August 1921


Meeting of Irish Trades Union Congress held in Dublin.  Addressed by de Valera who thanks them for the loyal and unselfish part played by Irish Labour throughout the struggle.

Macardle (1999), pg 488


A policeman stops two men on Earlswood Rd in Belfast – they are two IRA men on an intelligence gathering mission.  One of the IRA men pulls a revolver and shoots the policeman in the leg.  During the subsequent chase, one of the men (Francis Joseph Crummey) shoots his accomplish (Freddie Fox -19), both are arrested and Fox dies in hospital a week later. Crummey was the son of IRA Divisional I/O Frank Crummey who was interned at the time.  The two IRA men were trying to identify RIC DI Harrison who was a suspected member of the RIC ‘murder gang’ led by Nixon. (O’Farrell says 15th August.)  

On the same day, a Protestant, Charles Green (42), is fatally wounded during a robbery at his business in Castle Court.

Parkinson (2004), pgs 146-147; McDermott (2001), pg 108; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 108


Dublin Castle issues statement that all TDs would be released except Sean McKeon because he had been convicted of murder.  De Valera replies that McKeon is a heroic Irishman and if McKeon is kept in detention then he “cannot accept responsibility for proceeding further with the negotiations”. McKeon is released.

Macardle (1999), pg 494; Gallagher (1953), pg 312


IRA had taken over policing of nationalist areas in Belfast and, on this date, Eoin O’Duffy wrote to RIC Commissioner in Belfast J F Gelston saying the IRA patrols had been able to “frustrate any behaviour which might lead to ‘serious disturbances’”.  This legitimacy being bestowed on the IRA was resented by the unionists especially as the Truce meant a delay in the transfer of executive powers to the Northern Ireland government.

McDermott (2001), pg 107


De Valera replies to Lloyd George on the British terms of the 20th July saying inter alia that "solution must include...absolute separation ... Dominion status was illusory ... Republican government prepared to negotiate treaty of association with Commonwealth if this would secure a united Ireland...issues such as trade, armaments etc. could be freely negotiated… the Irish people must settle the question of partition themselves.  Their representatives could not admit Britain's right to partition Ireland, either in its own interests or those of a political minority within Ireland.  Sinn Féin agreed that force would not solve the problem [of Northern Ireland] and was willing to submit to it to foreign arbitration if North and South could not agree on unity."  Full text of letter given in Macardle.

Curran J M (1980), pg 67; Macardle (1999), pgs 489-492; Gallagher (1953), pg 311


After Brugha accused Collins and Boland of the misuse of money in the purchase of arms in the United States, the IRA Adjutant General writes to Fintan Murphy asking him to look into it but says “you need not break your heart about this, as I know you won’t”.

Townshend (2014), pg 326


A meeting of the British Cabinet held in London to consider de Valera’s letter.  It is attended by Macready, Tudor and Fitzalan.



At a Sinn Féin Standing Committee meeting, Griffith says that with a third of the population in the six counties “utterly opposed to partition and thoroughly organised, the [Belfast] Parliament could not function”.

McCluskey (2014), pg 103


Lloyd George replies to de Valera’s letter of the 10th saying inter alia that no Ireland outside Empire and no foreign arbitration.  Full text of letter given in Macardle. (In the propaganda war, the British side gives impression that Ireland being offered “freedom” without mentioning restrictions.  Also, made clear in a number of papers that refusal to accept this “freedom” would be military coercion in Ireland.)

Curran J M (1980), pg 67; Macardle (1999), pgs 493-494; Gallagher (1953), pgs 310-311


Lloyd George leaks letter from Smuts (after Smuts had returned to Africa) to de Valera saying Ireland should accept Dominion status offered. (Letter does not mention restrictions on Dominion status contained in British offer of July 20-21.  Tim Healy said “To publish the letters in advance of the text of the Cabinet offer and thereby give the world a false and unwarranted idea of its generosity, was sheer mischief.”) .

