The Royal Irish Constabulary
In June 1920, Constable Daniel O’Sullivan resigned from the RIC. O’Sullivan was a 31-year-old native of Limerick who had joined the force in 1908, spending his career stationed in Kerry.1 O’Sullivan had not been shot at, held up and disarmed, ambushed while on patrol, or defended his barracks against a late night attack. He was at home on leave in Limerick when a gang of masked men entered the family home and told him to resign from his job or he would be shot. O’Sullivan refused, and as the gang attempted to drag him outside his mother tried to intervene, before promptly fainting. At this point O’Sullivan agreed to the demand and signed a declaration that he would not return to his station ‘on account of his mother’s health’.2 O’Sullivan’s reason for resignation in the RIC’s General Personnel Register is simple: ‘Intimidation by S.F.’3 When Daniel O’Sullivan joined the RIC, they were a respected – even popular – civil police force; the vast majority were Irish Catholics. By the time he resigned in June 1920, the police were the most obvious expression of British rule in Ireland, seen by many as the eyes and ears of the enemy, traitors to their country. As one Volunteer later put it, ‘That was their sorrow, their tragedy, their disease, to be classified as aliens and enemies in and to their own land.’4 Some policemen were shot and killed or wounded, but most were not. More often they were shunned in public, refused supplies and transport, denied information, and forced to live an isolated and dangerous existence. The section that follows will explore the everyday revolutionary experiences of Irish policemen like Daniel O’Sullivan.
The police boycott serves as a useful starting point from which to observe the local intimidation and coercion that most concerns this book. As Joost Augusteijn has pointed out:
The type of pressure exerted on the police can be seen as part of a policy to force unwilling members of the community to accept a new direction … Shunning, the extreme non-violent punishment for those within a community who fail to adhere to its wishes, was started by the police boycott.5
This form of terror, consisting of a general boycott and regularly enforced by intimidation and aggression, was not new to Ireland. Its most common features were anonymous threatening letters, proclamations, forcefully administered oaths, raids, and damaged property aimed at inducing members of the RIC to resign and make it impossible for those who remained to carry out their duty.
David Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth Malcolm have both emphasised the relatively happy life of the policeman in most of Ireland prior to 1917. A career in the force offered a position of authority, a standing in the community, and a pension to a class of young men with few other options for such social advancement. Much time was spent detecting and prosecuting minor breaches of the law but the Irish policeman was required to prevent crime as well as solve it. An intimate knowledge of the local community and its inhabitants was further enhanced by roles as census enumerators, compilers of agricultural and emigration statistics, and enforcers of weights and measures legislation. The most obvious sources of disgruntlement – and most notable contributors to a slowly increasing number of resignations – were poor rates of pay and restrictions on marriage.6 The former policemen who gave statements to the BMH recalled no hint that joining was something unpatriotic, and veterans of the force generally found an absence of political crime prior to 1919.7 For J. J. McConnell, ‘Those were carefree, peaceful days in Ireland and a policeman’s life was then a happy one.’8 Eugene Bratton was stationed in County Meath and found that ‘things were very peaceful in the country as a whole and life was generally pleasant’.9
Signs of a movement aimed directly against the police were first reported in June 1917 when officers in Clare, Galway, and Tipperary noted a hostile reception from ‘Sinn Feiners’.10 In July, the month of Eamon de Valera’s victory in the East Clare by-election, the county inspector noted that ‘The attitude of the Sinn Feiners towards the police has also undergone a change. They will now scarcely salute them and especially if two or three of them are together.’11 By October, it seemed that ‘the people appear to regard the police as their enemies and have ceased all friendly intercourse with them. Shops continue to supply provisions but in many cases they would prefer that the police did not come to them. No opportunity is lost to try and bring discredit on the Force’.12 In a speech delivered that month, De Valera had ‘reproached the Royal Irish Constabulary for “doing the dirty work of the enemy”’ and the inspector general believed the deteriorating situation in the country was ‘a result of the Sinn Fein insurrectionary movement’; ‘a spirit of hostility towards the Police has arisen, particularly in the provinces of Connaught and Munster where the defiant attitude of the people towards law and authority has made the duties of the police extremely difficult’.13 Policemen were not the lone targets. In Kinvara, County Galway, Michael Lyons offered two policemen a lift to mass in November 1917. The following Sunday shots were fired through his window and a note was found, which read: ‘If you drive the peelers in your car you’ll get the same as went through your window last night.’14 In 1918, attempts were made to cut off the police supply of food, turf, and transport in some small, rural communities in Clare, Galway, and Cork.15
Physical attacks remained rare and police in much of the country were unaffected; the inspector general optimistically reported a general improvement in public relations on three occasions in 1917 and 1918.16 Given the tactics adopted, it is unsurprising that the most affected counties at this early stage had a tradition of agrarian agitation and boycotting and ostracism had been used against the RIC during the Land War in Galway and Clare.17 Old methods were simply applied to a new cause.
Just after Constables McDonnell and O’Connell were killed in Soloheadbeg on 21 January 1919, the inspector general reported that ‘There was no improvement in the attitude of the people towards the R.I.C. who, in the disaffected counties, are treated with bitter hostility and are boycotted in various ways.’18 In February 1919, Tipperary Volunteer Séamus Robinson drafted a proclamation, which he sent to GHQ for approval. As all Irish political prisoners had been tried and convicted on the evidence of policemen, the proclamation warned that ‘the life, limb and living of no citizen in Ireland is safe while these paid spies are allowed to infest the country’. As some remained willing to offer information to the police, the following regulations were to apply in the ‘South Tipperary Area’:
(a) A policeman found within the said area on or after the ____ day of February 1919, will be deemed to have forfeited his life. The more notorious police being dealt with, as far as possible, first.
(b) On and after the _____ day of February 1919, every person in the pay of England (magistrates, jurors etc.) who helps England to rule this country or who assists in any way the upholders of foreign Government in this South Riding of Tipperary will be deemed to have forfeited his life.
(c) Civilians who give information to the police or soldiery, especially such information as is of a serious character, if convicted will be executed, i.e. shot or hanged.
(d) Police, doctors, prison officials who assist at or who countenance or who are responsible for, or in any way connected with the drugging of an Irish citizen for the purpose of obtaining information, will be deemed to have forfeited his life and may be hanged or drowned or shot at sight as a common outlaw. Offending parties will be executed should it take years to track them down.
(e) Every citizen must assist when required in enabling us to perform our duty.19
Robinson was instructed not to post the proclamation but copies found their way on to telegraph poles and lamp posts.20 In a speech around the same time, Séamus Aloysius Bourke, Sinn Féin MP for Mid Tipperary, told his audience that by putting on their uniforms the RIC had declared their own lives forfeit ‘and if any man shoots or otherwise destroys one of them he may rest easy in his conscience, for he is only carrying out the sentence already passed on him by the Republican Government’.21 A month later, he suggested that ‘the way to deal with the police was not to shoot them … but to make their life unbearable, treat them as outcasts of society, as we cannot be in any place that some of these vipers are not in our midst’.22 Bourke was typical of speakers who repeatedly warned that the RIC were the ‘greatest enemies’ of Ireland, the last great obstacle in the way of Irish freedom, ‘spies’, and ‘traitors’.23 The public were urged not to acknowledge the RIC, even by saluting them in the street, traders were asked not to sell them goods, and the public were even asked not to sit beside them at Sunday service.24
It was not until a meeting on 10 April 1919 that a directive was officially advocated by Dáil Éireann and a policy of ‘social ostracisation’ confirmed, described by Dáil Éireann secretary Diarmuid O’Hegarty:
the Police forces [‘and their families’ crossed out in crayon] must receive no social recognition from the people; that no intercourse, except such as is absolutely necessary for business is permitted with them; they should not be saluted nor spoken to in the streets nor their salutes returned; that they should not be invited to nor received in private houses as friends or guests; that they be debarred from participation in games, sports, dances and all social functions conducted by the people, that intermarriage with them be discouraged, that, in a word, the police shd be treated as persons, who having been adjudged guilty of treason to their country, are regarded unworthy to enjoy any of the privileges or comforts which arise from cordial relations with the public.25
The message disseminated slowly and the shunning of police grew sporadically. Central direction on the boycott was late and often ignored. An official GHQ order on the boycott from the IRA hierarchy was not produced until 4 June 1920 and offered little in the way of practical instruction.26 It remained down to individual companies of Volunteers to obey the boycott and ensure others did likewise, by whatever means they deemed necessary. Local boycotts had waxed and waned since 1917 and the new policy did little more than attempt to centralise and control local practice. The most affected police were still those in Clare, Galway, Tipperary, and Cork but as the year continued deterioration in relations with the public became noticeable elsewhere, particularly in Kerry and Limerick.27 By the turn of 1920, police in Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon, and Longford were also commenting on an increased atmosphere of hostility.28 Reports indicate a dramatic surge of dissent and intimidation aimed against the police in the first six months of 1920, with the number of reported IRA outrages peaking in July.29 In one week that month there were 78 reported offences against the police, including six threats to policemen and 29 to their suppliers and tradesmen.30 Donal O’Sullivan has stated that there was no boycott in 12 Irish counties, but a survey of the available police reports and compensation claims makes it clear that no county was entirely free of violence or threats against police or those close to them.31 Policemen and their relatives were, though, generally safer in the north-east.32 Between 1917 and December 1921, 35 members of the RIC were killed in Ulster, 8 per cent of the total, and 12 of those were killed in Cavan (1), Donegal (6), and Monaghan (5).33 Within the six most northeastern counties, intimidation against police was less frequently reported and usually localised around areas with strong or mixed Catholic populations like South Armagh, Belfast in County Antrim, Newry in County Down, and Lisnaskea and Enniskillen in County Fermanagh.34
W. J. Lowe has described threats against policemen, their families, and sympathisers as ‘deeply rooted traditions in Ireland’ and the most common method of threatening a policeman was an age-old device: the anonymous letter.35 Death threats of varying lengths and detail were delivered – with little or no risk to the sender – to police stations and homes. Some contained drawings, often of a coffin or a revolver, or made specific reference to recent acts of violence and threatened the same fate.36 A letter received by a sergeant in Brosna, County Kerry, for instance, contained a list of RIC men who had been killed or wounded by ‘our brother Volunteers during the week’.37 The frequency of this form of intimidation and its nature – scribbled notes, crudely drawn guns or coffins, the use of pseudonyms, and specific references to the deaths of others – closely mirrors the letters sent by agrarian agitators to landlords, agents, and bailiffs in the second half of the nineteenth century.38
When a member of the force was at home or on leave, and away from the comparative protection of his barracks, he was most vulnerable and did not have to form part of an ambushed patrol to come under fire. Between 1919 and 1921, 412 serving policemen were shot and killed in Ireland (there had been no casualties between 1917 and 1918). Almost 30 per cent had not been engaged in police activity when killed but had been alone or unarmed, travelling to or from work, taking a walk, visiting the local shop, leaving mass.39 Everyday tasks suddenly became potentially dangerous for the Irish policeman. There were also opportunities for threatening raids on police homes. This was a method particularly favoured by the IRA to dissuade men whom they believed had committed to joining the force. It offered a convenient means to attack isolated policemen but also served to reinforce the idea that the IRA were always watching, that they knew exactly who was coming and going in their area, further eroding any sense of security. Raids generally met with mixed results and depended on the individual target. For every man who was compelled to resign there was another who brushed off the threat and reported back to his barracks for duty.40
Policemen and candidates were most easily accessible through their families. Parents were frequently subject to threats of violence – usually by letter or armed raid – unless they brought their sons home. The idea of targeting parents to convince policemen to resign and take up a job in civil life had first been advocated in 1919 but no formal scheme adopted.41 By July 1920, Chief Secretary Sir Hamar Greenwood reported on a ‘growing tendency to intimidate or victimise’ the relatives of policemen.42 Some months later, an IRA weekly memorandum noted that the number of RIC resignations was continuing unabated and in ‘very many cases these are stated to be brought about by pressure exerted by their relatives at home who are suffering from a tacit boycott because of them’; the old RIC had become the ‘pointers’ for the ‘Black and Tans’ and ‘None of his friends or relatives must be allowed to forget this to him. They cannot of course be held responsible for him and must not therefore be actually boycotted, but they must bear his shame.’43 Local IRA units may have taken heed of such success, but often ignored the memorandum’s final instruction. In August 1920, for instance, the Cavan county inspector reported that three farmers had received threatening letters because their sons were in the RIC and notices were posted up warning others to boycott them. One had already called his son home.44 This more aggressive approach in part stemmed from necessity. By mid-1920, the men who might be easily intimidated out of their jobs had already left. Those remaining were men who had resolved to stay for the duration or recruits who had joined in 1919 and 1920. The minority enlisting in Ireland were well aware of the conditions of service in the RIC but had decided to join anyway, and were therefore less likely to resign on the basis of a nasty letter or warning.
