In 1934, in an attempt to have a claim for compensation reviewed under the 1933 Damage to Property (Amendment) Act, James McCabe, an egg-dealer from Arva, County Cavan, set forth his family’s republican credentials:
I had 3 sons one a Captain in the Volunteers who has since died and the other is now seeking a Pension and I know of no man in this or surrounding counties who gave the same support or treated as harshly as I was. Any of the then existing officers or men of the 3 surrounding counties can corroborate me as it was the means of putting me on the road.1
Following up on his ‘genuine claim’ two months later, McCabe insisted that the family ‘gave all & got nothing in the Anglo-Irish War’ and if the department of finance were to ‘make enquiry into our activities & hospitality during Anglo-Irish War’, they would find ‘our record is very good’.2 In 1924, James McCabe had claimed £350 compensation for the loss of a motor car taken by ‘Black and Tans’ after one of his sons had refused to drive them. Awarded the ‘inadequate’ sum of £45, he blamed the ‘small amount’ on the ‘active part’ he and his sons had taken in the war.3 Complaints of insufficient recompense for losses suffered during the independence struggle were not uncommon, but McCabe’s case was different from most. In between his unsatisfactory attempts to secure compensation from the Irish Free State was an application to the British Treasury-funded Irish Grants Committee (IGC). Unlike the Damage to Property scheme, which was open to anyone who could prove they had suffered loss at the hands of any ‘unlawful or seditious’ (but usually republican) organisation, the IGC insisted that applicants’ losses were the direct result of their ‘support of His Majesty’s Government’.4 In his (unsuccessful) IGC claim, McCabe described how his business had been ruined by an IRA boycott:
Being myself a police pensioner [I] bore allegiance to the British Government & that by supplying British forces during the trouble I was as a matter of fact looked upon as a spy. My son, also being an ex-British soldier of the great war had sworn allegiance to the British government.
He further added that his daughter had ‘got to know one of the young English chaps and according to public opinion now I and my family are called nothing but Black and Tans’.5
James McCabe’s contradictory descriptions of his revolutionary experience offer a revealing insight into some of the behaviour that concerns this book. Much of what McCabe said in his applications was true. He had been pensioned from the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) in 1907, enough at least to raise suspicion in the eyes of the local IRA and a definition of allegiance usually accepted by the IGC.6 McCabe also seems to have had at least one son in the IRA.7 Despite being over 50 years old in 1921, he was among the Arva IGC applicants described by a neighbour as ‘well-known Republicans … responsible for many of the outrages which took place in this district’.8
Requesting payment of his £45 in December 1924, McCabe explained that he was considering closing up his business over Christmas and begged the department to do ‘all possible in your power to see to my case immediately as if not it means destroying the home and life of a family who have assisted the state in all means possible’.9 By 1926, when he applied to the IGC, McCabe had ‘no bussiness & no capital’ and was hoping to use a grant to emigrate to England.10 Still in Arva in 1934, he again pleaded to the department of finance that ‘If we are entitled to consideration I may tell you we could do with it’.11 Was it, then, simply an attempt to save his livelihood that encouraged McCabe to distort or exaggerate his record during the struggle for independence, wherever an opportunity arose? This case emphasises the difficulty in associating behaviour (or alleged behaviour) with political allegiance, and of relying on a face-value reading of witness testimony. It also emphasises the various ways in which intrinsically local concerns – a suspicious or jealous neighbour, a past link to the Crown, a stolen motor car, a failing business – could influence revolutionary activity. Defining James McCabe’s allegiances, understanding exactly what he did during the Irish Revolution – whether he was a friend of the IRA, or the Crown, or perhaps both – is problematic. In that sense, he is not unique.
This study will focus primarily on the local, the grassroots, the ‘everyday’; the behaviour and experiences of people like James McCabe. In doing so, it will build on a growing body of historiography that emphasises the centrality of minor acts of threat or harm in its understanding of the Irish Revolution. Joost Augusteijn’s 1996 study of the Irish War of Independence focused on the experiences of ‘ordinary’ guerrillas, probing their radicalisation and behaviour.12 In work published between 1998 and 2003, Peter Hart used County Cork as means to investigate what motivated guerrillas to volunteer, fight, and kill; their experiences of revolution and those of their victims. Hart was interested in the social dynamics of the conflict, the atmosphere of fear and suspicion that was generated within communities, and its results.13 In his 2010 book, Frontiers of violence, a masterful comparative study of violence in Ulster and Upper Silesia from 1918 to 1922, Tim Wilson has approached both Ulster and Upper Silesia ‘as sites of violent conflict at the grass-roots level’. Wilson has decried the tendency among historians to dismiss ‘plebeian violence as politically trivial’, pointing out that the ‘vantage point’ in studies of ordinary violence ‘still remains the corridors of power rather than the back streets’.14 Gemma Clark’s Everyday violence in the Irish Civil War, published in 2014, studies the nature and consequences of ‘house burning, boycott, animal maiming, assault, and murder’ in Counties Tipperary, Limerick, and Waterford between 1922 and 1923.15 Outside of the Irish context, scholars have highlighted the relevance of minor acts of cooperation or resistance to a more complete understanding of irregular conflict. In the 1980s, Michael Fellman looked at the ‘nature of terror and its personal and social impact, loyalty and justice as it had been expected and was reworked’ through the narratives of the ordinary people caught up in the American Civil War in Missouri.16 More recently, Stathis Kalyvas explored the logic of civil war by examining the nature of violence, participation in irregular combat, support from non-combatants, and motivations that ‘tend to be systematically overlooked in macrohistorical accounts’. Importantly, he emphasised that ‘coercive violence is not necessarily massive. In fact, successful terror implies low levels of violence,’ and, further, ‘Instances of terror cannot be considered independently of instances where violence does not occur’.17 Outside of war, James Scott’s important 1985 book, Weapons of the weak, examined ‘ everyday forms of peasant resistance’, preferring an analysis that was ‘ not centered on the state, on formal organizations, on open protest, on national issues’.18 Studies of the everyday experience of revolution in Ireland, then, not only contribute to the literature on the violence that preceded the foundation of the two modern Irish states, but also places the Irish Revolution in a broader scholarship on irregular conflict.
