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22 June 1922: The Assassination of Sir Henry Wilson

Read Fearghal McGarry’s essay on the murder of Sir Henry Wilson on Century Ireland.

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, features 50 essays from leading international scholars that explore a turning point in history, one whose legacy remains controversial a century on. Building on their own expertise, and on the wealth of recent scholarship provoked by the Decade of Centenaries, each contributor focuses on one event that illuminates a key aspect of revolutionary Ireland, demonstrating how the events of this year would shape the new states established in 1922. Together, these essays explore many of the key issues and debates of a year that transformed Ireland.

In collaboration with Century Ireland, we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today’s essay is by Fearghal McGarry and it covers the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson, which happened on the 22 June 1922:

At 2.20 p.m. on Thursday, 22 June 1922 Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, chief security advisor to the new Northern Irish government and former chief of the Imperial General Staff, was shot dead on the doorstep of his Belgravia home by IRA Commandant Reggie Dunne and Volunteer Joe O’Sullivan. Wilson’s murder—the first assassination of a Westminster MP since Spencer Perceval was killed in 1812—shocked public opinion. It also hastened the onset of the Irish civil war: Winston Churchill warned Michael Collins that British troops would move against the anti-Treaty IRA leadership at the Four Courts, which he (wrongly) blamed for the outrage, if the Provisional Government failed to do so. Continue reading (you will be redirected to the website of Century Ireland)

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, is published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.


Ireland 1922