The RIC General Personnel Register lists 108 Irish-born police who resigned from the force between 1919 and 1921 and explicitly cited IRA intimidation. Over half (58) had joined the force after 1 January 1920 and 50 were still in training, yet to be assigned to a station. The decreasing impact of personal threatening letters, compared to persecution of a policeman’s family, can be seen as only 17 claimed to have been personally affected by intimidation or fear (and only one directly cited a threatening letter) while the remainder of the sample (91, or 84 per cent) blamed intimidation of, or pressure from, their family. All but two of the recruits in training claimed family had been involved in their decision.45 A policeman could feel assured that he was able to protect his own person, and may have felt safe in the training depot or armed with colleagues in a fortified barracks, but could do nothing to protect his family who, due to RIC regulations, were not in the same county. Hugh Cunniffe joined the RIC from Roscommon on 5 April 1920. Four days later, a group of masked and armed men entered his father’s house and made him swear he would bring his son home. Cunniffe resigned on 11 April having spent less than a week in the Phoenix Park Depot in Dublin.46 Most directly referenced intimidation or boycotting against their parents but 15 offered a more obtuse explanation (‘The wish of his people’; ‘Parents want him home’; ‘Mother anxious he should resign’) that suggested fear or political conviction on the part of parents. The far greater number of men admitting resignation for the sake of family at home, however, may not fully reflect realities on the ground but rather hint at a greater willingness to admit this as a reason. It was less cowardly, perhaps, to fear for your family’s safety than for your own.
A breakdown of a sample of RIC resignations because of personal or family fear and intimidation by county of service or county of birth offers an insight into the nature of police intimidation across counties (see Table 1.1). The policemen who were personally intimidated are, with the notable exception of Roscommon, almost all from Munster counties where violence (and violence against the police) was greatest.47 The county of birth has been tabulated for the men claiming family influence, as many specifically mentioned parents, and a policemen’s family were most likely to have remained in his county of birth. The distribution of these men suggests a particularly effective campaign against police families in Cork, but also in the ‘quieter’ counties Roscommon and Leitrim. Evidence from local newspapers offers evidence that something similar was also the case in Cavan – among the highest number of resignations in the sample with seven. In February 1919, for instance, RIC recruits along the Cavan/Leitrim border were visited by ‘armed and disguised men who made them promise to remain at home, after which a volley of shots were fired’. The father of one candidate, who had already left, followed his son and convinced him to return.48 With the exception of the Cavan natives, only two of the men citing family intimidation had been born in Ulster, and only one (a native of Belfast) was born in the six counties that became Northern Ireland, pointing to a comparatively safer environment for police and their families there.
Boycotting and intimidation brought much hardship and difficulty to police wives and children. The county inspector for Galway West Riding described the conditions of service there and noted how police wives ‘are miserable, and their children suffer in schools, and nobody cares’.49 Kate Scully, the widow of a district inspector whose son served at the same rank, told the IGC that even ‘Priests at the Cathedral would not say good morning to us’.50 As well as the indignity and social exclusion that came with being related to a member of a boycotted force, they were also often the victims of intimidation. Letters and raids warned wives either to force their husband’s resignation or leave the locality. The accommodation of many RIC families was targeted and furniture and other possessions burned. Landlords were instructed not to let property to police families or to evict those already lodged. Other RIC families suffered from the retailers’ boycott. James Goulden’s father was stationed in Mayo and he remembered how ‘For some time before [Easter, 1920] we had found difficulty in getting milk and had to use condensed milk’.51 More seriously, the Constabulary Gazette reported on the wife and children of a policeman who were ‘boycotted to starving point’ as they were forced to pay three times the price for supplies and could only secure them ‘at irregular hours and by stealth’.52 Experiences could vary drastically, but even the possibility that necessities might be denied was worthy of anxiety.
Personal fear and intimidation
Family fear and intimidation
County stationed in
County of birth
For its part, GHQ was opposed to the harassment of wives and children. The commander of the Dingle IRA sought clarification on the proposed extent of the boycott:
1. are people to refuse to sell them food.
2. if so are they to refuse to sell food to & for their wives and children & milk for their babies!
3. one or two women who cook and wash for them – are they to be made give up their jobs
