The executions during the Irish Civil War took place during the guerrilla phase of the Irish Civil War (October 1922 – May 1923). This phase of the war was bitter, and both sides, the government forces of the Irish Free State and the anti-Treaty Irish Republican Army (IRA) insurgents, used executions and terror in what developed into a cycle of atrocities. From November 1922, the Free State government embarked on a concerted policy of executing Republican prisoners in order to bring the war to an end. Many of those killed had previously been allies and in some cases close friends (during the Irish War of Independence 1919–1921), of those who ordered their deaths in the civil war. In addition, government troops summarily executed prisoners in the field on several occasions. The executions of prisoners left a lasting legacy of bitterness in Irish politics.
The use of execution by the Irish Free State in the civil war was relatively harsh compared to the British record. In contrast with 77 official executions by the Irish Free State government, the British had executed only 24 IRA volunteers and the IRA had condemned to death a few dozen enemies during the 1919–21 War of Independence.
Famous quotes containing the words civil war, executions, irish, civil and/or war:
“Luxury, or a refinement on the pleasures and conveniences of life, had long been supposed the source of every corruption in government, and the immediate cause of faction, sedition, civil wars, and the total loss of liberty. It was, therefore, universally regarded as a vice, and was an object of declamation to all satyrists, and severe moralists.”
—David Hume (17111776)
“[Asserting] important First Amendment rights ... why should [executions] be the one area that is conducted behind closed doors?... Why shouldnt executions be public?”
—Phil Donahue (b. 1935)
“Ireland still remains the Holy Isle whose aspirations must on no account be mixed with the profane class-struggles of the rest of the sinful world ... the Irish peasant must not on any account know that the Socialist workers are his sole allies in Europe.”
—Friedrich Engels (18201895)
“Physical force has no value, where there is nothing else. Snow in snow-banks, fire in volcanoes and solfataras is cheap. The luxury of ice is in tropical countries, and midsummer days. The luxury of fire is, to have a little on our hearth; and of electricity, not the volleys of the charged cloud, but the manageable stream on the battery-wires. So of spirit, or energy; the rests or remains of it in the civil and moral man, are worth all the cannibals in the Pacific.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Those wars are unjust which are undertaken without provocation. For only a war waged for revenge or defense can be just.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)