An anatomy of violence
An explanation of what exactly ‘everyday’ intimidation and coercion means for this study is necessary. The 1882 Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act rather cumbersomely defined ‘intimidation’ as
any word spoken or act done in order to and calculated to put any person in fear of any injury or danger to himself, or to any member of his family, or to any person in his employment, or in fear of any injury to or loss of his property, business or means of living.19
More recently, it has been given a simpler definition by political scientist Gene Sharp: ‘The use of sanctions, or the threat to use sanctions, to induce others to take, or not to take, certain actions because of their fear of the likely consequences if they do not comply.’ A broad definition of ‘sanctions’ includes: ‘Punishments, pressures, and means of action used to penalize, thwart, and alter the behavior of other persons, groups, institutions, or States. Sanctions are usually punishments or reprisals for failure to behave in the expected or desired manner.’ ‘In many situations,’ Sharp’s definition suggests, ‘simply the capacity to wield, or the threat to apply, either violent or nonviolent sanctions may induce compliance’.20 For Sharp, the use of violent domestic sanctions are intended ‘to punish disobedience’ rather than enforce the ‘original command, except in so far as such sanctions may inhibit future disobedience’, whereas non-violent sanctions (such as strikes, boycotts, and political non-cooperation) are intended to achieve the aim of the ‘original command’.21 In the Irish case studied here, the IRA used non-violent sanctions to punish individual defiance and ensure compliance, but also to intimidate friends, family, and neighbours. Lethal violence, as will be shown, was used for the same purposes and often a sign that non-violent methods had failed or that the perceived act of non-cooperation was considered too severe to be dealt with without violence.
‘Defiance’ is defined by Sharp as ‘Determined, bold disobedience and assertive refusal to obey commands, orders, or policies’.22 This study will take a similar, but less rigid, understanding of defiance, as often, but not always, determined, bold, or assertive; reluctance and apathy could just as easily produce more subtle forms of non-compliance. Sharp has identified seven reasons why ‘the many obey the few’: habit, fear of sanctions, moral obligation, self-interest, psychological identification with the ruler, zones of indifference, and a lack of self-confidence among subjects. The absence of any or all of these factors can result in defiance; as Sharp notes: ‘obedience is not inevitable’.23 In terms of obedience to the IRA (and a similar dynamic was simultaneously in play with the Crown), all of these factors are noticeable at different times, but some – notably fear of sanctions and self-interest – were more obvious than others. Charles Townshend has pointed out how ‘violence may subsist in attitude as in action’. ‘Credibility’, Townshend argues, is the key to functionality, and the key difference between ‘agitational terror’ and ‘enforcement terror’: in contrast with T. P. Thornton’s idea that ‘agitational terror functions to the extent that it is indiscriminate and unpredictable, enforcement terror depends on its discrimination and predictability’.24 The IRA violence and intimidation discussed here most closely resembles enforcement terror: discriminate and functioning with a credibility earned by enforcing sanctions on actual or perceived deviants.
Sanctions need not be physically violent, and one of the most effective is the economic boycott. Sharp defines ‘a boycott’ as: ‘A collective refusal to initiate or continue forms of social, economic, or political cooperation’, and an ‘economic boycott’ as:
The withdrawal of economic cooperation in the form of buying, selling, producing, or handling of goods and services. Economic boycotts are often combined with efforts to induce others also to withdraw such cooperation … Economic boycotts may be spontaneous, or more often organized, efforts to restrict the buying or selling markets, or the production of an individual, group, company, or country.25
Similar economic sanctions applied by the IRA included fines and the seizure or destruction of property. Local IRA units and their supporters also practised another of Sharp’s modes of boycott: ‘of government departments, agencies, and other bodies’.26 This was most noticeably the case with the British court system and similarly applied to local government and civil administration. It was, however, not just a boycott of British bodies practised by those opposed to the system but one that was expected of the entire community. Further, the aim was not simply to refuse participation in one system but also to offer active participation in the rival republican system under the alternative government, Dáil Éireann.
At the bottom of the scale of non-lethal sanctions were non-personal threats in the form of threatening letters, public notices, or proclamations. Though non-violent in itself, the threatening letter or notice was closely linked to contemporary violent outrages that were, in W. E. Vaughan’s eloquent phrase, ‘the bullion reserve that gave this paper currency its liquidity’. If they needed credibility to have an effect, their main virtues were speed, economy, and the minimal chances of being caught.27 Next on the scale of intimidation are threatening personal exchanges. Individuals were occasionally stopped and threatened in public places but more terrifying were late-night raids by ‘armed and masked men’. Most commonly, no actual physical harm was inflicted but promises to behave in a way dictated by the raiders were often demanded under duress. In some instances, the victim was subjected to a frightening ‘mock execution’ and, in others, property was damaged or taken away. Those who defied the IRA were also frequently kidnapped for short periods, kept in ominous sounding ‘unknown destinations’, and eventually released. This had the dual benefit of terrifying the victim and incapacitating them from performing a forbidden or treacherous activity.
Following threatening personal exchanges are physical but non-lethal acts against the person with a clear, intimidatory aim. Most common was the removal of (almost exclusively women’s) hair. Tarring and feathering occurred, but rarely.28 Beatings of various degrees were inflicted, most often during a raid on the home of the victim. These acts of violence served as a more severe punishment and warning but also as a visual spectacle to be seen by family, friends, and neighbours. The burning of property served a similar function and Gemma Clark has noted the power of arson, and particularly the burning of ‘big houses’, to ‘engage with the physical surroundings and undermine a building’s place in the community’.29
Killing was the ultimate physical punishment and the execution of alleged ‘spies and informers’ its most notable manifestation. Killing removed an unwanted actor from within a community and offered a wider threat in the form of the various ‘Spies and Informers Beware’ labels that began to appear on the bodies of executed civilians shot by the IRA from 1920.30 These labels essentially served the same function as threatening letters but in a more immediate and grim way. Killing was also often an indication that non-lethal intimidation, attempts to stop certain behaviour before lethal violence became necessary, had failed. As the commandant of the Cork No. 2 Brigade observed, ‘We cannot afford to wait to find spies, a final official warning should be enough for anyman’.31 A desire for fatal punishment was not universal and some IRA leaders were more willing to use lethal violence (or at least threaten it) than others. In Clare, for example, Michael Brennan called for a ‘wholesale wiping-out policy for people associating with the enemy’.32 But in Meath, as IRA veteran Peter O’Connell told Oliver Coogan, it was felt that ‘just because we were an army didn’t mean we had to go round shooting people all the time. We could get our way by other means. We didn’t want to kill anyone.’33 The nature and severity of violence was dictated by inherently local conditions, by the perceived disobedience, its persistence, the behaviour and attitudes of local civilians and IRA units, and the position of the Crown forces in the community. Usually, the punishment was meant to match the crime, but these informal rules were often broken and exceptions frequently appear.