4. If a trader has a contract with them for supplies is he to be compelled to break the contract?
5. Are doctors [or] nurses to be allowed to attend police.53
He was told that people independent of the police must refuse to sell them food, traders must break any contracts with the police, and barrack servants were to be made to leave their posts, but the police could be allowed to buy food and milk and doctors were not to be prevented from attending police and their families.54 Goulden’s family found that ‘on occasions on which any child was ill we always managed to get supplies’ and a boycott notice in Roscommon requested that merchants ‘supply all policeman’s wives and children’.55 Similarly, a boycotting order in Donegal did ‘not require that food and other necessaries be refused to the families of policemen, but traders are required to keep a check on the supply in such cases, as will guard against such supplies being used by the police force generally’.56 Policeman’s son Patrick Shea was adamant that in most of the country families like his ‘were not, as some have said, treated as outcasts by their neighbours; they bought their groceries and sent their children to school to make friends in spite of the advice of the extremists’.57 When a doctor in Galway who had been treating a wounded Auxiliary received a threatening letter, IRA Chief of Staff Richard Mulcahy warned the commandant of the Galway Brigade that ‘As far as Hospitals and Hospital Staffs are concerned they must be regarded as common Institutions ministering to all. Dr. O’Malley … should be given any protection that may be necessary and also given assurance that this warning is a bogus one as far as you are concerned’.58
The most common victims of IRA intimidation were those who provided labour, supplies, and information to the RIC. From 16 March 1920 to 18 December 1921, there were 164 reported threats to policemen compared with 513 against tradesmen and suppliers (and the actual difference was probably much wider as policemen were more likely to report threats than members of the public).59 Michael Casey from Shrule, County Galway, was boycotted in 1920 and later remarked that ‘at the time the Rebels only had to raise their finger and the people stopped away’.60 In a rural community where everybody knew everybody else and a stretched police force could not adequately protect them, those considered ‘friendly’ to the RIC were highly susceptible to suspicion and retribution. If the IRA could convince their communities to deny the RIC transport, necessities, and information, as well as social interaction, they would effectively cease to function. The police had little access to their own means of transportation and relied on the use of privately owned carts and motor vehicles to convey everything from turf to prisoners. The owners of carts and cars used by police were threatened and some had their carts destroyed. Kerry Volunteer James Fitzgerald recalled seizing a common cart that had been used to transfer turf to the local barracks and burying it in Kinvara Strand.61 A motor car hired by the police in Leitrim had its wheels removed to prevent its future use.62 Further, a lack of information and willing witnesses meant an inability either to arrest or prosecute offenders. Those who cut turf for the RIC, provided them with milk, butter, labour, and other necessities were sent threatening letters warning them to cease their association and notices were posted up in towns warning the public of the consequences of dealing with ‘the enemy’. The punishment for women who kept company or were friendly with Crown forces was often to have their hair cut off, a grim visual reminder of their alleged transgression.63
Fear, diminished prospects, or radical conviction convinced many hundreds of RIC men to resign between 1919 and 1921.64 But 63 per cent of those serving in 1919 were disbanded in 1922.65 What of these men and their decision to stay? Resigning immediately brought a reduced pension and limited opportunities to secure new means of employment.66 Further, there was no guarantee of quiet acceptance back into home communities. David Neligan, a Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) detective who worked for IRA intelligence, remarked later that ‘no effort was made by anybody to provide alternative employment or to help them return to civilian life. The result was that they could see nothing ahead but starvation. So literally they stuck to their guns and fought their own countrymen – to the last.’67 As a policeman himself, Neligan was perhaps more likely to sympathise on this level than most. David Fitzpatrick has pointed to the large numbers who did leave but the logic Neligan highlighted must have been relevant to thousands more decisions made as violence intensified.68 In December 1920, Daniel Crowley told the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland that he had resigned from the RIC ‘because of the misgovernment of the English in Ireland’, but when asked why others like him stayed on replied, ‘Well, I guess they remain just for their living. That is all.’69
Policemen’s children offered similar reflections. Cecil King’s father, a policeman in Sligo, was one of five brothers from a poor family who had joined the RIC as a career. King has described how ‘the I.R.A. made repeated overtures to my father to resign from the force, but he refused, preferring fear of death by bullet to the alternative – a life of abject penury and a brand of cowardice.’70 Patrick Shea believed that for his father (a policeman who supported Home Rule but opposed physical-force nationalism)
it would be less than just to say that if the possibility of quitting the force ever came into his mind, as indeed it must have, his decision was influenced any more by ideological considerations than by the practical problems of a middle-aged, kindly man with a young family and no occupation.71
Seán O’Faoláin’s father was a gentle man who had never issued a summons during his career and retired ‘before the revolutionary spirit after 1916 spread all over the country’. Had he still been in the force, O’Faoláin speculated that he would also have stuck to his guns, ‘not, to be sure, after any deep conscience-searchings about the conflicting demands involved in the idea of loyalty, but for a quite simple and unarguable reason: “Oh please, dear kind Jesus, look after my poor little children … Help me to work for them as long as I live.”’72
Those who worked for the police faced a similar dilemma. In Adare, County Limerick, two armed and masked men entered the house of a barrack servant and attempted to force her to leave her employment. When she refused, arguing ‘it was her sole means of earning a livelihood and had six children to support’, the raiders left her unharmed.73 This attitude made sense when one considers the case of Johanna Hanafin of Castlegregory, County Kerry. Hanafin had complied with an IRA demand to give up cooking, washing, and sewing for the RIC in June 1920 but two years later found herself writing a letter to Dáil Éireann describing her current position: penniless, unable to find work, and living in a cabin that was falling down around her. She claimed compensation, which had been promised but was not yet forthcoming.74
The boycott generated a complex set of economic considerations for the inhabitants of an affected community. By refusing to work for, or trade with, the RIC, members of the community would inevitably suffer a loss of income. Conversely, deviants ran the risk of suffering a boycott themselves. A Donegal boycotting order made this ominously clear: ‘Business people must make their choice of the custom of their neighbours or the cowardly ruffians of the R.I.C. A sensible businessman will be able to judge which pays the best in the long run.’75 Where political or personal affiliation did not discourage trade with police, the fear of personal injury had to outweigh any potential economic loss. In Donoghmore, County Cork, a notice was posted on a church gate declaring that as Philip and Thomas Barrett continued to trade with ‘Enemy forces’, anyone seen to be interacting with them would be ‘shot at sight’. The following month a notice was posted claiming that as the Barrett brothers had ‘apologised to the Irish Republican Government’, the previous proclamation against them was withdrawn.76 Complying with a boycott imposed on a neighbouring trader by the IRA could reduce competition and provide a convenient excuse to refuse to pay bills, as one boycotted trader in Kilkee, County Clare, alleged.77
Donal O’Sullivan has pointed out that most people were willing to serve RIC members, if only clandestinely, as they were considered good customers.78 In many localities, the local RIC would take for themselves what was needed and leave payment behind, or commandeer transport otherwise refused. As time went on, however, some traders who had been adhering to the boycott had a change of heart. In January 1920, the Roscommon county inspector commented that ‘The majority of the people are not in favour of the criminal campaign and realise it is not good for them to boycott or display hostility to the Crown Forces.’79 By August, the Irish Times reported on a meeting of traders in Castlerea where it was proposed to remove a police boycott that had been in place with the local Volunteers, unsurprisingly, ‘strongly opposed to the decision of the traders’ meeting’.80 Roscommon Volunteer Thomas Crawley believed traders there had continued to supply the RIC anyway under the pretence that the goods had been commandeered.81 Another Roscommon Volunteer pointed out that shopkeepers in Boyle were notified of the boycott in October 1920 but it was ignored; ‘One or two only tried it first’. The local IRA prevented traders from supplying turf to the RIC but one man was physically dragged on his pony and trap to the local barracks where the police took his turf and gave him the money.82 The British army claimed that similar attempts to boycott soldiers from spring 1920 were ‘generally futile’.83
Tom Carney resigned as a policeman and joined the IRA in Mayo. He later told Ernie O’Malley that
In Thurles at that time the R.I.C. had to commandeer all the goods they wanted (for no one would sell them food or drink or material – at least no one was supposed to sell them necessities). On patrol if we went in for a drink the publican refused to serve us and at Two Mile Borris … the patrol had to go inside the counter, draw the pints and go to the till for the change.
But in Mayo ‘there was no boycott of the R.I.C. … The Tans walked out with the best looking girls from the village of Kiltimagh’.84 Where the IRA was unable to maintain pressure on suppliers, many seem to have been willing to return to supplying the police. Additionally, reprisals by Crown forces may have persuaded traders to abandon boycotting in order to protect their property from damage.85 IRA veteran Joseph Clancy acknowledged as much when he recalled that Dalystown, County Galway, ‘contained a number of people who, from hostility towards the I.R.A. or fear of reprisals, would not hesitate to report to the police or military that we were lying in ambush’.86
Some IRA veterans admitted that the boycott against the RIC actually increased the belligerence of some of its members. Martin Fallon, a Roscommon Volunteer, believed
The effects of this boycott were a doubtful gain. While it did help to drive a wedge between the R.I.C. and the people, very few of them resigned as a result. Instead, it seemed to make them stubborn and arrogant and, in this way, I am afraid we antagonised some of them who would be good friends of ours. We forgot they were Irishmen, and there is an old saying that you can lead an Irishman, but you can’t drive him.87
Similarly, Patrick Cassidy from Mayo found, ‘We did not succeed in making any substantial number of the police resign; rather, I think the boycott had the opposite effect and only hardened them and made them sullen and arrogant towards the people.’ He recalled that in revenge for the annoyance caused by the boycott, the RIC in his area began to summon traders and anyone associated with the IRA to court for ‘every little trivial offence that they could find’. Cassidy did, however, add that the ‘deep void’ created between police and public was very useful for what was to follow later.88 Clearly, some policemen who may have had political sympathies with the rebels were turned away by the tactics employed against them, including men who may have been useful. Much later, Sean Gibbons felt that ‘we could have made more use of the Royal Irish Constabulary, but it was too difficult to break the unapproachability that had grown up around them and, further, we regarded them as enemies’, while a Volunteer in Roscommon described how three constables who had given them information resigned from the force, thus breaking the link.89
For all the violence and indignities they suffered, Irish policemen were not solely the victims of intimidation and coercion. David Leeson has argued that Irish-born police were just as likely to perpetrate violence as their British counterparts: ‘When British police and Auxiliaries took reprisals, they were following the bad example set by their Irish comrades.’ Leeson has used contemporary witness descriptions of Crown reprisals to determine that Irish police were often present among parties carrying out acts of violence and, on occasion, the exclusive participants. This violence, he contends, was circumstance- rather than character-led and it was aspects of the IRA’s own campaign of terror against the police that drove individuals to fight back. Among the explanations for reprisals identified by Leeson are the RIC boycott, which infuriated police (‘Being threatened was one thing. Being despised was quite another’), and the failure of the legal system, as witnesses refused to come forward, assize sessions collapsed, and coroners’ inquiries into the deaths of comrades failed to pass satisfactory conclusions. ‘Isolated, alienated, some constables rejected the force itself: they resigned, they retired, or they became passive, “useless”. Others rejected the government and the people but remained loyal to their fellow police, turning to self-help in place of due process – vengeance in place of justice.’90
Outrage statistics indicate a large drop in the number of cases of intimidation in December 1920 and January 1921. These figures began steadily to rise again in the months before the July Truce, but never again reached the peak of spring 1920.91 In January and February 1921, county inspectors across the country were reporting that, while there was still much violence and unrest, relations between the police and public were improving and there was a greater willingness to come forward with information in certain areas.92 This does not mean that the campaign of intimidation had been a success and was no longer necessary, but instead points to a new emphasis for revolutionary violence. In March 1921, the commandant of the Cork No. 2 Brigade asked Mulcahy:
Is it time we get the Irish people, no matter who they are, not to freely supply the enemy? Several people have large contracts for meat, oats and dozens of other important supplies. It seems ridiculous to have the civil population supplying the enemy; while the Army is in the field to cut off supplies etc. If they force supplies from the people, it is alright, but then it will take time and men to do it. … If we rigidly put in force that none of the civilian population speak or communicate with them, it will break up their all important Intelligence Department.93
As the police moved further from reach, tactics changed and softer targets became the focus: families, friends, and the local community. The nature of violence, and of suspicion and punishment, also changed and the war within communities had by 1921 entered a new phase. Testimony from compensation claimants describe an escalation of boycotting, intimidation, and harm throughout 1921 and beyond for individuals who continued to assist the police.94
Efforts to persecute ‘peelers’ during the Irish revolution had much in common with nineteenth-century agrarian agitation. It comprised mainly of low-level, local activity. It was sporadic in intensity and effectiveness. While there was some central direction, it depended for its impetus on local leadership. W. J. Lowe described how the IRA’s campaign of threats, intimidation, and violence ‘effectively destroyed the R.I.C. without the necessity of defeating it’.95 But Donal O’Sullivan has instead written that the RIC boycott was ‘not the big success … which its instigators had hoped for, or claimed it to be’.96 The reality was, perhaps, somewhere in between. Some traders adhered to the boycott in support of the republican campaign, but also because they were afraid of the consequences if they did not. Others refused to comply with the order as they were loyal to the Crown, related to a policeman, or because they could not afford – or did not wish – to suffer financial loss. The boycott thus became difficult to maintain over a long period. A combination of war weariness (from combatants and civilians) and an increasingly entrenched enemy meant that by 1921 it had often become inadequate. A new, more aggressive approach was needed and that approach often resulted in violence by and against the police. But, neither of those two extremes – resignation or reprisal – was the lot of all policemen. Some veterans interviewed by John Brewer continued to perform many conventional police duties, even in areas traditionally associated with violence.97 The intimidation and persecution suffered by most policemen in Ireland was non-violent and the threat of violence was often indirect. In this sense, they shared a common experience with other Crown servants involved in law and order.
