VOICES FROM THE NORTH INNER CITY
Irish Civil War
28 June 1922 – 24 May 1923
The Irish Civil War was sparked by the establishment of the Irish Free State as an independent entity from the United Kingdom.
Under the terms of the Treaty which brought about the Irish Free State, six counties out of a total of thirty-two would remain part of the United Kingdom.
The Treaty caused deep divisions amongst Irish nationalists. It split Sinn Féin into two factions. One side, led by Michael Collins, supported the Treaty. The other, led by Eamon de Valera, opposed the Treaty on the basis that it was an unacceptable compromise on the 32 county Republic that was fought for.
The two factions went head to head in the Irish Civil War which was a bloody and divisive conflict. It ended in the defeat of the anti-Treaty forces.
During the Civil War, Monto became a hiding place for anti-Treaty IRA men.
“During the Civil War, I was making my way up towards Talbot Street, selling my newspapers, when I saw a large group of armed men with bandoliers of bullets draped around their shoulders coming down the street.
Now they were dressed in civilian clothes and had peaked caps on their heads – they were IRA. I was shouting out the names of the papers I was selling, as I was watching them. They headed straight for Moran’s Hotel, at the junction of Talbot Street and Gardiner Street and went inside. I was still standing outside looking over.
Next, I heard glass being smashed. I looked up and saw the men smashing the windows. They started to put mattresses up to the windows and pointing their guns out the windows.
Then after a while, I saw this big armoured car from the Provisional Government – Free State Army – corning down Talbot Street. They parked the armoured car in the middle of the road, facing the hotel. I was staring at it when it opened fire on the hotel; raking the front of the building with gunfire. I said to myself, it’s time I got out of here quick, and I did!”
PADDY GUNNERY - BORN 1905, 25C CORPORATION BUILDINGS
Michael Collins was Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State from January 1922, until he was assassinated in August 1922.
“When the Civil War broke out, I stayed with Michael Collins.
I was given the job of polishing his Sam Brown belt and leggings.
I was in Cork when Michael Collins was shot. He was a great man.
Collins was known as the ‘Big Fellow’ and de Valera was down as the ‘Long Fellow’.”