Curran J M (1980), pg 66; Gallagher (1953), pg 310


Correspondence between Lloyd George and de Valera published (by Lloyd George) to favourable reception in Britain.  Letter from James Craig to Llyod George also published in which he says that he would not meet with de Valera until he admits that the Six Counties are independent from the rest of Ireland.

Curran J M (1980), pg 67; Macardle (1999), pg 494


A demobilised B Special fires into a passing republican band killing John O’Neill of Coalisland, Co. Tyrone. The IRA used O’Neill’s funeral as a demonstration of strength (which unnerved unionists).  

McCluskey (2014), pg 107


2nd Dáil meets for first time.  All 180 deputies invited (130 Sinn Féin, 6 Nationalists and 40 Unionists) but the unionists stay away.  De Valera says to achieve unity prepared to make concessions such as association with British Empire.   He says “I do not take it that [the electorate’s] answer was for a form of Republican Government as such, because we are not Republican doctrinaires”. But he continued that, it was obvious, that “Irish independence could not be realised in any other way so suitably as through a Republic”.

Brugha told the Dáil that he had taken an oath of allegiance to the Irish Republic and the “fighting men … are prepared to stand by that Oath no matter what the consequences might be”.   

Curran J M (1980), pg 68; Gallagher (1953), pgs 314-316; Townshend (2014), pg 333


The Northern Whig reports Joe McDonagh (MacDonough) who is Director of Belfast Boycott as saying that “except in Antrim and Down, it is impossible for a Belfast merchant to sell as much as a bootlace in any other part of Ireland”

Parkinson (2004), pg 74


L. Killian from Crith, Co. Roscommon dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 110


Internee, James Staines, escapes from Hare Camp on the Curragh by hiding in a lorry.

Durney (2013), pg 172


Dáil meets in private session - British terms rejected - de Valera clarifies his position on North, he rejects use of force to coerce but supports idea of exclusion on a county by county basis, if British recognise republic saying “For his part, if the Republic were recognised he would be in favour of giving each county power to vote itself out … If it so wished.” Several TDs disagree with him. De Valera reads to Dáil reply for Lloyd George - "peace could only be negotiated on the basis of the principle of government by the consent of the governed".  Macardle says 23rd as does Phoenix.  McDermott also says 23rd and says that what de Valera said was one of the reasons why Northern republicans sided with Collins.

Curran J M (1980), pg 68; Macardle (1999), pg 499; Phoenix (1994), pg 146; McDermott (2001), pg


Letter from de Valera sent to Lloyd George saying that Dáil had backed his conditions of August 13th  Offers to send representatives to negotiate.  Full text of letter in Macardle.

Macardle (1999), pgs 500-501


RIC Constable Thomas McDonnell drowns while bathing.

Abbott (2019), pg 409


Derry Corporation passed a motion (by 22 votes to 12) declaring non-recognition of the Belfast parliament.

Grant (2018), pg 126


 Dáil meets in public session. Government resigns - De Valera re-elected not as President of the Dáil but as President of the Irish Republic (a title belatedly formalised by the Dáil the day before).  Motion proposed by Sean McKeon and seconded by Richard Mulcahy. 

De Valera establishes a new cabinet as follows:

Arthur Griffith - Foreign Affairs

Michael Collins - Finance

Cathal Brugha - Defence

Austen Stack - Home Affairs

William Cosgrave - Local Government

Robert Barton - Economic Affairs

In addition, seven minor ministries outside of cabinet:

Desmond Fitzgerald - Publicity (previously Propaganda) (Childers had undertaken this work since February when FitzGerald in prison but latter took it over when released in August.)

JJ O'Kelly - Education (formerly National Language)

Count Plunkett - Fine Arts

Joseph McDonagh - Belfast boycott

Constance Markievicz – Labour

Ernest Blythe – Trade and Commerce

Art O’Connor - Agriculture

Sean Etchingham – Fisheries

Also Kevin O’Higgins - Asst Minister of Local Govt


[Eoin MacNeill? Thomas Kelly? Joseph McGrath?  Frances Fahy?  Joseph McGuinness? Staines? and Ginnell?]