Magistrates and civil servants
The RIC and the military were the most obvious representatives of the British administration in Ireland. But what of the civil servants in Dublin Castle, who silently ran all aspects of British rule in Ireland, or the government officials who administered local and civil affairs? A locally elected justice of the peace (JP) or full-time stipendiary resident magistrate (RM) tasked with administering petty justice? A Crown solicitor who helped prosecute republicans? Or a servant of the postal and telegraph service (the civil service’s largest department) responsible for the distribution of information? All were, in theory at least, stigmatised by their profession as supporters of British rule. In 1918, all civil servants had been required to take an oath of allegiance to the Crown. Some who had refused for political reasons were suspended and dismissed, including Diarmuid O’Hegarty and Tom McArdle, who later became prominent servants of the underground Dáil government.98 In doing so they formed a distinct minority and only about 400 civil servants (1.5 per cent of the total) were dismissed for disloyal political activities between 1916 and 1921.99 The rest, whether they agreed with it, or simply preferred to keep their jobs, took the oath and continued their employment throughout the Revolution. This section will explore civil servants as deviants and victims, focusing on the recorded experiences of the civil servants who openly defied the IRA, and were subjected to violence and intimidation as a result. It will begin with those who served the law of the Crown.
The main attraction of an unpaid, honorary commission of the peace was the social status it offered. JPs, as an obvious local manifestation of the British legal system, were subject to a direct republican edict calling on them to resign their commissions. A JP in Cork received a threatening letter from the ‘Competent Military Authority’ declaring:
Our attention has been drawn to the fact that you are still a magistrate under the despotic government that is the essence of every crime more devilish than Satan himself viz murderers, church desecrators, robbers, torturers of human beings, as a matter of fact violators of every principle of civilised Christian morality and civilisation ever established … We hereby notify that you are to hand in your resignation and have same published within a week from the receipt of this notice. Failing this you shall be summarily dealt with by the Irish Republican Army.100
In general, such calls proved successful. In Cavan, for instance, the RIC reported that 15 justices resigned during July 1920 alone.101 Edward Aylward, a Kilkenny Volunteer, believed that ‘Justices of the Peace were generally substantial farmers and merchants and, feeling that their activities as British Justices were contrary to the popular feeling at the time, a large number, if not most of them resigned in Kilkenny as well as all over the country’.102 Among the 15 Cavan magistrates who resigned in July 1920, six wrote to the Lord Chancellor to inform him they had done so as they ‘no longer wish to be associated with an Executive whose actions are subversive of equity and justice’, and this was published in the Anglo–Celt. The same Anglo–Celt issue named another three who remained more circumspect about their reasons.103 The circumstances of individual cases often remain unclear. Thomas McGovern told the IGC he was beaten when he refused to resign his commission in Cavan. One of his referees claimed not to have first-hand knowledge of the case and would only admit that ‘he may have been ordered to resign his commission but I don’t know whether he did so or if it was fear which made him do so’.104
The majority required little or no persuasion but the ‘task of dealing with the recalcitrant few’, held Clare Volunteer Joseph Daly, ‘became one for the I.R.A. to tackle’.105 A threatening letter like the one above could be enough to encourage a JP who had not already stood down but on occasion firmer measures were adopted. The IRA personally visited Catholic JPs in Monaghan in December 1920 and ‘ordered them to resign, which they did’.106 In Kilkenny, an ex-soldier and JP, Captain Daniel Howlett, was believed to be ‘a danger to the movement and had or was likely to assist the enemy’.107 He was kidnapped, held for three days, tried, and acquitted having agreed to resign his commission. The RIC reported that when Howlett resigned he refused to give any information.108 In Roscommon, a JP who seconded a vote of sympathy for a ‘Black and Tan’ killed in his area was ‘raided & fined & apologised & promised not to sit at British Court again’.109 Cork JP Charles Sealy-King left Ireland on 10 July 1921 having been kidnapped and held captive for ten days. Despite the Truce coming into operation the following day, he felt unable to return to Ireland ‘on account of threats and continuing conspiracy against me’.110 Edwin Swanton, another Cork JP, had refused to resign his commission and instead had his jurisdiction expanded to allow him to sit where another JP could not be found. On 10 July 1921, he was kidnapped and held for ten weeks before managing to escape to England, returning to Ireland in December. Despite the length of his absence, it was claimed that Swanton ‘never resigned’.111
In isolated cases, physical violence was used and one JP, Martin Mulvihill of County Kerry, was so badly beaten during a raid in November 1920 that he was subsequently required to wear a truss.112 In Cork, two justices were killed in 1921, seemingly because they refused to resign their commissions.113 George Frend, described as ‘a man of heroic consistency’ and ‘one of the most uncompromising & staunchest supporters of British Government in Ireland’, was shot on 28 December 1920 and died some days later. A referee for his wife’s compensation claim wrote that he ‘was murdered because he refused to resign his Commission of the Peace’ and was returning home having re-established a petty sessions court in Moneygall. Frend had acted against a number of tenants for refusal to pay rent and the added dimension of a land dispute may help to explain his fate. Further trouble related to the estate on which the family held their land may also offer a potential motivation for the shooting.114 A referee for magistrate William Farren’s compensation claim, for example, believed that an alleged boycott was partly due to land he would not give up and partly because he insisted on carrying out all his duties.115 A magistrate’s local reputation could, after all, dictate his reception and treatment. Olga Pyne Clarke remarked in her memoir that her family was ‘very fortunate because even though my grandfather was a J.P., he was known to be just’.116
JPs did not have the protection of either arms or steel shutters afforded to policemen and soldiers. This knowledge, and reports of the killing of their colleagues, certainly made a decision to step aside voluntarily more appealing. Living in their family homes, in communities where they were well known, they became easy targets for persecution. For the same reason, it was usually unnecessary to intimidate their families as proxy.117 Where intimidation affected family members, it was commonly the result of the ‘shock’ of house raids or death threats. Martin Mulvihill’s wife became nervous and suffered from shock as a result of threats to his life, particularly after the raid during which he was beaten.118 Businesses run by spouses or other relatives could also suffer from boycotting. After Edwin Swanton was kidnapped, his father’s drapery business was adversely affected: ‘Customers were afraid to enter his house, and went to other houses’ because ‘it was always well known [Edwin’s] actions had [his father’s] full approval’.119
Unlike those in paid employment, JPs had no financial incentive to continue their work. In fact, Denis O’Carroll, having refused to resign his commission and stop dealing with the Local Government Board (LGB), claimed he was first denied a pay increase as clerk to the local Union and District Council in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, and then forced to resign under pressure of dismissal.120 The minority of JPs who continued to attend to their duties, therefore, did so out of an obstinate sense of loyalty to the Crown. JPs who applied to the IGC emphasised how they had stuck to their principles when others around had failed to do so. In Cavan, Joseph Benison did not resign when ‘almost all the other magistrates did’ and ‘was the last civil magistrate to adjudicate on the local bench’; Martin Mulvihill attended to his duties in Kerry ‘singly to the last when other J.P.s were afraid to attend’; Edwin Swanton was ‘the last Justice of the Peace who acted in West Cork’; John Willis acted when seven others had refused to.121 Lieutenant Colonel George Tarry referred to his ‘ active loyalty and of the very grave risks I ran in my efforts to keep the flag flying’ as the ‘only magistrate who continued to attend’ in his district in Cork.122 William Farren’s persistence in flying the Union flag outside his home was considered ‘foolhardy’.123
These sterner men also had other connections to the British government that perhaps help explain their willingness to defy the IRA so openly. Joseph Benison was ‘the largest Protestant and Unionist Landowner’ in his district.124 Edwin Swanton was a managing director of the unionist Skibbereen Eagle newspaper.125 Martin Mulvihill was a retired RIC head constable and publican who continued to supply the police in defiance of the IRA boycott.126 William Farren lost sons killed in the Great War and Lieutenant Colonel Tarry earned his commission in army headquarters during the war (though the committee accused him of exaggerating his army service).127 John Willis was a member of the executive of the Irish Unionist Alliance, supplied the RIC with goods and, most damning of all from the IRA’s perspective, claimed to have passed information to the military. He was compelled to flee Ireland in April 1921 ‘under pain of death’.128 Their professed determination to resist may be partly the result of bravado or playing up to a committee that stressed allegiance to the Crown as a criterion for payment, but it seems clear that the justices who defied the IRA or overcame intimidation displayed a more rigid form of loyalty than many other IGC applicants. Frustration and abhorrence at the republican campaign may have galvanised a few (just as Crown force excesses alienated others) but, unlike policemen, they did not fear unemployment and destitution. What these men stood to lose was not a livelihood but what R. B. McDowell has described as ‘a coveted suffix, an indication of status or success’.129 It was a symbol of the old order and their standing within it that these men wished to maintain and in many cases it meant active rather than passive resistance. Their personal wealth meant they often had the resources and social connections to survive economic sanctions but that privilege and status was one of the very things that made them anathema to local republicans.
