February 1922

 

 

Feb-01

Provisional government cabinet meets.  Collins reports on meeting with Devlin.  They decide on ‘peace policy’ towards government of NI, i.e. continuation of what Craig and Collins agreed in London.  Proviso is that Craig reprieves a number of prisoners under sentence of death in Derry jail and releases the ‘Monaghan footballers’ – see 14th Jan 1922.

Later, Collins and Griffith meet delegation from Newry and re-assures them on the boundary issue.  Collins says to the anxious Northerners that they “we’re only trying to force an open door, and were using unnecessary energy in doing so."

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 179; McDermott (2001), pg 162

Feb-02

First full edition of James Joyce's Ulysses printed in Paris by Shakespeare & Co.  It was Joyce's 40th birthday.  Ulysses had been serialised in the Little Review between March 1918 and December 1920.

 

Ulysses (Oxford Edition 1993) Jeri Johnson - Ed., Appendix B, pgs 740-741

Feb-02

The Irish Times states that the Provisional Government "is established in office but not in power.  Its machinery for the enforcement of law and order does not yet exist on any adequate scale."

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 89

Feb-02

Follow-up to January 21st London meeting with another meeting between Craig and Collins in Dublin.  Breakdown on issue of amount of territory to be called into question with Boundary Commission.  More Detail 

 

Hopkinson (1988), pgs 81-82; Curran J M (1980), pg 165; Phoenix (1994), pgs 179-180; Parkinson (2004), pg 201

Feb-02

At Dáil cabinet after the Collins-Craig meeting, they decide on a policy of non-recognition and non-cooperation towards the NI government and that it “should be hampered in every possible way”.  Collins gets agreement to a statement (issued the following day) saying that on the principle of “majorities must rule” the South would “secure immense anti-partition areas” in five of the six counties.  The statement also denies that the “boundary clause” in the Treaty smacks of any ambiguity (which is a direct contradiction of the facts!).  

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 181

Early-Feb

Provisional Government sets up a committee to draft a Constitution.  Collins is chair and Darrell Figgis is deputy Chair.  It includes Hugh Kennedy, K.C.; James MacNeill, Prof Alfred O’Rahilly; James Douglas, John O’Byrne, Kevin O’Sheil; C.P. France and Prof James A. Murnaghan.  (Curran gives considerable detail on the working of the committee.)

 

Macardle (1999), pg 664; Curran J M (1980), pg 200

Feb-02

In a clash between IRA and RIC in Killarney, Co. Kerry, an RIC man (Constable Charles Ednie) is killed.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 275

Feb-03

Two RIC men (Constable William Gourlay and Constable Frank Kershaw) are shot dead after leaving a public house in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 275

Feb-05

Cumman-na-mBan registered a practically unanimous vote of 419 to 63 against the Treaty at its Convention.  Countess Markievicz was elected President and the pro-Treaty members were asked to resign.  They formed their own group called Cumman na Saorise. (Dorney says the vote was 413 to 62.)

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 231; Litton (1995) pg 88; Macardle (1999), pg 658; Dorney (2017), pg 31

Feb-05/06

British and Irish representatives meet in London again to discuss procedural matters.  They agree that the Westminster Irish Free State Agreement Bill would legalise the Treaty and transfer of powers to the Provisional Government who would authorise an election to a Provisional Parliament which would enact a constitution.  The British would confirm the constitution as the final ratification of the Treaty.  Only then would Northern Ireland be allowed to exclude itself.

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 166

Feb-06

Catholic barman, Thomas Gray, is shot in the back as he serves in O’Boyle’s pub in Belfast and dies the following day.

Parkinson (2004), pg 211; McDermott (2001), pg 163

Feb-07/08

IRA kidnaps 42 prominent loyalists and ‘B’ Specials in Fermanagh and Tyrone (Phoenix says 70; McDermott says some 40 persons and Parkinson says 42) to be held as hostages for the ‘Monaghan footballers’ arrested on the 14th Jan and the three men due to hung in Derry on 9th February.  More Detail

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 80; Phoenix (1994), pg 183; Parkinson (2004), pg 211; McDermott (2001), pgs 164-165

Feb-08

A Catholic ex-soldier, John McDonagh, is shot dead in York St., Belfast.

McDermott (2001), pg 165

Feb-09

Catholic teenager, Patrick Hannigan, is shot dead in Cuper St., Belfast. (McDermott gives the date as the 7th Feb.)   

Parkinson (2004), pg 211; McDermott (2001), pg 163

Feb-10

A Special Constabulary patrol is attacked in the village of Clady, Co. Tyrone resulting in the death of S/Con Charles McFadden.

