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28 June 1922: The Assault on the Four Courts

Read John Borgonovo’s essay detailing the beginnings of the Irish Civil War 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 John Borgonovo and it covers the moment on the 28th of June 1922 when the National Army attacked the forces of the IRA Army Executive at the Four Courts in Dublin.

The Irish civil war began on 28 June 1922 when the National Army attacked the forces of the IRA Army Executive at the Four Courts in Dublin. The garrison surrendered on 30 June with comparatively few casualties, beyond the destruction of much of the Four Courts complex, including the invaluable Public Records Office. Subsequent IRA resistance took the form of a conventional phase of fighting, which lasted for roughly seven weeks, until early August 1922, followed by a longer phase of guerrilla war. This essay focuses on the first phase of combat, when the anti-Treaty IRA maintained an army in the field. 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.

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