Reported cases of intimidation against magistrates are insignificant; in 1921, they are virtually non-existent.130 Intimidation was often unnecessary in the first instance, as many justices saw no reason to risk the wrath of republicans, and direct threats and persecution were less likely to reach the ears of the RIC. Some JPs responded to revolution with pragmatic inactivity, silently neglecting their duties in the hope of being left alone. A Waterford intelligence report from July 1921 noted that a number of JPs were reported to have resigned but ‘may be only lying low. Only T.F.J. Higgins (City) and Sir J.H. Forde (City) attend Sessions – so it is impossible to know exactly who has resigned. An announcement in the press may be only a blind.’131 In the Waterford No. 1 area all but two were considered to be ‘playing a waiting game – and don’t attend any court’.132 Peter Hart found one JP who claimed to have angered the IRA by refusing to resign, but whose name disappeared from the published list in Thom’s Directory in 1921.133 Further, the growing popularity of republican courts over their British counterparts (whether through fear or preference) undermined the position of justices in their local communities and diminished their threat to the separatist movement.
Those in paid positions faced a different proposition. William Codd had served as a process server in Carlow since 1908. ‘During the troubled times’, he wrote in his application for compensation, ‘my life became a perfect misery to me.’ Having continued to work despite receiving threatening letters, he had stones thrown at his house at night and eventually gave up the post in 1923. Codd was, in his own words, ‘known to be a loyalist’ and had two brothers in the RIC, which probably drew hostile attention to him.134 IRA veteran Peter Howley delighted in telling how a Galway process server named Whelan had his processes burned and ‘roared with fright’ when he was told he would be thrown on the fire, but was let go and told to take the long way home.135 More serious was the case of Bernard Mailey, a civil bill officer and sheriff’s deputy in Donegal. Having been ‘the only sheriff’s officer in the county’ to continue his duty, despite regular death threats, Mailey was kidnapped on his way home from mass and shot dead in October 1921. His wife claimed compensation from the IGC as her ‘health was completely shattered’ by the murder of her husband ‘following a long period of apprehension from day to day that the threats frequently made would end as they did’.136 The deputy Crown solicitor in Sligo, who claimed to have made hundreds of prosecutions for sedition, was sentenced to death by the IRA while the Crown solicitors for Leitrim and Galway were boycotted, lost most of their private practice for refusing to attend Dáil courts, and emigrated after the Treaty.137 The Crown solicitor in Cork was sentenced to death by the IRA on at least three separate occasions and narrowly escaped execution.138 These men all had to consider the financial implications of resignation. A civil bill officer in Carlow, for example, resigned in April 1921 at the request of the IRA and Carlow County Council losing his salary of £15 a year. He was ‘not sorry’ for resigning (his son was a ‘Volunteers Policeman here in Carlow’) but had a wife to support and rent to pay and enquired about funds to recoup his lost earnings.139 William Codd made sure to point out in his compensation claim that his position as process server was worth £30 per year to him.140
RMs made up a tiny but powerful proportion of the legal system in Ireland and a proportionally high number suffered lethal violence after 1919. Sir Christopher Lynch-Robinson reflected on his time as a RM in his 1951 memoir:
In certain parts of the country they started shooting R.M.s. My old friend Wolfe Flanagan was shot on the steps of the church in Newry when he was coming out after attending Mass; Milling was shot in his house in Westport; Alan Bell was dragged out of a tram in Dublin and shot in broad daylight in cold blood. Another was caught and buried alive – so it was said – in the sands in County Galway. At any moment, it might have become the official policy of Sinn Fein to liquidate the R.M.s. and if that happened, there would be no respecting of persons. Personal popularity would save none of us.141
His father, Sir Henry Robinson, thought it ‘unfortunate’ that other RMs were under the ‘delusion that because they were personally popular with the people they would not be assassinated’, citing Bell, who insisted on living outside a ‘protected area’.142 As it happened, no official policy to ‘liquidate the R.M.s’ was established, but the fear was prevalent for Lynch-Robinson who found that such thoughts meant travelling alone in his car, ‘when at any moment I might be ambushed and shot, was a remarkably unpleasant experience’.143 But personal feelings of threat seem to have done little to prevent RMs carrying on their duties and there is no evidence of resignations through fear. While Sir Henry Robinson was sympathetic to the plight of RMs, who did not receive the protection afforded to English-born officials in Dublin Castle, George Duggan, a first division clerk in the Chief Secretary’s Office, asserted that their only risk was ‘the trenches cut across roads that broke the axles of un-wary motors’; cases of violence and kidnapping were ‘exceptions’.144
One who had a pleasant enough experience of revolution was C. P. Crane, a Yorkshire-born former RIC officer and resident magistrate who served in Kerry until his retirement in June 1920. While driving away from a court sitting in 1919, he was surrounded by a ‘savage booing mob, some of whom shook their fists in my face, shouting “You will be dead in six months.”’145 That winter, his driver ‘came to the conclusion, “for his wife’s sake,” that he could no longer bear the danger of driving with me’.146 These incidents aside, however, Crane enjoyed his time in Kerry:
As far as I was personally concerned, I experienced no incivility from my neighbours. No threat of any kind was ever used towards me personally, either by letter or act at any time … I met with nothing but courtesy up to the very last. As an English official I was warned by personal friends to be careful when I went on my long drives week after week alone, not because of my official or private acts, but merely because I was one of the ‘foreign garrison,’ as it was called. The local doctor met me cheerfully morning after morning with the remark, ‘Well, you are alive still?’ – to which I cheerfully replied. I continued my lonely journeys all through the country and never suspected or believed in the possibility of any harm up to the end of my life in Kerry. During forty-one years in ‘disturbed’ districts I never had a threatening letter; I never had police protection, and only on a very few occasions did I carry arms … So the weeks passed by in seeming security. The fishing in the spring of 1920 was extraordinary.147
The Crown force’s Weekly Summary told its readers in October 1920 that while unpaid JPs were resigning under threat, applications for stipendiary magistrates, ‘not withstanding the risks they had to run’, was outweighing necessity. Significantly, their salaries had been increased. It was noted that it was ‘doubtful whether an unpaid magistracy is suitable for Ireland at all’.148
Judges were even better able to avoid republican hostility. Duggan remarked that they ran some personal risk but were of little practical use when cases did not come forward. ‘The townspeople’, he suggested, ‘probably looked upon them for the most part as braces of amiable gentlemen engaged in the harmless pastime of flogging a dead horse, and received the cue from headquarters not to interfere’.149 In the upper echelons of the legal system, it was those who made themselves prominent by enthusiastic work that felt most at risk. W. E. Wylie, legal advisor to the Irish government and a prosecutor during the trials after the Easter Rising, told Mark Sturgis that he was ‘in real danger’.150 Wylie was, in Sturgis’s opinion, ‘the only member of the legal big wigs who faces the music, except the Chief Crown Solicitor, and as such may lose his life’. The lord chancellor, in contrast, ‘does nothing and apparently thinks of nothing but the best way to show SF that he is neutral and passive’, was a ‘coward and a shirker, and by God a thief too since he continues to draw his salary’; the attorney general was ‘afraid to set foot in Ireland’; the solicitor general ‘a fool’. Emphasising the safe position judges were believed to hold, Wylie felt his appointment as a supreme court judge would make him immune to punishment and feared he ‘may get assassinated on the brink of safety’ while he awaited confirmation in November 1920. Sturgis was sceptical that he would be forgiven by ‘the Shinns’ but eventually concluded that he would probably not be troubled owing to his popularity.151
It was the high-ranking Dublin Castle officials involved in political work and the English civil servants sent to Dublin during a major reorganisation that were moved with their families into Dublin Castle or given an armed police escort.152 As shown by Fergus Campbell, despite any progress towards a ‘greening’ of the civil service, the top jobs in the Irish civil service remained largely the preserve of middle-class Protestants with links to the old Ascendancy.153 This, allied to their role in implementing the British government’s coercive measures, meant that it was higher-ranking officials who were deemed the most likely targets among the civil service for republican aggression. A notable example was Sir Henry Robinson, vice-president of the LGB. Though not strictly involved in politics, Robinson was, in his own words, ‘regarded as a leading official of the British Government and a representative of the old British ascendancy in Ireland’. He was largely blamed for the decision to withdraw government grants from local councils who failed to submit their accounts for audit with the LGB, and his detailed knowledge of the country and constant contact with the government meant he ‘was in great danger from the rebels and was protected by armed detectives & frequently had to be taken about in armoured cars’.154
The feeling of fear experienced by these officials did not always match concerns for their safety. In his 1923 memoir, Robinson related how he eventually decided to dispense with personal protection, afforded after a threatening letter, as they were ‘a challenge rather than a protection’ (comments conveniently left out of his compensation application).155 James Woulfe Flanagan, a resident magistrate killed by the IRA in Newry, County Down in June 1922, was found to have been opposed to constant guarding and turned down personal protection.156 An RUC memo pointed out that an escort could not ‘guarantee that the person concerned will not be murdered’ but would it was hoped ‘assist to catch the assassin!’157 The killing of Sir Henry Wilson in London in June 1922 prompted concerns from the Northern Ireland government about the safety of important officials.158 Judges and RMs in the north had generally been opposed to the ‘inconvenience’ of constant protection (particularly from untrained B Specials) and, when an order offered an armed guard on their homes and a personal escort, some officials protested. County Inspector Robert Dunlop insisted ‘the majority of the R.M’s strongly object to constant protection’, and one claimed, ‘I have always done my duty without fear or favour. I am not the least afraid to go about unaccompanied’; a personal escort was ‘a useless expense’.159 It was originally made clear that protection would be given to all ‘Resident Magistrates whether they desire it or not’ but soon the RUC informed its men that those who refused protection would ‘accept responsibility’.160
In August 1920, the British Cabinet discussed the situation of the English civil servants then attached to the Irish Executive. It was stated that they had previously been ‘immune from the attacks of Sinn Fein’ but the implementation of the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act might change that. The impact that accommodating these men in Dublin Castle (a step agreed to be necessary) would have on their usefulness was discussed but it was argued that both the threat faced and the negative impact of being quartered in the castle was not as great as anticipated. It was decided that the men should remain.161 When an order came for those in Dublin Castle to carry a pass and photograph, Mark Sturgis felt it was ‘more dangerous to have passes than none’ (probably because it marked them out as targets) but was willing to go along with the order.162 Sturgis’s diaries emphasise how he enjoyed himself in Ireland and suffered nothing like siege conditions after his move into Dublin Castle. Rather, Sturgis felt the benefits of landed society and hospitality, with lunch meetings, weekends in Powerscourt, horse-riding, and trips to the Abbey filling the pages of his diary.163 Similarly, George Duggan related the story of a LGB official who passed his day ‘by a prolonged luncheon hour’, reading in a second-hand bookstore and watching cricket. As control of local government by his department had ‘virtually ceased’, ‘Time glided pleasantly by’.164