See MacEoin in The Kerryman (1955) on why he proposed de Valera as President of the Republic.

Curran J M (1980), pgs 68-69; Macardle (1999), pgs 502-503; MacEoin in The Kerryman (1955), pg 15; Townshend (2014), pg 324 & 333


British cabinet considers de Valera letter - reply that its (July 20th) terms are consistent with the principle that “peace could only be negotiated on the basis of the principle of government by the consent of the governed" (which is highly debatable with regard their attitude to Ireland). However, they added the rather large qualification (in suitably vague language) that “there is no principle, however clear, which could be applied without regard to limitations imposed by physical and historical facts".  They ended by asking if "to explore if British requirements could be reconciled with Irish aspirations, a conference could be held".  Full text of letter in Macardle


Curran J M (1980), pg 69; Macardle (1999), pgs 504-508


A home in Nelson St. in Belfast is bombed by a loyalist mob.  In the next couple of  days during extensive sniping in North Belfast,  two Protestants are killed by republican snipers – they are Thomas Rafter who is shot on North Queen St. and Colin Fogg (42) who is shot in Lepper St.

Parkinson (2004), pg 147; Phoenix (1994), pgs 146-147


D. Clancy and a Daniel from Kanturk, Co. Cork die.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 103 & 105


In disturbances in Belfast, nine people are killed – mostly in the New Lodge Rd., North Queen St. and York St. areas.  Six are Protestants: Stephen Cash (68); William Kennedy (36); William Smith (28); Annie Watson (5); Henry Robert Bowers (21) and Samuel Ferguson (42).  The remaining three were Catholics: John Coogan (40); Thomas McMullan (34) and Charles Harvey (39).

Parkinson (2004), pg 147; Phoenix (1994), pgs 146-147


De Valera replies to Llyod George’s letter of the 26th saying that the two essential conditions of the situation were Ireland's declaration of independence and Britain's refusal to accept it.  Only acceptance of the principle of government by consent of the governed and on that basis the Irish government is willing to appoint plenipotentiaries for a peace conference.  Full text of letter in Macardle.

Curran J M (1980), pg 70; Macardle (1999), pgs 508-511


Further rioting in Belfast in which 9 people lose their lives and at least 36 injured.  Six of those killed were Catholics: Alice Duff (60); William McKeown (18); Richard Duffin (50); Francis James Bradley (26); James McFadden (16) and Thomas Finnegan (53).  (McDermott says that Bradley was shot by a group of Specials led by DI Nixon.)  The remaining three were Protestants: Leopold Leonard (55); William Johnston (5) and Thomas Lee (70). 

McDermott claims that the IRA had performed well in its defence of nationalist areas and its support rose in those areas.  (However, this happened in a period when the Specials were technically demobilised in Belfast.)   In August, McDermott says 23 people were killed in Belfast, 12 Protestants and 11 Catholics.  Parkinson details 12 Protestants and 10 Catholics.


Parkinson (2004), pg 148; Phoenix (1994), pgs 146-147 & 156; McDermott (2001), pg 111 & 116


At a meeting of the Northern Ireland cabinet, Dawson Bates, Minister of Home Affairs, demands the mobilisation of the Specials and the introduction of internment.  A W Cope and General Tudor come from Dublin and talk to both sides in Belfast.  Cope authorised the sending of more troops into Belfast but refused mobilisation of the Specials or introduction of internment.  After the refusal, Craig gives unofficial sanction to the reorganisation of the UVF (i.e. he does this while keeping it secret from Dublin Castle and the British Government.)  He gives this job to Fred Crawford.  Craig was then able to use the remobilisation of the UVF in his entreaties to the British Government for the transfer of security powers to the Northern Ireland Government. 


McDermott (2001), pg 111; McCluskey (2014), pgs 107-108


IRA Volunteer Patrick Bourke dies from the effects of his imprisonment.

Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 326

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