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22 September 1922: The publication of Liam Mellows’s ‘Notes from Mountjoy’

Read Gavin Foster’s essay on “Class, Social Revolution and Republicanism in the 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(link is external), we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today’s essay is by Gavin Foster and it covers the publication of Liam Mellow’s notes from Mountjoy.

On 22 September 1922, roughly three months into the Irish civil war, both the Irish Independent and the Freeman’s Journal reprinted IRA correspondence recently smuggled out of Mountjoy jail.1 They did so at the behest of the Provisional Government, which instructed its publicity department to circulate the intercepted material to the pro-Treaty press, accompanied by an official statement.2 Only one of many targets in the nascent regime’s propaganda campaign against the anti-Treaty cause, the so-called ‘Notes from Mountjoy’ or ‘Jail Notes’, acquired a historical and historiographical influence far beyond their limited impact during the 1922–3 conflict. 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