The postal service was the largest employer within the civil service. As far back as 1914, it was in the lower ranks of the civil service, and the postal service in particular, that a large proportion of the people ‘treasonable to England’ were believed to be found, rather than among the top officials.165 Postmen became victims of IRA aggression not so often for disloyalty or any threat they posed to the movement, but for the information it was their job to carry. Letters meant for the RIC or Dublin Castle were an important source of information and regularly intercepted. Money transferred by post offered another useful reason to raid the mail; Cavan Volunteer Seán Sheridan told the BMH about a raid in March 1920 when £75 of old-age pension money was taken.166 In February 1919, it was reported that a policeman and a rural postman in Limerick had received threatening letters ‘for doing their duty’, but in comparison with similar attacks on the RIC the numbers of incidents contained in police reports are insignificant.167 When a postman fell victim to IRA violence another connection to the Crown was often noted. When a Tipperary postman received a threatening letter in January 1920, the CI noted that the motive was ‘his friendly relations to police and military’, while a postman in Fermanagh received a letter stating that he had been ‘convicted of being a police spy’.168 Michael Hogan, an ex-soldier from County Cork, received a threatening letter warning him to give up his job, as ‘no ex-soldiers are wanted’, and a referee for postman Denis Enright’s compensation claim believed ‘his service in the Navy did make him unpopular’.169 After rural postman Charles Part was shot dead on his rounds and his son wounded near Keady in County Armagh (‘the residents in this locality are practically all Sinn Feiners of a very bad, dirty type’, noted a report), the letters were ‘untouched’ and the motive believed to be that Part was ‘blamed for giving tips to the S/Constabulary re road mines’; ‘The Part family lived in bad terms with the immediate neighbours’.170
The rank and file of the civil service suffered little from revolutionary terror. A clear distinction was made between civil servants engaged in regular, administrative duties (the majority) and those involved in political work. Patrick Shea, son of an RIC sergeant and later permanent secretary in the Northern Ireland civil service, wrote that while members of the RIC were labelled as ‘enemies of their country’, ‘civilians in the Government service were exempted from accusations of disloyalty’.171 As Niamh Brennan has pointed out, they ‘did not wear uniforms or patrol the streets or raid houses’, but were ‘invisible targets and as such went largely undetected by those who regarded them as traitors’.172 George Duggan surmised that:
The test to which each citizen was put in Sinn Fein’s crucible appears to have been – was he, or was he not engaged in tracking down disaffection? Those not so engaged were left alone. The civil servant remained untouched though his master was an alien Government, for his activities were either necessary and helpful to Sinn Fein, as, for example, the postal service, or were harmless and futile, as for example the Local Government Board and the Inland Revenue.173
The places of work of LGB and Revenue employees were under threat from IRA raids for books and other documents but they were generally safe themselves. Coastguards were in a similar position as their stations were burned but they were left unharmed.174 The work of the rank and file in the civil service was not carried out in the public sphere and unconnected to the political or martial situation making it possible to continue to work (and receive payment) without drawing undue attention. For Duggan, it was ‘desirable not to be too outspoken in public’ and ‘Tact, an absence of vindictiveness, and moderation of speech and action, were qualities which bore their fruit’ in avoiding trouble.175 One civil servant described himself as ‘classed among the general loyal subjects who took no side and therefore were in no trouble whatsoever. Because of loyalty or otherwise’. He thought his wife foolish for mixing in politics.176 It was other labels, actions or perceived offences that drew attention. James C. Donnelly was a head messenger for the National Health Insurance Commission in Dublin who was said to have been ‘especially open to danger’ as an Ulster-born ex-soldier. Donnelly further asserted that he had refused to train Dublin Volunteers. His wife’s nursing home was raided and boycotted and they were ‘finally driven’ out of Ireland in 1923 as her health became seriously affected by the ‘boycotting and intimidation and fear of being murdered’.177 Bernard O’Beirne from County Leitrim worked in the Inland Revenue department. Between May 1920 and January 1923 he reported six raids on his home and other persecution. Like Donnelly, it was not his profession but his family background that seems to have brought trouble: two sons served in the Great War, one later joining the RIC; O’Beirne refused to bring his son back from the RIC and resign as a JP; his young daughter gave milk to the local police.178
The intimidation of Donnelly and O’Beirne was not part of any official republican policy. A little over two weeks before the Truce, the minister for home affairs, Austin Stack, circulated a memorandum to Dáil ministers ‘regarding the action to be taken against officials of the Enemy Government other than the Armed forces’, grading the ‘usurping foreign Government of this country (apart from the British Army and Police)’ into nine categories:
(1) Dublin Castle officials, including the Chief Secretary, the Under Secretary, the Attorney General and Solicitor General, the Chief Crown Solicitor, and their many subordinates.
(3) The Lord Chancellor and the other Judges of the ‘Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland’.
(4) The officials of the ‘Four Courts’.
(5) Recorders and County Court Judges.
(6) Clerks of the Crown and Peace, Crown Prosecutors and Crown Solicitors.
(7) Sheriffs and Under Sheriffs, Bailiffs and Process Servers.
(8) Civil Servants engaged in the imposition and collection of taxes, Custom Duties and the like.
(9) Other Civil Servants.
Category 1 (and to some extent category 2) were ‘declared enemies who are responsible for the killing and other outrages’ as they directed British policy and would be ‘at least compelled to resign’, along with The Lord Chancellor and high court judges. Categories 4 to 8 were seen as ‘essential to the administration of British Law in Ireland, and if all these could be compelled to resign the Writ of the English Sovereign would not run in any part of the country’. If the others could be made to resign, the remaining bulk of ordinary civil servants (‘not very harmful of themselves, form part of the enemy’s administrative machine, and without whom he would be seriously handicapped if not entirely impotent’) could be left over for a later decision.179 Though Stack wished for preparations to begin on drafting a decree, Éamon de Valera asked that no action be taken during peace negotiations and ultimately the advent of the Truce meant that the policy never progressed.180 Another memo, entitled ‘Offensive against Integral Morale of the Enemy’ and possibly from around the same time but directed to the IRA, noted that an offensive against ‘Enemy Civil Personnel need not be violent. Most of the people concerned are men over whom a moral ascendancy can be easily secured’. ‘Key men’, such as Crown solicitors and excise supervisors, could have their offices destroyed. They and ‘any branch who used their official position actively and vindictively’ were to be ‘singled out and frightened into quiescence. After a short period, it is likely that these persons would accept our Civil Services without questioning’.181
In pointing out to the Cabinet that the ‘Local Civil Service, composed entirely of Irishmen, while in a sense not disloyal, is politically directed and exposed as it is to every kind of pressure and in many cases of intimidation, cannot be relied upon in the execution of a vigorous policy’, Sir John Anderson perhaps best summed up their position in revolutionary Ireland.182 Occupying a somewhat awkward quasi-political position and not immune to everyday threat and fear, they remained largely inconsequential to the military campaign. Major R. W. H. O’Neill, MP for Mid Antrim, underestimated the willing pragmatism of most civil servants when he proclaimed during negotiations on transfers to the new northern state that ‘it is well known that to a large extent, the Civil Service in Dublin – not, perhaps, in the case of the highest officials – is imbued with the doctrines which find acceptance among the majority of the people in that part of the country’.183 As Dublin Volunteer Charlie Dalton put it when complaining about the futility of using government servants for intelligence gathering, ‘The fact that they occupied pensionable positions, even though they had mild national leanings, did not induce them to be of help to the Republican movement.’184
Neither were they much use to the British campaign. Only a very small minority of civil servants felt that it was unsafe for them to remain in the country after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. An employee of the Public Record Office in Dublin requested a transfer to London when he and his lodger received a threatening letter warning them to leave the country.185 Benjamin Tilly, employed in the Department of Agricultural and Technical Instruction, was an ex-soldier with family connections to the RIC who had received threatening letters and ‘fled the wrath’ to come to England. Though it was claimed he had left the country by his own choice, he was eventually granted compulsory retirement when no suitable transfer was found.186 Under the terms of the Treaty civil servants who did not wish to remain in the service of the Free State could retire on pension or, in special cases, apply for a transfer to the civil service in Britain or Northern Ireland (though this was not actively encouraged). Benjamin Tilly was really an exception that proves the rule and, as Niamh Brennan found, some 90 per cent of civil servants stayed where they were. The small numbers who did wish to leave puts in perspective Edward Carson’s argument that among the ranks of the Irish civil service was found a section of the ‘abandoned loyalist minority’.187
For most Crown servants, the experience of revolution was quite different from that of policemen and soldiers. As the only unpaid position under consideration here, the experience of a JP was unique again. JPs were a visible and accessible manifestation of the British legal system in Ireland, an example of the old social order in a community, and were targeted as a result. Without a financial incentive to continue with their work, those who resisted displayed a stubborn form of loyalty that was less receptive to standard methods of intimidation. RMs, on the other hand, were small in number, well paid and often unconcerned about their personal safety. Though a number of their colleagues were killed, this does not seem to have deterred the remainder, handicapped as they were in carrying out their duties. For most other servants of the legal system, it took some form of direct opposition or defiance to bring the attention of the IRA. Intelligence lists were kept to monitor RMs, JPs, petty session officers, Crown solicitors, post offices, and railway stations.188 A GHQ order included a reference to the ‘keeping of records of all Government officials and hostile people’.189 Martin Maguire has pointed to the panic that surrounded the death of Alan Bell and concluded that ‘the killing of a civil servant clearly had a much greater impact on the administrative machine than that of a policeman or soldier’.190 But, as Niamh Brennan suggested, ‘it would be fair to say that the revolution in Ireland made only a marginal impact on the great body of Irish civil servants’.191 For the majority, relatively little changed with the coming of the new order.