Among the most well-known and celebrated IRA actions are ambushes of Crown force patrols, ranging from shots fired (often unsuccessfully) at groups of two or more policemen to the (in)famous Kilmichael ambush on 28 November 1920 that resulted in the deaths of three Volunteers and 17 Auxiliaries in County Cork.34 Ambushes as military actions will not be considered in detail here as both sets of participants can be classified as belligerents. Civilians, though, could be caught up in the consequences of an ambush, if not just the ambush itself. On the night of 5 April 1921, Edward Beirne was shot dead in a field in Scramogue, County Roscommon. He was described by a local police sergeant as ‘a loyal man and on very friendly terms with the police. He was opposed to the Sinn Fein movement and frequently expressed his views forcefully.’ Beirne had been ‘warned by the Sinn Feiners some few months ago’ but a fortnight before, as his daughter remembered, ‘went to scene of an ambush, close to our house, and assisted the wounded’.35 Another case that emphasises the potential impact of ambushes on the civilian population, and also the nature of community politics, is found in County Cork. The Murphy family lived convenient to a site chosen for an ambush on an Auxiliary patrol in Fort Grady and one of Murphy’s sons was, ‘as is usual in those occasions’, commandeered to assist in felling a tree to block the road. When Auxiliaries arrested Murphy and four others, his sister Catherine (‘for years a “peeler-hunter”’, in the pejorative words of the local IRA commander) visited him at the barracks, becoming friendly with one of the young policemen. As she failed to heed warnings to stop, a boycott was imposed against the family. Catherine Murphy protested against her family’s treatment, insisting that they should never have been boycotted for the ‘minor offence’ of allowing an Auxiliary who saved her brother from being shot after his arrest to visit their house; ‘We always paid to every collection & suffered more by the military perhaps more than those fellows who were the cause of boycotting us.’36
Civilians living close to intended ambush sites posed a significant potential threat to the IRA. By failing to warn Volunteers of danger or passing information to the Crown forces, they could put Volunteer lives at risk. The most notorious example is the case of Mary Lindsay, a Protestant loyalist who informed the authorities of an ambush under preparation at Dripsey, County Cork, contributing to the deaths of several Volunteers. Lindsay was kidnapped and shot by the IRA along with her innocent chauffeur.37 Planning carried out in advance of a proposed ambush – scouting, tree-felling, and trench-digging – also brought inconvenience and potential financial loss to locals as roads became unpassable or gunmen converged around a home. This, and the threat of Crown reprisals, could influence a civilian to sabotage a potential ambush as much as any political conviction and, in fact, also induced some Volunteers to inform on their colleagues.38 For the purpose of this study, such behaviour will be regarded as a manifestation of ‘community politics’.
The everyday violence of the Irish Revolution had firm roots in the agrarian agitation of a generation before. As Charles Townshend has declared, ‘The rebels of 1920 were the heirs not only to the exalted legacies of the United Irishmen and the Fenians, but also to a deeper and darker tradition of agrarian secret society terrorism.’39 The guerrillas of the 1910s and 1920s grew up in the shadow of nineteenth and early twentieth century land wars and the methods of older conflicts were equally familiar to civilians caught up in revolutionary violence. Like many other communities, guerrillas and civilians often stuck to what they knew. In Charles Tilly’s ‘repertoires of contention’, communities can only engage in acts of which they have knowledge and experience, and action outside their scope is rarely attempted.40 W. E. Vaughan similarly noticed the ‘tendency for agrarian crime to persist in some counties, suggesting that once the habit got a grip, it persisted’.41 It is in the traditions of agrarian violence that we find the genesis of much of the low-level violence of the Irish Revolution.
The composition of threatening letters offers one distinct form of continuity and remained remarkably similar over generations. The mythical pseudonyms that gave a sense of ubiquity and organisation to land agitators – ‘Rory of the Hill’, ‘Molly Maguire’, ‘Captain Moonlight’, or ‘Captain Rock’ – continued to give threatening letters ‘the exiguous organizational framework required’ for them to take effect into the twentieth century.42 Peter Hart found the very same pseudonyms in use among the youth subculture and ‘Straw Boys’ that fed directly into the Cork IRA.43 After 1917, they continued to feature in agrarian disputes: after cattle drives in Leitrim and Roscommon it was reported that notices signed ‘Rory of the Hill’ were found warning people from helping to collect driven cattle.44 But they were also used for purposes obviously connected to the independence struggle and in July 1920 an RIC constable in Cork received a letter warning him to leave the district signed ‘Rory of the Hill’.45 As the conflict continued and the concept of the ‘Irish Republican Army’ became more defined, organisational legitimacy came from the IRA itself and signatures took on a military nature (ironically adopted from the British). As early as March 1919, the police reported a notice delivered to a garage owner who supplied them with cars and drivers signed by the ‘Competent Military Authority of the Irish Republican Army’.46 Other threatening letters were signed by the officers of local companies and battalions. Gemma Clark has similarly observed that during the Irish Civil War threatening letters were a ‘regular tactic’ of the anti-Treaty IRA and continued to make use of ‘Quasi-legal language’ to frame threats as ‘orders that must be obeyed’.47
The idea of punishing an individual who had failed to behave in an expected manner, while simultaneously producing a clear warning to others, can be seen in the agitation of the United Irish League (UIL) from the end of the nineteenth century. UIL activity took four forms, as identified by Charles Townshend:
first, by ‘courts’ held to decide on agrarian cases; second, by resolutions against individuals published in sympathetic newspapers; third, by public meetings at or near the residence of the threatened persons; and fourth, ‘as a last resource’, by actual outrage.48
Publishing decisions from League courts in the press, Fergus Campbell has shown, ‘inaugurated the process by which persons who broke the “law of the League” were punished’. This was a public and very literal way of marking out an individual and making others aware of exactly who had been defiant. Its effect on neighbours was clear: ‘there was nothing that farmers and shopkeepers dreaded as much as seeing their names published in the provincial press’. UIL intimidation was designed to enforce the authority of the League on transgressors and on the wider community.49 The UIL rarely needed to resort to attacks on the person but when attacks did take place, injured parties were reluctant to give information to the police and, as one report suggested, submitted to outrage ‘rather than do anything that might bring themselves into antagonism to the general feeling’.50 In August 1920, the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) inspector general mirrored that assessment when describing misleading outrage figures in the south and west: ‘many persons prefer to suffer in silence than incur the additional hostility of Sinn Fein by making a complaint’.51 Most often, the UIL enforced itself through intimidation, boycotting, and attacks on property. Campbell has recorded that of 2,799 ‘penalties imposed by agrarian agitators in Ireland’ between 1902 and 1908, 40 per cent were cases of ‘intimidation’, individuals boycotted made up 24 per cent, and offences against property 17 per cent while offences against the person accounted for just under 4 per cent. Boycotting, he argues, was often enough to ensure future cooperation, but where an individual continued to defy the UIL intimidation was increased. Importantly, Campbell has stressed the ‘cumulative effect’ of small acts of intimidation: one act on its own (such as sending a threatening letter) was unlikely to produce the desired effect, but a series of acts may well do, particularly if acts of violence were taking place at the same time.52 A relatively small amount of lethal violence could also drastically change the impact of intimidation. Townshend has described how the strength of intimidation and boycotting lay in its ‘diffuse character’. ‘It was the repetition of a number of “disobliging acts” so concerted and repeated so as to make life wretched, though … each individual act was unimportant’. To refuse to sell someone a loaf of bread was, for instance, well within the rights of the person who did so but in the context of agrarian agitation it had new, dangerous connotations and became one (albeit small) step on the way to a death sentence.53
