Winners and Losers: Financial Victimization and the Economics of Animosity after the Civil War



During the tumultuous twilight of Ireland’s revolution many thousands of nationalist activists were forced to grapple with a similar cluster of dilemmas, choices, and challenges concerning not only the country’s destiny and the future of the republican struggle, but also their own individual trajectories in the uncertain post-revolutionary years ahead. Economic considerations necessarily loomed large for many activists in this fraught period of transition. As was demonstrated in previous chapters, a toxic combination of expectations, resentments, and anxieties over jobs, positions, and economic status played no small role in the rancorous partisan discourses forged and vented in the civil war. While such bread-and-butter concerns flew in the face of the earlier high-minded, anti-materialist rhetoric of the movement, their appearance in the civil war and its aftermath is unsurprising for a number of reasons.


Civilian Life Republican Movement Nationalist Activist Internment Camp Fellow Prisoner 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    September 1921 County Inspector’s report for Kildare, quoted in Michael Laffan (1999) The Resurrection of Ireland: the Sinn Féin Party, 1916–1923 (Cambridge), p. 302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Terence Brown (1981) Ireland: a Social and Cultural History 1922–1979 (London), p. 14.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dorothy Macardle (1968 edn) The Irish Republic (London), p. 596.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Peter Pyne (1970) ‘The Third Sinn Féin Party: 1923–1926, Part II’, The Economic and Social Review, I, No. 2, 244.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Brown, Ireland: a Social and Cultural History, p. 15. Denis Gwynn (1928) The Irish Free State, 1922–1927 (London), pp. 34–5. Pyne, ‘The Third S. F. Party, 1923–1926, Part II’, 244.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    Pyne (1969) ‘The Third Sinn Féin Party: 1923–1926, Part I’, The Economic and Social Review, I, No. 1, 36–7.Google Scholar
  7. E. Rumpf and A. C. Hepburn (1977) Nationalism and Socialism in Twentieth-Century Ireland (New York), p. 88. On the futility of fundraising efforts see 29 Jan. 1924 correspondence from Máire Ni C[?] to the C/S IRA, P69/37(124), Twomey Papers, UCDA.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    Mossie Harnett (2002) (J. H. Joy, ed.) Victory and Woe: the West Limerick Brigade in the War of Independence (Dublin), p. 159.Google Scholar
  9. 22.
    E. O’Malley (2012) The Singing Flame (Cork), p. 369.Google Scholar
  10. 23.
    Cabinet Minutes for 4 and 11 October 1923 (C.2/7 and C.2/10), NAI. See also Tom Garvin (1996) 1922: the Birth of Irish Democracy (Dublin), p. 121.Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    Marie Coleman (2013) ‘Military Service Pensions for Veterans of the Irish Revolution, 1916–1923’, War in History, Vol. 20, No. 2, 202–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 28.
    Marie Coleman (2014) ‘Cumann na mBan and the Military Service Pensions’, unpublished paper given at the Women’s History Association of Ireland, 5 April 2014, pp. 11–12. (I would like to thank Dr Coleman for graciously sharing this essay as well as various pensions leads with me.)Google Scholar
  13. 31.
    Terence Dooley (2003) ‘IRA Veterans and Land Division in Independent Ireland, 1923–48’ in F. McGarry (ed.) Republicanism in Modern Ireland (Dublin), p. 96.Google Scholar
  14. 35.
    Calton Younger (1969) Ireland’s Civil War (New York), p. 504.Google Scholar
  15. Eunan O’Halpin (1999) Defending Ireland: the Irish State and its Enemies since 1922 (Oxford), p. 42.Google Scholar
  16. Michael Hopkinson (2004 edn) Green against Green: the Irish Civil War (Dublin), p. 265.Google Scholar
  17. 38.
    See Min./Justice O’Higgins’ 10 Jan. 1924 memo to Executive Council and Garda crime returns for 1 July–21 Dec. 1923 highlighting criminal cases involving (ex-)members of the National Army, P24/323, E. Blythe Papers, UCDA. Hopkinson, Green against Green, p. 265. David Fitzpatrick (1998) The Two Irelands 1912–1939 (Oxford), p. 174.Google Scholar
  18. 42.
    John Regan (1999) The Irish Counter-Revolution 1921–1936: Treatyite Politics and Settlement in Independent Ireland (Dublin), p. 121.Google Scholar
  19. 47.
    Fitzpatrick gives the figures 21,000 and 131 respectively, The Two Irelands, p. 156. The percentage cited comes from Alvin Jackson (1999) Ireland 1798–1998: Politics and War (Oxford), p. 276.Google Scholar