1 RIC General Personnel Register (TNA: HO 184/33).
2 Weekly summaries, Jun. 1920 (CO 904/148).
3 RIC General Personnel Register (HO 184/33).
4 BMH Ws 927 (Sean Gibbons).
5 Augusteijn, From public defiance to guerrilla warfare, p. 203.
6 David Fitzpatrick, Politics and Irish life, 1913–1921: provincial experience of war and revolution (Cork, 1998; 1st edn. Dublin, 1977), pp. 4–5; Malcolm, The Irish policeman.
7 BMH WS 509 (J. J. McConnell); BMH WS 888 (Liam O’Riordan). Even Volunteer Sean Gibbons was complimentary about the class of men who joined the RIC: BMH WS 927. A number of men interviewed by John Brewer had fathers in the force before the revolution and emphasise how their fathers’ work was of a routine nature: John D. Brewer, The Royal Irish Constabulary: an oral history (Belfast, 1984), pp. 23–32.
8 BMH WS 509 (J. J. McConnell).
9 BMH WS 486 (Eugene Bratton).
10 MCRs, CIs, Clare, Galway, Tipperary, Jun.–Jul. 1917 (TNA: CO 904/103).
11 MCRs, CI, Clare, Jul. 1917 (/104).
12 MCRs, CI, Clare, Oct. 1917 (/104).
13 MCRs, IG, Oct. 1917 (/104).
14 MCRs, IG, Nov. 1917 (/104).
15 MCRs, Clare, Cork, Galway, Jan.–Dec. 1918 (/105–7).
16 MCRs, IG, Dec. 1917 (/104); Jun. 1918 (/105); Sep. 1918 (/106).
17 Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C.’, p. 84.
18 MCRs, IG, Jan. 1919 (TNA: CO 904/108).
19 BMH WS 1721 (Séamus Robinson).
20 BMH WS 1721 (Séamus Robinson); Irish Post and Telegraph for Cavan and Midlands, 12 Jul. 1919.
21 Irish Post, 12 Jul. 1919.
22 MCRs, IG, Mar. 1919 (TNA: CO 904/108).
23 See MCRs, IG, and CI, Jan.–Aug. 1919 (/108–9).
24 Proclamation issued from Cumann na mBan headquarters, 26 Apr. 1919 (UCDA: P106/1166).
25 O’Hegarty to ‘Home Secretary’, 23 Apr. 1919 (NAI: DÉ 2/175). The description was offered in reply to a request for ‘a more explicit definition of what is implied by its proposed application’.
26 General Orders (New Series), No. 6, 4 Jun. 1920 (UCDA: P7/A/45).
27 See MCRs, Jun.–Dec. 1919 (TNA: CO 904/109–10).
28 See MCRs, CIs, Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon and Longford, Jan.–Feb. 1920 (/111).
29 See Weekly summaries (/148-50).
30 Weekly summaries, Jul. 1920 (/148).
31 O’Sullivan, The Irish constabularies 1822–1922, p. 314; MCRs, CIs and IG, 1919–1921 (/108-116); Weekly summaries (/148–50); IGC claims (CO 762/3–212).
32 Robert Lynch, The Northern IRA, pp. 46–7; Matthew Lewis, Frank Aiken’s war: the Irish revolution, 1916–1923 (Dublin, 2014), p. 63; McCluskey, Tyrone, p. 96.
33 See Table 4.1.
34 MCRs, CIs and IG, 1919–1921 (/108–16); Weekly summaries (/148–50).
35 Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C.’, pp. 99, 102.
36 See Weekly summaries (TNA: CO 904/148–50).
37 Weekly summaries, May 1920 (/148).
38 Vaughan, Landlords and tenants, pp. 150–6.
39 This figure is based on a survey of police killings described in Richard Abbott, Police casualties in Ireland, 1919–1922 (Cork, 2000).
40 See, for example, Thomas Calnan who resigned after a raid on his home and Thomas Drury who returned to his station after a similar experience (TNA: CO 904/149).
41 See BMH WS 580 (John Duffy).
42 Secret weekly summary to the Cabinet, 5 Jul. 1920 (TNA: CAB 27/108/SIC 8).
43 ‘Weekly Memorandum No. 5’, 30 Oct. 1920 (NLI: MS 739).
44 MCRs, CI, Cavan, Aug. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
45 Figures compiled from a survey of the RIC General Personnel Register (HO 184/30–7). These figures exclude two English-born policemen who blamed family pressure or intimidation for the resignation and a further seven who withdrew their request or later rejoined the RIC and were disbanded in 1922. It also excludes at least 242 men whose stated reason for resignation was vague – ‘family circumstances’, ‘required at home’, ‘private affairs’, ‘dissatisfied’, etc. – or gave no reason at all, and potentially many others who were not as truthful as they might have been. For a more detailed analysis of RIC resignation, see Fitzpatrick, Politics and Irish life, pp. 34–9.
46 RIC General Personnel Register (/36); Weekly summaries, Apr. 1920 (CO 904/148).
47 See Table 4.1.
48 Anglo–Celt, 28 Feb. 1919.
49 MCRs, CI, Galway W.R., Aug. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
50 Kate Scully claim (CO 762/14/2); MCRs, CI, Kerry, Apr. 1920 (CO 904/111); Among the most dramatic was the case of Mrs Donnellan and Mrs Sullivan in Kerry. See Weekly summaries, Jun. 1920 (CO 904/148).
51 BMH WS 1340 (J. R. W. Goulden).
52 Constabulary Gazette, 20 Aug. 1921.
53 Commandant Dingle Battalion to GHQ, 10 Jun. 1920 (MAI: A/0494).
54 GHQ to Dingle, n.d. (A/0494).
55 BMH WS 1340 (J. R. W. Goulden); Weekly summaries, Aug. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/149).
56 ‘Proclamation of Boycott of R.I.C.’, West Donegal Brigade, 26 Jun. 1920 (NLI: MS 739).
57 Patrick Shea, Voices and the sound of drums: an Irish autobiography (Galway, 1981), p. 65.
58 Mulcahy to OC Galway Brigade, 8 Mar. 1920 (UCDA: P7/A/17).
59 Figures compiled from RIC weekly returns of outrages (TNA: CO 904/148–50).
60 Michael Casey claim (CO 762/23/6).
61 BMH WS 999 (James Fitzgerald).
62 Weekly summaries, Apr. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/148).
63 For more on this, see Chapter 4.
64 Augusteijn, From public defiance to guerrilla warfare, p. 202. For a similar view from a contemporary policeman, see BMH WS 509 (J. J. McConnell).
65 Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C.’, p. 106.
66 Fitzpatrick, Politics and Irish life, pp. 5–7; Malcolm, The Irish policeman, pp. 57–61.
67 David Neligan, The spy in the castle (Dublin 1999; 1st edn. London, 1968), pp. 80–1.
68 Fitzpatrick, Politics and Irish life, pp. 34–5.
69 Evidence on conditions in Ireland: comprising the complete testimony, affidavits and exhibits presented before the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland (Washington, DC, 1921), pp. 385, 389.
70 Quoted in Malcolm, The Irish policeman, p. 227.
71 Shea, Voices and the sound of drums, p. 31.
72 Seán O’Faoláin, Vive moi! an autobiography (London, 1965), pp. 35–6.
73 Weekly summaries, May 1920 (TNA: CO 904/148).
74 Johanna Hanafin, Kerry to ‘Dail Eireann’, 14 Jun. 1922 (NAI: DECC/13/1).
75 ‘Proclamation of Boycott of R.I.C.’, West Donegal Brigade, 26 Jun. 1920 (NLI: MS 739).
76 Weekly summaries, Mar. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/148).
77 J.J. Keane to Austin Stack, 30 Sep. 1921 (UCDA: P7/A/34).
78 O’Sullivan, The Irish constabularies, pp. 313–14.
79 MCRs, CI, Roscommon, Jan. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/114).
80 Irish Times, 18 Aug. 1920. Similar decisions were arrived at in other parts of the country: see Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C.’, p. 105.
81 BMH WS 718 (Thomas Crawley).
82 Jim Fehilly (UCDA: P7b/131).
83 ‘Record of the Rebellion in Ireland 1920–21 and the part played by the army in dealing with it, Volume IV’ (TNA: WO 141/93).
84 Tom Carney (UCDA: P7b/109).
85 Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C.’, p. 105.
86 BMH WS 1370 (Joseph Clancy).
87 BMH WS 1121 (Martin Fallon).
88 BMH WS 1017 (Patrick Cassidy).
89 BMH WS 927 (Sean Gibbons); BMH WS 964 (Sean Glancy).
90 Leeson, Black and Tans, pp. 91, 196–7, 203–15.
91 Returns of number of cases of intimidation against the RIC contained in Weekly summaries (TNA: CO 904/148–50).
92 IG and CI MCRs (CO 904/113–14).
93 OC Cork No. 2 Brigade to CS, 19 Mar. 1921 (P7/A/38).
94 There are many examples among the IGC claims (CO 762/2–212).
95 Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C.’, p. 117.