It is significant that the generation who formed the IRA after 1917 grew up amidst the UIL’s campaign. Important continuities can, for instance, be found in Hart’s examination of ‘Straw Boys’ in Cork.54 These informal groups of young men used special occasions of traditional Catholic ritual to ‘march around in military fashion, and demand money, food, or entrance to houses … If house holders refused their demands, the gang would frequently enact a violent revenge, and in fact this was sometimes the main purpose of the outing.’ Activity often consisted of ‘anonymous intimidation, the settling of old scores, and confrontations with the police’. For Hart, local IRA units were a natural extension for these groups. The conditions of revolution ensured that the role reversal seen at festival times became a political reality and elicited many of the same responses from the local community:
Some people welcomed them, others only grudgingly complied with their demands, and a few refused them. Rival youth groups often contested their claims to authority … As with Straw Boys, lack of cooperation was not usually tolerated: it undermined the necessary fiction of unity, and was met by intimidation and acts of revenge.55
As will be highlighted in Chapter 5, Belfast’s revolutionary experience was unique in many ways. But a strong continuity can be seen here also. The impersonal, communal violence and rioting witnessed in Belfast between 1920 and 1922 was ‘part of a great tradition of rioting and territorial struggle’ that had seen outbreaks in the city in the 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, and 1910s. As Hart has suggested, ‘The moves, the repertoires of action, were more-or-less pre-programmed, automatic, down to the timing of major outbreaks in the Orange marching season.’56 This was violence in forms, and on terms, that were well understood in the city.
This might suggest that there was a certain inevitability to the forms that revolutionary violence eventually took. This is perhaps true to some degree and, particularly in Belfast, the momentum generated by longer-term continuities in violent methods influenced revolutionary practice. At the same time, as will be shown throughout this book, many of the experiences of revolution, manifestations of loyalty and allegiance, for instance, were uniquely rooted in the revolutionary context. Non-combatants often reacted to the guerrilla campaign based on immediate and personal local concerns. There is, therefore, some value in recognising the historical continuities in the nature of violence, but it is also important to acknowledge the fluid and contemporary chaos generated between 1917 and 1922.
Time and place
The now common use of the term ‘Irish Revolution’ is generally applied to the period between 1912 and 1923, incorporating a series of constitutional, agrarian, labour, and separatist conflicts over more than ten years.57 The period under scrutiny in this book excludes rebellion in 1916 and the Irish Civil War of 1922–23, but instead focuses on almost five years of violent and non-violent conflict between 1917 and 1922. This period begins with the reorganisation of the Irish Volunteers after the set-piece battles of Easter 1916 and covers the guerrilla campaign against the British from around 1919 to the Truce between the IRA and the British government in July 1921. The study will also encompass the year or so that followed the Truce and explore how intimidation and coercion worked during a period of supposed ‘peace’. Terminating in June 1922 means the focus will remain on the low-level violence and coercion practised by the IRA before the republican split over the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 degenerated into a recognised civil war. The shooting of two unarmed policemen by members of the Irish Volunteers (soon semi-formally rechristened as the IRA) in Soloheadbeg, County Tipperary (coincidentally the very day the underground, revolutionary government, Dáil Éireann, met for the first time), is often seen as the opening act of a self-contained war that ended officially with a Truce on 11 July 1921. As this study transcends the chronological boundaries of what is most commonly called the ‘Anglo-Irish War’, ‘Tan War’, or ‘Irish War of Independence’, the broader epithet of ‘Irish Revolution’ will be applied.58
Since David Fitzpatrick’s pioneering study of County Clare was published in 1977, the county study has been the dominant methodological approach to scholarship on the Irish Revolution. Historians remain indebted to Politics and Irish life and many have followed Fitzpatrick in taking a single county as their unit of study, usually sketching the development of nationalism and republicanism chronologically from around 1912 to 1923. Oliver Coogan’s Politics and war in Meath (1983) and Terence Dooley’s The plight of Monaghan protestants (2000) are early examples of the value of local studies.59 Among the growing body of more recent work are monographs by Marie Coleman and John O’Callaghan on Longford and Limerick respectively and Sinéad Joy’s short but useful study of Kerry.60 Michael Farry also adopted the county study but his work on Sligo covered rarely trodden ground in focusing on the post-Truce period and subsequent Civil War.61 Farry’s latest book on Sligo, Fergal McCluskey’s on Tyrone, and Pat McCarthy’s study of Waterford are the first in a series that intends to produce a history of the Irish Revolution in every county.62 The most prominent county study to follow Fitzpatrick’s is Peter Hart’s enthralling The I.R.A. and its enemies, published in 1998. Hart’s study, like Fitzpatrick’s, is not a chronological history of Cork but rather uses Cork as a means by which to explore important themes and issues.63
This book has similar interests but takes a different approach, one most suitably compared to that adopted by Fergus Campbell in his 2005 book Land and revolution, which he describes as a ‘concertina motion: shifting from the wide-angle shot to the close up, and then back again (sometimes within a single chapter)’. Campbell does not ‘describe local life in all its quotidian detail in a single county’ but explores a single theme over thirty years through ‘a series of inter-locking studies of “national”, provincial, county and village politics’.64 This book attempts something similar. In exploring intimidation, coercion, and communities it will alternate between material drawn from all 32 counties and passages of more intensive analysis relating to local districts, most notably Arva, County Cavan, and its vicinity (especially Chapter 3) and Belfast (Chapter 5). James Scott’s Weapons of the weak described how peasant defiance and resistance were centred on the village and effectively unable to operate outside that sphere.65 This study will similarly emphasise the town or parish as the unit in which the revolution was most keenly experienced.
