google Scholar
  49. 162.
    F. S. L. Lyons defined ‘shoneen’ as a person ‘of native Irish stock who committed the unforgivable sin of aping English or West-Briton manners and attitudes’, Lyons (1973 edn) Ireland Since the Famine (London), p. 233. Roy Foster offers a more literal definition: ‘Little Johnny, with overtones of Johnny-come-lately as well as John Bull.’ However, his discussion of the cultural revivalist context in which the term ‘shoneen’ gained currency stresses the ‘fundamentally sectarian and even racialist’ emotions it tapped.Google Scholar
  50. Roy Foster (1988) Modern Ireland, 1600–1972 (London), p. 453.Google Scholar
  51. 163.
    D. P. Moran (1905 edn) The Philosophy of Irish-Ireland (Dublin), pp. 53–4.Google Scholar
  52. 164.
    Original italics. P. W. Joyce (1997 edn) English As We Speak It in Ireland (Dublin), p. 321.Google Scholar
  53. 165.
    The crucial class connotations of the concept are further corroborated by Moran’s contemporary, William Bulfin (1907) Rambles in Eirinn (Dublin), pp. 89–90.Google Scholar
  54. 170.
    The Fenian, 28 Aug. 1922. A standard Irish language dictionary defines seoinín as ‘flunkey, toady’. Niall Ó Dónaill (1992 edn) Foclóir Gaelige-Béarla (Dublin), p. 1088.Google Scholar
  55. 177.
    Justin MacCarthy (2006) Kevin O’Higgins: Builder of the Irish Free State (Dublin), pp. xv, 76–7;Google Scholar
  56. Donal Sullivan’s assessment quoted and endorsed by J. M. Curran (1980) The Birth of the Irish Free State, 1921–23 (Mobile, AL), p. 265.Google Scholar
  57. 178.
    Calton Younger (1969) Ireland’s Civil War (New York), p. 484.Google Scholar
  58. 186.
    IRA Operational Order No. 16, ‘Senators’, 26 Jan. 1923, Twomey Papers, P69/2(18), UCDA. Terence Dooley (2001) The Decline of the Big House in Ireland: a Study of Irish Landed Families, 1860–1960 (Dublin), Chapter 7 passim and p. 287 (Tables 7.3 and 7.4).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gavin Maxwell Foster 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Concordia UniversityCanada

Personalised recommendations