96 O’Sullivan, The Irish constabularies, p. 315.
97 Brewer, The Royal Irish Constabulary, p. 129.
98 BMH WS 452 (Michael McDunphy). For a detailed administrative history of the Irish civil service during the Irish revolution and beyond, see Maguire, The civil service and the revolution in Ireland.
99 Fergus Campbell, ‘Who ruled Ireland? The Irish administration, 1879–1914’, The Historical Journal, Vol. 50, No. 3 (Sep. 2007), p. 642 n. 61.
100 Contained in Lieutenant Colonel George Tarry claim (TNA: CO 762/9/12). For a similar letter, see that received by William Wolfe in Jasper Ungoed-Thomas, Jasper Wolfe of Skibbereen (Cork, 2008), pp. 121–2.
101 MCRs, CI, Fermanagh and Cavan, Jul. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
102 BMH WS 980 (Edward J. Aylward).
103 Anglo–Celt, 17 Jul. 1920. Two Leitrim JPs were also listed.
104 Thomas McGovern claim (TNA: CO 762/109/7).
105 BMH WS 1253 (Joseph Daly).
106 Report from Monaghan Brigade, Dec. 1920 in Epitomes of seized documents (LHCMA: 7/24).
107 BMH WS 1609 (Michael O’Connor).
108 MCRs, CI Kilkenny, Aug. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
109 S. Roscommon Brigade Monthly Report, June 1921 (UCDA: P7/A/17).
110 Charles Sealy-King claim (TNA: CO 762/82/17). Sealy-King’s house was burned in 1923.
111 Richard Swanton claim (CO 762/27/5).
112 Martin Mulvihill claim (CO 762/18/10).
113 Hart, The I.R.A. and its enemies, p. 299.
114 Lucy Fanny Frend claim (TNA: CO 762/175/7).
115 William J. Farren claim (/24/4).
116 Olga Pyne Clarke, She came of decent people (London, 1985), p. 53.
117 For an exceptional case, see BMH WS 1253 (Joseph Daly); MCRs, CI, Clare, Jun. and Jul. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
118 Martin Mulvihill claim (TNA: CO 762/18/10). This was particularly noticeable after the Truce when police protection was withdrawn. See, for examples, Jonathon Darby claim (/11/1) and William Henry Faussett claim (/42/12). Gilbert Hanly claimed his health and that of his sister totally broke down following post-Truce threatening letters and raids: Gilbert J. Hanly claim (/50/2).
119 Richard Swanton claim (/27/5).
120 Denis O’Carroll claim (/60/14).
121 Joseph Arthur Benison claim (/14/3); Martin Mulvihill claim (/18/10); Richard Swanton claim (/27/5); John Willis claim (/9/8).
122 Lieutenant Colonel George Tarry claim (/9/12).
123 William J. Farren claim (/27/4).
124 Joseph Arthur Benison claim (/14/3).
125 Richard Swanton claim (/27/5).
126 Martin Mulvihill claim (/18/10).
127 William J. Farren claim (/27/4).
128 John Willis claim (/9/8).
129 R. B. McDowell, Crisis and decline: the fate of the southern unionists (Dublin, 1997), p. 83.
130 See Weekly summaries (TNA: CO 904/148–50).
131 Intelligence report, Waterford No. 1, Jul. 1921 (NLI: MS 31,215)
132 1st Southern Division Intelligence, Jun.–Aug. 1921 (Ms 31,210).
133 Hart, The I.R.A. and its enemies, p. 281 n. 58.
134 William Codd claim (PRONI: D989/B/3/8).
135 BMH WS 1379 (Peter Howley).
136 Sarah Mailey claim (TNA: CO 762/173/4).
137 McDowell, Crisis and decline, p. 86.
138 Years later his would-be assassins apparently became some of his best friends and Wolfe went on to have a successful career in the Irish Free State. See Jasper Ungoed-Thomas, Jasper Wolfe of Skibbereen (Cork, 2008); David Fitzpatrick, Descendancy: Irish Protestant histories since 1795 (Cambridge, 2014), pp. 215–21.
139 James O’Reilly, Carlow to Liam Stack, 23 Jan. 1922 (NAI: DECC/11/10).
140 William Codd claim (PRONI: D989/B/3/8).
141 Sir Christopher Lynch-Robinson, Last of the Irish R.M.s (London, 1951), p. 157.
142 Sir Henry Robinson, Memories: wise and otherwise (London, 1923), pp. 300–1.
143 Lynch-Robinson, Last of the Irish R.M.s, p. 157.
144 Robinson, Memories, pp. 293–4; ‘Periscope’ [C. G. Duggan], ‘The last days of Dublin Castle’, Blackwood’s Magazine, Vol. 212 (Aug. 1922), p. 175.
145 C. P. Crane, Memories of a resident magistrate 1880–1920 (Edinburgh, 1938), p. 249.
146 Crane Memories, p. 245.
147 Crane, Memories, pp. 260–1.
148 The Weekly Summary, 1 Oct. 1920.
149 ‘Persicope’, ‘The last days of Dublin Castle’, p. 174.
150 Mark Sturgis diary, 29 Sep. 1920 (TNA: PRO 30/59/2). For a biography of Wylie, see León Ó Broin, W. E. Wylie and the Irish revolution 1916–1921 (Dublin, 1989).
151 Mark Sturgis diary, 29 Sep. 1920 (TNA: PRO 30/59/2).
152 Lawrence McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle: the transformation of bureaucratic and judicial personnel in Ireland, 1892–1922 (Washington, DC, 1991), pp. 287–8.
153 Campbell, ‘The Irish administration’, pp. 623, 641–2. Campbell argues here that restrictions on Catholic upward mobility ‘provided a powerful motive for revolution’ among educated Catholics.
154 Sir H. A. Robinson claim (TNA: CO 762/32/24).
155 Robinson, Memories, pp. 303–6.
156 ‘Protection of Resident Magistrates’, 1922 (PRONI: HA/32/1/136). He had received a threatening letter the previous month: Irish Times, 10 Jun. 1922.
157 Memo, RUC Belfast, 4 Jul. 1922 (MAI: BMH CD/310/9).
158 C. G. Wickham to IG, CIs, and County Commanders RUC (MAI: BMH CD/310/9).
159 ‘Protection of Resident Magistrates’, 1922 (PRONI: HA/32/1/136).
160 A. P. Magill to IG, RUC, 30 Jun. 1922; Memo, RUC Belfast, 4 Jul. 1922 (MAI: BMH CD/310/9).
161 Cabinet conclusions, 13 Aug. 1920 (TNA: CAB/23/22).
162 Mark Sturgis diary, 16 Dec. 1920 (PRO 30/59/3).
163 Michael Hopkinson (ed.), The last days of Dublin Castle: the Mark Sturgis diaries (Dublin, 1999), p. 9.
164 ‘Periscope’, ‘The last days of Dublin Castle’, p. 173.
165 Campbell, ‘The Irish administration’, p. 642.
166 BMH WS 1613 (Seán Sheridan).
167 MCRs, CI, Limerick, Feb. 1919 (TNA: CO 904/108).
168 MCRs, CI, Tipperary N.R., Jan. 1920 (CO 904/111); Weekly summaries, May 1921 (CO 904/150).
169 Weekly summaries (CO 904/148); Denis Enright claim (CO 762/36/4).
170 ‘I.D.I., Armagh’ to Divisional Commissioner, 3 May 1922; Report, RUC Armagh, 5 May 1922 (PRONI: HA/32/1297).
171 Shea, Voices and the sound of drums, p. 28.
172 Niamh Mary Brennan, ‘Compensating southern-Irish loyalists after the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1922–23’, unpublished PhD thesis (University College Dublin, 1994), p. 132.
173 ‘Periscope’, ‘The last days of Dublin Castle’, p. 175.
174 See RIC reports on raids on coastguard stations and revenue offices contained in TNA: CO 904/108–15.
175 ‘Periscope’, ‘The last days of Dublin Castle’, pp. 174, 175.
176 Ellen Jane Ryan claim (TNA: CO 762/186/13).
177 Clara L. and James C. Donnelly claim (CO 762/91/5).
178 Bernard F. O’Beirne claim (CO 762/168/7).
179 Diarmuid O’Hegarty to each cabinet minister, 24 Jun. 1921; Memorandum from Minister for Home Affairs to cabinet ministers, 22 June 1921 (NAI: DÉ 2/296).
180 Stack to O’Hegarty, 4 Jul. 1921 (NAI: DÉ 2/296). Collins was in favour of the proposals and had written to de Valera highlighting his desire to introduce a ‘well thought out onslaught on all the Departments, which operate on behalf of the Foreign Government in Ireland’ through legislation making it illegal to enforce ‘English law’ in Ireland and introducing ‘certain penalties’ against those who did: Collins to de Valera, 27 Jun. 1921 (ibid.); Collins to O’Hegarty, 30 Jun. 1921 (NAI: DÉ 2/296).
181 ‘Offensive against Integral Morale of the Enemy’ unsigned, n.d. [1921?] (UCDA: P7/A/42).
182 Quoted in Francis J. Costello, The Irish revolution and its aftermath, 1916–1923: years of revolt (Dublin, 2003), pp. 79–80.
183 Quoted in McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle, p. 275.
184 BMH WS 434 (Charles Dalton).
185 Brennan, ‘Compensating southern-Irish loyalists’, pp. 126–7.
186 Benjamin Tilly file (NAI: FIN 1/1089).
187 Brennan, ‘Compensating southern-Irish loyalists’, p. 126.
188 See, for example, NLI, Florence O’Donoghue Papers, esp. MS 31,202, MS 31,214, and MS 31,215.
189 ‘Intelligence 1.11.1920. Orders signed by Deputy Chief of staff’, in Epitome of captured IRA documents (LHCMA: 7/24).
190 Maguire, The civil service and the revolution in Ireland, p. 105.
191 Brennan, ‘Compensating southern-Irish loyalists’, p. 133.