In his 2003 collection, The I.R.A. at war, Peter Hart wrote that the ‘Irish border cuts through the historiography, with historians working on the south often ignoring the north and vice versa’.66 Historians have continued to find it challenging to reconcile the experiences of revolution in the ‘two Irelands’ in a single work. The most recent survey of the period, for instance, Charles Townshend’s impressive monograph on the republican struggle between 1918 and 1922, draws primarily on the 26 southern counties that became the Irish Free State while the north-east is treated separately and accounts for a relatively small portion of the narrative.67 This book will aim towards an all-Ireland discussion of community–IRA interaction, though large parts of the six counties with substantial Protestant/Unionist majorities that remained almost entirely free of IRA activity will be largely absent from what follows.68 It was the Irish communities with either majority or significant minority Catholic populations (including the twenty-six counties and areas surrounding the emerging border of partition) that experienced most violence, whether inflicted by the IRA, Crown forces, or loyalists. Tim Wilson and Robert Lynch have both criticised what Paul Bew referred to as ‘partitionist history’; that is, work that pre-emptively applies the partition of six (out of nine) Ulster counties before it became a political reality.69 Communities in South Armagh, for instance, where the IRA was relatively active, were far closer in their experience to those in parts of Cavan or Monaghan, while their county neighbours in North Armagh had more in common with Protestant-majority communities in East Donegal. In discussion of the pre-Truce period, then, partition will not be applied or assumed, even if one could argue that it was a political inevitability well in advance of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. This is not to deny entirely the differences inherent in the northern experience – what Townshend has dubbed ‘Ulsterism’ – and elements of exceptionality will become apparent in the chapters that follow.70 The cementing of those differences through the formation of two states will also be reflected in the final chapters of the book, dealing primarily with events after partition, where aspects of the revolution in the new northern state will be examined in their own right.
Where the six counties appear under-represented, it is to a large extent dictated by the available source material. There is no equivalent of the IGC to explore civilian testimony of republican violence in the six counties, as the scheme was devised exclusively for ‘southern’ loyalists, i.e. loyalists resident in what became the Irish Free State.71 Similarly, only 132 individuals (8 per cent of the total) of those who recorded witness statements or donated material to the Bureau of Military History (BMH) had been active in Ulster; 53 of those had come from the ‘lost’ Ulster counties of Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan, while 31 of the remainder were from Antrim. Even fewer (11, or 2 per cent) of Ernie O’Malley’s interviewees, recorded in his notebooks, were from Ulster IRA units, with two from Donegal and the rest from the six counties.72 The most important source for Chapter 2, the records of the Dáil local government department held in the National Archives of Ireland, do not cover the six counties, meaning local government and the impact of the rate collection there remains unexplored.
The book will take a thematic rather than strictly chronological approach, with the exception of a final chapter dealing with the twelve months from July 1921 to June 1922. The opening chapter will explore grass-roots interaction between the IRA and the Crown, beginning with the RIC, their families, and their local suppliers. The RIC was an armed and visible manifestation of British rule in Ireland and took a part in the conflict quite different from other Crown servants, but members of the force are, for the purposes of this study, treated as members of their communities rather than exclusively as belligerents. A second section will develop this discussion to include unarmed servants of the Crown. While the RIC, ‘Black and Tans’, and Auxiliaries have received much scholarly attention, others involved in law and order, such as resident magistrates, justices of the peace, judges, and solicitors have received far less.73 More neglected again are the large bulk of civil servants who had a quieter sort of revolution.74 As the aim of this chapter is to explore interactions within a community setting, soldiers and British recruits to the police are excluded, owing to their having a less symbiotic relationship with local communities than Irish-born policemen and civil servants.75
Chapter 2 will explore another neglected aspect of republican activity in the community, Dáil Éireann local government. To do so it will take as its focus the collection of the county council poor rate during the shift from British to republican control, and the participation of the IRA in its enforcement (or otherwise). By moving the attention in this chapter away from armed encounters, and focusing on the operation of the republican counter-state at a local level, this chapter will emphasise the centrality of violence, and particularly the threat of violence, to the maintenance of a republican alternative to British rule. It will further serve to introduce some of the themes and behaviours that will be treated in the following chapters as it explores the motivations behind rate-collectors’ and rate payers’ acquiescence or repudiation.
Chapters 3 and 4 will take a broader approach under two distinct headings: defiance (Chapter 3) and punishment (Chapter 4). Chapter 3 will first explore the enforcement of republican edicts by local IRA units, with particular attention to Dáil courts and the Belfast boycott. It will then detail community resistance to the IRA before exploring everyday revolutionary activity from the perspective of self-proclaimed loyalists resident in a single district, Arva, County Cavan. Chapter 4 will focus on the IRA response to non-cooperation. To do so, it will first set out to differentiate between lethal and non-lethal modes of punishment. It will also treat one of the most controversial aspects of modern scholarship on the Irish Revolution: the extent of discriminate or disproportionate persecution of loyalists and other minorities within communities, particularly Protestants and ex-servicemen. When it came to the application of lethal violence, women were treated differently from men, and the nature of punishment inflicted on women will be assessed separately but comparatively. As the study takes an all-Ireland approach, it is also important to recognise the often wildly varying levels of violence and intimidation throughout revolutionary Ireland. As regional variations in the application of coercion and punishment (both between and within county boundaries) will be made clear throughout the book, it will be important to chart some of these variations. Peter Hart, following important work by David Fitzpatrick and Erhart Rumpf, suggested that the most satisfactory way to trace and map revolutionary violence was through the victims of bullets and bombs.76 The nature of available source material and statistics makes tracking non-lethal manifestations of revolutionary activity far more problematic, but a survey of available metrics of regional violence will illuminate some important aspects of the distribution and effect of intimidating violence.
