The Irish Civil War and Society: Politics, Class, and by Gavin M. Foster (auth.)

By Gavin M. Foster (auth.)

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Additional info for The Irish Civil War and Society: Politics, Class, and Conflict

Sample text

Notwithstanding this diversity, shared support for the treaty settlement – whatever the motives – coupled with the polarizing effects of the civil war make it possible to generalize about a broadly defined ‘Free State camp’ in the conflict, albeit while remaining sensitive to the factions and sub-interests, tensions, and clashes that existed within this fissile political community of convenience. Moreover, the range of sources the following examination draws on – including public sources like newspapers, handbills, debates, speeches, memoirs, and published works; private and confidential materials such as internal government correspondence, military files, political party memoranda, personal papers, and the like – demonstrate the ubiquity and representativeness of the Free State discourses and attitudes explored here.

A movie poster on the wall provides the commentary on the scene: ‘Super-Film. New Terrorist Production, “THE IDEALIST” Starring The Boy Gunman. The New Juvenile Lead. 56 Commentaries delivered from the pulpit and bench were equally preoccupied with the youth and immaturity of the opponents of the Free State. 60 While three Donegal youths charged with extorting money from a householder got off lightly after their solicitor convincingly argued that his clients had been ‘led away 30 The Irish Civil War and Society by excitement and adventure and didn’t realize the seriousness of what they were doing’,61 a young offender in County Longford was not so lucky.

Trucileer’ refers to IRA recruitment following the July 1921 Anglo-Irish Truce when Volunteering became a less dangerous and more glamorous activity than it had been during the previous two-and-a-half-year campaign against crown forces. ’22 Commenting on the growing IRA bellicosity he witnessed in the spring of 1922 while traveling through Mayo and Galway, a guest at Castlebar’s Imperial Hotel wrote, ‘I feel very sad to see the Volunteers of whom I was so proud behaving in this way. 24 On occasion, dubious facts and figures were marshaled to reinforce this picture.

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