  20. 49.
    Charles Bewley (1989) Memoirs of a Wild Goose (Dublin), pp. 91–2.Google Scholar
  21. 51.
    Martin Maguire (2008) The Civil Service and the Revolution in Ireland, 1912–38: ‘Shaking the Blood-stained Hand of Mr. Collins’ (Manchester), Chapter 4 passim.Google Scholar
  22. 67.
    Bill Kissane (2005) The Politics of the Irish Civil War (Oxford), p. 167–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 69.
    Tony Farmar (1991) Ordinary Lives: Three Generations of Irish Middle Class Experience, 1907, 1932, 1963 (Dublin), p. 89.Google Scholar
  24. 70.
    Macardle, The Irish Republic, pp. 804–5. Other works that briefly mention this theme include Francis Blake (1986) The Irish Civil War 1922–1923 and What It Still Means for the Irish People (London), p. 63;Google Scholar
  25. J. Bowyer-Bell (1997 edn) The Secret Army: the IRA (Dublin), p. 50;Google Scholar
  26. Tom Garvin (2005 edn) Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland 1858–1928 (Dublin), p. 32; Hopkinson, Green against Green, p. 274;Google Scholar
  27. K. Griffith and T. O’Grady (1999 edn) Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution: an Oral History (Niwot, CO), passim; Fitzpatrick, The Two Irelands, p. 215; and Pyne, ‘The Third S. F. Party, 1923–1926’ (Parts I and II), passim.Google Scholar
  28. 80.
    Frank O’Connor (1994 edn) My Father’s Son (Belfast), p. 11.Google Scholar
  29. 81.
    Seán Ó Faoláin (1963) Vive Moi! (Boston), pp. 217 and 337.Google Scholar
  30. 89.
    J. F. O’Connor (1989) An Irish Civil War Exile (New York), p. 15.Google Scholar
  31. 92.
    J. Campbell (E. Ní Chuilleanáin, ed.) (2001) ‘As I Was Among the Captives’: Joseph Campbell’s Prison Diary, 1922–1923 (Cork), p. 115.Google Scholar
  32. 94.
    Meda Ryan (2003) Tom Barry: IRA Freedom Fighter (Cork), p. 202.Google Scholar
  33. 97.
    Robert Briscoe (with A. Hatch) (1958) For the Life of Me (Boston), pp. 210–16.Google Scholar
  34. 98.
    C. S. Andrews (1982) Man of No Property: an Autobiography (Volume Two) (Cork), p. 47.Google Scholar
  35. 117.
    Risteard Mulcahy (1999) Richard Mulcahy (1886–1971): a Family Memoir (Dublin), p. 192.Google Scholar
  36. 127.
    Jeremiah Murphy (1998) When Youth Was Mine: a Memoir of Kerry, 1902–1925 (Dublin), pp. 301–2.Google Scholar
  37. 131.
    Tom Garvin (2005 edn) The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics (Dublin), p. 215.Google Scholar
  38. 133.
    Along with Tomas Ó Maoileoin, Seán MacBride claims to have received ‘a definite offer’ of ‘a very high position in the army’ from Aiken. He refused the offer (and his IRA service pension some years later), C. Lawlor (ed.) (2005) Seán MacBride: That Day’s Struggle: a Memoir 1904–1951 (Blackrock, Dublin), pp. 194–5.Google Scholar
  39. 137.
    Brian Hanley (2002) The IRA 1926–1936 (Dublin), p. 140. Máire Comerford interviewed in Griffith and O’Grady (eds), Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution, p. 315.Google Scholar
  40. 146.
    22 August 1927 speech at Blackrock Town Hall, Dublin, in M. Moynihan (ed.) (1980) Speeches and Statements by Eamon de Valera 1917–73 (Dublin), p.151–2. Excerpts from this speech under the heading, ‘No Job-Hunting and No Victimisation’, were published in the 1927 election pamphlet, ‘What Fianna Fáil Stands For’, P176/827, UCDA.Google Scholar
  41. 148.
    The most notorious ‘victim’ of the change of power was Civic Guard Commissioner Eoin O’Duffy. Fearghal McGarry (2005) Eoin O’Duffy: a Self-Made Hero (Oxford), pp. 194–8.Google Scholar
  42. 149.
    Coleman, ‘Military Service Pensions for Veterans of the Irish Revolution, 1916–1923’, pp. 211–16. New Minister for Defence, Frank Aiken, stipulated that pension applicants who were in the field at the end of the civil war were required to provide evidence that they actively tried to elude capture in the ensuing months, Uinseann Mac Eoin (1997) The IRA in the Twilight Years 1923–1948 (Dublin), p. 218. References to having ‘dumped arms and evaded arrest’ are indeed commonplace in pension applications from that period. See c.1940 pension application statements, West Limerick Brigade Committee, MS. 27,607(2), NLI.Google Scholar
  43. 152.
    John Gibney (2014) ‘The Military Service Pensions Collection’, History Ireland, Vol. 22, No. 3 (May/June), 41–2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gavin Maxwell Foster 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Concordia UniversityCanada

Personalised recommendations