Belfast is the singular subject of a second local study in Chapter 5. Belfast was, overwhelmingly, the most violent region in Ulster and third only to County Cork and Dublin city in terms of fatalities. Put simply, in Peter Hart’s words, ‘Belfast’s revolutionary experience was unique.’77 Its revolutionary timeline, for instance, lagged some way behind other centres of violence in the south and east. More people were killed in Belfast during the first five months of the Truce than during the previous seven months, while the opposite was the case in the 26 counties.78 The nature of violence was also exceptional, comprising stone-throwing, riot, and indiscriminate sniper fire not seen elsewhere. The demarcating lines of conflict were much more firmly inter-communal and sectarian. Chapter 5 will therefore examine community defiance of the IRA on both sides of the religious divide, focusing particularly on the IRA’s relationship with the Catholic community it professed to defend, but also rival Protestant communities. The period under consideration will encompass the two years between the first mass expulsions of Catholic workers from the Belfast shipyards and the collapse of the Northern IRA following a failed offensive in spring 1922; a period often referred to by Catholic contemporaries and historians as the Belfast ‘pogrom’.79
As the case of Belfast and the compensation claim of James McCabe very clearly demonstrate, revolutionary experience did not end or change neatly on 11 July 1921. Everyday violence and intimidation continued in an uncertain political climate before the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921 and after its ratification in January 1922. The twelve or so months from the official cessation of hostilities between the IRA and the British government in July 1921 to the occupation of the Dublin Four Courts by anti-Treaty republicans in June 1922, are among the most complex of the Irish Revolution. Politically, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was a key moment of change, but how did the new politics play out on the ground in the months before and after its signing and ratification? Intimidation, violence, suspicion, and victimisation existed and were perceived as carrying on from 1921 into 1922, rather than in six-month chunks. Victims of conflict in January 1922, for instance, may have noted a split in the IRA but did not necessarily see themselves at the time as victims of a civil war. The very terms of reference of post-Truce compensation offered by the British and Irish states, taking post-Truce to cover the period from 11 July 1921 right to the end of the Civil War in March 1923, further suggests a continuity that is worth exploring over a full year.
While this book deliberately focuses on IRA and civilian interaction, it is important to recognise that IRA units were not the sole armed actors in their communities. The aim here is not to portray the IRA as a relentlessly brutal organisation and, in fact, the IRA were relatively restrained in comparison with other twentieth century guerrillas. Much of the violence and intimidation recounted here was the necessary result of fighting a guerrilla war in local communities against a much stronger, and far better equipped, enemy and would have been recognised as such by many of its practitioners. Though the RIC had become an increasingly domesticated force by the twentieth century, they remained in essence an armed force, different in that regard from constabularies on the British mainland, and the dynamic of policing in Ireland changed again with the decision to recruit temporary constables and a new Auxiliary division from outside Ireland. Crown forces were the practitioners of terror as often as they were its victims; at least 42 per cent of the total casualties of political violence on the island between 1919 and 1921 were inflicted by those in Crown uniform.80 Some of the most significant events and images in the poplar consciousness of the Irish Revolution are the unofficial and semi-official ‘reprisals’ carried out by members of the Crown forces, often indiscriminate and aimed at bringing terror to communities suspected of supporting republicans.81
Focusing on one actor will not, therefore, as Kalyvas argues, give a complete picture.82 It is not this book’s aim to offer a complete picture, and nor does it claim to do so. Rather, a more modest goal is to examine how non-state guerrillas attempted to hold and gain control over communities into which, in most cases, they had been born or grown to young adulthood, and the nature of resistance they encountered in doing so. The Irish-born ‘old’ RIC, by way of contrast, were in many ways ‘local’ but not allowed by regulation to serve in their home counties; the British-born recruits who primarily formed the ‘Black and Tans’ and Auxiliary Division from 1920, and the British soldiers less commonly associated with the conflict, were very much outsiders. The preoccupation, then, is on intra-communal relationships, at the parish as much as the county or the national levels. Rather than exposing extremes of behaviour or violence, what will emerge in these chapters is a large and rather blurred middle ground, a zone where self-interest and self-preservation mixed with violence, political allegiance, suspicion, jealousy, greed, and fear.
1 James McCabe claim (NAI: FIN/COMP/SHAW/381/445). For a discussion of the legislation, see Fergal Peter Mangan, ‘Compensation in the Irish Free State 1922–23’, MA thesis (University College Dublin, 1994), p. 63.
2 McCabe to Department of Finance, n.d. 1934 (/381/445).
3 ‘Claim of James McCabe, Arva, Co. Cavan for Loss and Damage arising out of the Black and Tan War and the Civil War’, 4 Oct. 1934 (/381/445).
4 ‘Compensation for injury to persons or property. Memorandum’, 1923, cited in Gemma Clark, Everyday violence in the Irish Civil War (Cambridge, 2014), p. 19; Terms of Reference in IGC Report of Committee, 1930 (TNA: CO 762/212).
5 James McCabe claim (CO 762/29/13).
7 An RIC report mentions 26-year-old egg dealer Patrick McCabe giving orders to an IRA party in Lossett on 29 October; James McCabe’s son Patrick was 17 in 1911: Breaches of the Truce, Cavan (TNA: CO 904/151); 1911 census return, James McCabe (census.nationalarchives.ie) (23 Sep. 2013).
8 See correspondence contained in Maggie Masterson claim (TNA: CO 762/175/16).
9 McCabe to ‘Secretary, Ministry of Finance Compensation Section’, 21 Dec. 1925 (NAI: FIN/COMP/SHAW/381/445).
10 James McCabe claim (TNA: CO 762/29/13).
11 McCabe to Department of Finance, n.d. 1934 (FIN/COMP/SHAW/381/445).
12 Joost Augusteijn, From public defiance to guerrilla warfare: the experience of ordinary volunteers in the Irish war of independence, 1916–1921 (Dublin, 1996).
13 Peter Hart, The I.R.A. and its enemies: violence and community in Cork, 1916–1923 (Oxford, 1998); Peter Hart, The I.R.A. at war, 1916–1923 (Oxford, 2003).
14 T. K. Wilson, Frontiers of violence: conflict and identity in Ulster and Upper Silesia, 1918–1922 (Oxford, 2010), pp. 4, 7–8, 17.
15 Clark, Everyday violence, p. 10.
16 Michael Fellman, Inside war: the guerrilla conflict in Missouri during the American Civil War (New York, 1989), xvi.
17 Stathis N. Kalyvas, The logic of violence in civil war (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 31, 44, 48.
18 James C. Scott, Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance (London, 1985), pp. xvii–xix, emphasis in original.
19 Charles Townshend, Political violence in Ireland: government and resistance since 1848 (Oxford, 1983), p. 173.
20 Gene Sharp, Sharp’s dictionary of power and struggle: language of civil resistance in conflicts (Oxford, 2012), pp. 162, 259–60.
21 Gene Sharp, The politics of nonviolent action (Manchester NH, 1973), p. 12.
22 Sharp, Sharp’s dictionary, p. 112.
23 Sharp, The politics of nonviolent action, pp. 18–25.
24 Townshend, Political violence in Ireland, pp. 411–12.
25 Sharp, Sharp’s dictionary, pp. 70, 126.
26 Sharp, Sharp’s dictionary, p. 335.
27 W. E. Vaughan, Landlords and tenants in mid-Victorian Ireland (Oxford, 1994), pp. 150–4.
28 An ex-soldier was reportedly ‘stripped, tarred and feathered’ in Kerry in June 1920: MCRs, CI, kerry, Jun. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
29 Gemma M. Clark, ‘The fiery campaign: new agenda and ancient enmities in the Irish Civil War: a study of arson in three Munster counties’, in Brian Griffin and Ellen McWilliams (eds.), Irish studies in Britain: new perspectives on history and literature (Newcastle upon Tyne, 2010), p. 76; see also, Clark, Everyday violence, pp. 54–97.
30 MCRs, IG, May–Jul. 1921 (TNA: CO 904/115–16). By the end of the conflict these notices had become so common the IG was repeatedly referring to bodies found with the ‘usual notice’. See also, Anne Dolan, ‘Spies and informers beware …’, in Diarmaid Ferriter and Susannah Riordan (eds.), Years of turbulence: the Irish Revolution and its aftermath, in honour of Michael Laffan (Dublin, 2015).
31 Quoted in CS to MD, 26 Mar. 1921 (UCDA: P7/A/17).
32 Brennan to CS, 29 Mar. 1921 (UCDA: P7/A/38). Brennan is less bloodthirsty in his memoir, published in 1980: Michael Brennan, The war in Clare 1911–1921: personal memoirs of the Irish war of independence (Dublin, 1980).
33 Quoted in Oliver Coogan, Politics and war in Meath, 1913–23 (Dublin, 1983), p. 192.
34 For attacks on police patrols, see Weekly summaries of outrages against the police (TNA: CO 904/148-50). For conflicting views on the events at Kilmichael, see, for example, Hart, The I.R.A. and its enemies, pp. 21–38; Meda Ryan, Tom Barry: IRA freedom fighter (Cork, 2005; 1st edn. 2003), pp. 67–84; Meda Ryan, ‘The Kilmichael Ambush, 1920: exploring the “provocative chapters”’, History, Vol. 92 (2007), pp. 235–49; Niall Meehan and Brian P. Murphy OSB, Troubled history: a tenth anniversary critique of Peter Hart’s ‘The IRA and its enemies’ (Aubane, 2008); Eve Morrison, ‘Kilmichael revisited: Tom Barry and the “false surrender”’, in David Fitzpatrick (ed.), Terror in Ireland, 1916–1923 (Dublin, 2012), pp. 158–80.
35 Military inquiry in lieu of inquest, Edward Beirne, April 1921 (TNA: WO 35/146B/5).
36 Two letters by Catherine Murphy, 30 Nov. 1921; OC Cork No. 4 to Adjutant Cork No. 4, 9 Dec. 1921 (MAI: A/0668).
37 Hart, The I.R.A. and its enemies, pp. 308–10.
38 See, for example, OC Tipperary no. 3 to CS, 3 Dec. 1920, Epitome of seized documents No. 53/3649 (LHCMA: 7/24); Epitome of documents seized at 5 Mespil Road, Dublin; Epitome of captured documents, ‘Operation Reports’ (LHCMA: 7/24); BMH WS 1715 (Sean Boylan); BMH WS 474 (Liam Haugh); Coogan, Politics and war in Meath, pp. 162–3.
39 Charles Townshend, The British campaign in Ireland, 1919–1921: the development of political and military policies (Oxford, 1975), pp. 63–4.
40 Charles Tilly, The politics of collective violence (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 45–50.
41 Vaughan, Landlords and tenants, p. 157.
42 Vaughan, Landlords and tenants, pp. 152–3; Townshend, Political violence in Ireland, p. 23.
43 Peter Hart, ‘Youth culture and the Cork I.R.A.’, in David Fitzpatrick (ed.), Revolution? Ireland 1917–1923 (Dublin, 1990), p. 17.
44 Irish Post and Telegraph for Cavan and Midlands, 15 May 1920.
45 Weekly summaries, Jul. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/148). For a letter signed ‘Captain Moonlight’ sent during the Civil War, see Clark, Everyday violence, p. 119.
46 MCRs, CI, Cork W.R., May 1919 (TNA: CO 904/109).
47 Clark, Everyday violence, pp. 107–15.
48 Townshend, Political violence in Ireland, p. 231.
49 Fergus Campbell, Land and revolution: nationalist politics in the west of Ireland 1891–1921 (Oxford, 2005), pp. 138–43.
50 Townshend, Political violence in Ireland, p. 231.
51 MCRs, IG, Aug. 1920 (TNA: CO 904/112).
52 Campbell, Land and revolution, pp. 140–1.
53 Townshend, Political violence in Ireland, pp. 205–6. James Scott also refers to the importance of an accumulation of small acts of defiance: Scott, Weapons of the weak, p. xvii.
54 Peter Hart, ‘Youth culture and the Cork I.R.A.’, in Fitzpatrick, Revolution? Other names for the groups identified by Hart included ‘Wren Boys’, ‘Biddy Boys’, or even, simply, ‘the boys’.
55 Hart, ‘Youth culture and the Cork I.R.A.’, pp. 15–21.
56 Hart, The I.R.A. at war, p. 249.
57 Marie Coleman, however, began her study of the Irish Revolution in County Longford in 1910: Marie Coleman, County Longford and the Irish revolution, 1910–1923 (Dublin, 2003).
58 Richard English argues that none of the above terms adequately describes what actually took place and prefers the term ‘Irish War for Independence’: Richard English, Irish freedom: the history of nationalism in Ireland (London, 2006), pp. 286–7.
59 Coogan, Politics and war in Meath; Terence Dooley, The plight of Monaghan protestants, 1912–1926 (Dublin, 2000).
60 Coleman, County Longford and the Irish revolution; John O’Callaghan, Revolutionary Limerick: the republican campaign for independence in Limerick, 1913–1921 (Dublin, 2010); Sinéad Joy, The IRA in Kerry 1916–1921 (Cork, 2005). For more examples, see T. Ryle Dwyer, Tans, terror and troubles: Kerry’s real fighting story (Cork, 2001); John Borgonovo, Spies, informers and the ‘Anti-Sinn Féin Society’: the intelligence war in Cork city, 1920–21 (Dublin, 2006); Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Blood on the banner: the republican struggle in Clare 1913–1923 (Cork, 2009); Thomas Toomey, The war of independence in Limerick: also covering action in the border areas of Tipperary, Cork, Kerry and Clare (Limerick, 2010); William Henry, Blood for blood: the Black and Tan war in Galway (Cork, 2012); Dominic Price, The flame and the candle: the war in Mayo, 1919–1924 (Cork, 2012); James Durney, The war of independence in Kildare (Cork, 2013); John Borgonovo, The dynamics of war and revolution: Cork city, 1916–1918 (Cork, 2013).
61 Michael Farry, The aftermath of revolution: Sligo, 1921–23 (Dublin, 2000).
62 Michael Farry, Sligo: the Irish revolution, 1912–1923 (Dublin, 2013); Fergal McCluskey, Tyrone: the Irish Revolution, 1912–23 (Dublin, 2014); Pat McCarthy, Waterford: the Irish revolution, 1912–1923 (Dublin, 2015).
63 Peter Hart, The I.R.A. and its enemies: violence and community in Cork, 1916–1923 (Oxford, 1998).
64 Campbell, Land and revolution, pp. 3–5.
65 Scott, Weapons of the weak, esp. pp. 241–303.
66 Hart, The I.R.A. at war, p. 9.
67 Charles Townshend, The republic: the fight for Irish independence, 1918–1923 (London, 2013).
68 Robert Lynch, The Northern IRA and the early years of partition, 1920–1922 (Dublin, 2006), pp. 41–2.
69 Wilson, Frontiers of violence, p. 18; Lynch, Northern IRA, p. 5.
70 Townshend, Political violence in Ireland, p. 38.
71 Terms of Reference in IGC Report of Committee, 1930 (TNA: CO 762/212).
72 I am grateful to Dr. Eve Morrison for these figures.
73 See, for example, David M. Leeson, The Black and Tans: British police and auxiliaries in the Irish war of independence, 1920–1921 (Oxford, 2011); Elizabeth Malcolm, The Irish policeman, 1822–1922: a life, (Dublin, 2006); W. J. Lowe, ‘The war against the R.I.C., 1919–21’, Éire–Ireland, Vol. 37 (2002), pp. 79–117; Richard Abbott, Police casualties in Ireland, 1919–1921 (Cork, 2000); Donal J. O’Sullivan, The Irish constabularies 1822–1922: a century of policing in Ireland (Dingle, 1999); Jim Herlihy, The Royal Irish Constabulary: a complete alphabetical list of officers and men, 1816–1922 (Dublin, 1999); Jim Herlihy, The Royal Irish Constabulary: A short history and genealogical guide (Dublin, 1997); W. J. Lowe and E. L. Malcolm, ‘The domestication of the Royal Irish Constabulary’, Irish Economic and Social History, Vol. 19 (1992), pp. 27–48; John D. Brewer, The Royal Irish Constabulary: an oral history (Belfast, 1990).
74 Martin Maguire, The civil service and the revolution in Ireland, 1912–38: ‘shaking the blood-stained hand of Mr. Collins’ (Manchester, 2008).
75 For recent scholarship on soldiers and ‘Black and Tans’, see Leeson, Black and tans; Benjamin Laurence Butler, ‘The British army in Ireland 1916–1921: a social and cultural history’, unpublished PhD thesis (University of Hull, 2007); Townshend, The British campaign in Ireland; William Sheehan, A hard local war: the British army and the guerrilla war in Ireland, 1919–1922 (Stroud, 2011); William Sheehan, Fighting for Dublin: the British battle for Dublin 1919–1921 (Cork, 2007); William Sheehan, British voices: from the Irish War of Independence: the words of British servicemen who were there (Cork, 2005).
76 Erhard Rumpf and A. C. Hepburn, Nationalism and socialism in twentieth-century Ireland (Liverpool, 1977); Tom Garvin, The evolution of Irish nationalist politics (Dublin, 2005; 1st edn. 1981); David Fitzpatrick, ‘The geography of Irish nationalism 1910–21’, Past and Present, 78 (1978), pp. 113–44; Peter Hart, ‘The geography of revolution in Ireland 1917–1923’, Past and Present, 155 (1997), p. 144.
77 Hart, The I.R.A. at war, p. 9.
78 Lynch, The Northern IRA, p. 2.
79 For example, Belfast veterans’ testimony in the BMH, MSPR, and Ernie O’Malley notebooks. The phrase is used in the titles of Jim McDermott, Northern divisions: the old IRA and the Belfast pogroms, 1920–22 (Belfast, 2001) and Kieran Glennon, From pogrom to civil war: Tom Glennon and the Belfast IRA (Cork, 2013).
80 Eunan O’Halpin, ‘Counting terror: Bloody Sunday and the Dead of the Irish Revolution’, in Fitzpatrick, Terror in Ireland, p. 141.
81 For recent discussions of Crown reprisals, see D. M. Leeson, The Black and Tans: British police and Auxiliaries during the Irish War of Independence, 1920–1921 (Oxford, 2011), esp. pp. 157–219 and David Fitzpatrick, ‘The price of Balbriggan’, in Fitzpatrick, Terror in Ireland. See also the portrayal of Crown forces in the popular, award-winning film The Wind that Shakes the Barley (dir. Ken Loach, 2005) and the images of burned-out buildings among the Desmond Fitzgerald photograph collection (UCDA: P80/PH/15-21).
82 Kalyvas, The logic of violence in civil war, p. 48.