Abbott (2000), pg 276; McDermott (2001), pg 167

Feb-10

Dáil cabinet discuss the payment of salaries to teachers in Catholic schools in the six counties.  Patrick Bradley (CEO of National Education) is sent north to gauge support among Catholic secondary schools for a policy of non-recognition of the NI Ministry of Education and getting paid by the Provisional Government.  23 secondary schools agreed to refuse to recognise the NI Government along with 270 elementary schools.  The latter, however, was only one-third of the elementary schools under Catholic management.  From January to October 1922 these schools were paid for by the Provisional Government.  Many priests disagreed with this policy. 

 

Phoenix (1994), pgs 189-190

Feb-11

An 18-man party (Parkinson says 16) of ‘A’ Special Constables is stopped in a train in Clones, Co Monaghen by the local IRA led by Matt Fitzpatrick.  Shooting breaks out and four Special Constables are killed (S/Sgt William Dougherty, S/Constable James Lewis, S/Constable William McFarland and S/ Constable Robert McMahon) and nine wounded.  A number of Special Constables are captured.  Fitzpatrick is also killed.  The incident is condemned in the British and Unionist press but the Irish Independent blames it on the arrest of the ‘football team’ on the 14th January. Sir Henry Wilson demands that the British reconquer the south. Craig wants to send 5,000 Specials across the border to rescue the prisoners but this is vetoed by Churchill.    However, this incident leads to the suspension of the evacuation of British troops from the 26-counties (on Feb-13).  

 

Abbott (2000), pgs 276-277; Hopkinson (1988), pg 80; Macardle (1999), pg 660; Curran J M (1980), pg 166; Dooley (2000), pg 45; Phoenix (1994), pg 183; Parkinson (2004), pgs 211-212; McDermott (2001), pgs 165-166

Feb-11

RIC District Inspector Michael Keany was shot and killed in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.  (DI Keany had led the RIC in the defence of Rosscarbery barracks.)

Abbott (2000), pg 277

Feb-11

Catholic shopkeeper, Margaret Page (42), is shot dead in her corner shop in North Queen St in Belfast.

Parkinson (2004), pg 212

Feb-12

Mass meeting held in Dublin by Anti-Treatyites – this is followed by many meetings around the country by both sides.

Curran J M (1980), pg 167

Feb-12/15

Rioting in Belfast, sparked off by deaths in Clones, in which 27 people (Phoenix says 31) were killed between 12th and 15th February.  Macardle says 12 deaths by violence in Belfast including a number of children killed while playing in Weaver St (a bomb is thrown at them).  McDermott names 32 people killed on 13th, 14th and 15th – 18 Catholics and 14 Protestants.  Parkinson names 37 people who died in Belfast between the 12th and 15th – it would seem 23 Catholics and 14 Protestants.  (However, two of the people on McDermott’s list are not on Parkinson’s so the death toll could have been as great as 39.)  Phoenix says death toll for month was 43 - including 25 Catholics.  Parkinson says that there were nearly 50 fatalities in February.  More Detail 

Abbott (2000), pgs 276-278; Macardle (1999), pg 660; Phoenix (1994), pg 183; Parkinson (2004), pgs 212-215 & 225-227; McDermott (2001), pgs 166-169 & 294

Feb-16

While the violence in Belfast had subsided, James McCormack (45), a Protestant, was shot dead on his way to work.

Parkinson (2004), pg 227

Feb-16

By this point, the three IRA prisoners in Derry had been reprieved and the Monaghan footballers released (reluctantly by Craig).  Collins arranged for some of the loyalist hostages to be released.  Churchill sets up a border commission with Northern, Southern and British representatives to monitor the situation but it never functions effectively.  Collins protests strongly to Churchill about the mobilization of the Specials “for actions against our people in the north-east”.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 80; Phoenix (1994), pg 184

Feb-16

The Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill introduced to the Westminster parliament by Churchill.  There is fierce opposition from the Ulster Unionists and their Conservative Allies.  The key issue in the interpretation of the Article 12 of the Treaty – the boundary clause.  On Fermanagh and Tyrone, Churchill admits that they are a weak point in the Ulster position.  However, he goes on to give a minimalist interpretation of the areas that the Boundary Commission would change. Devlin attacks the NI government in British House of Commons for its treatment of the nationalist minority saying that his constituents were “the victims of a system of terrorism without parallel in any country in Europe”.

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 169; Phoenix (1994), pg 184; Parkinson (2004), pg 227; McDermott (2001), pg 171

Feb-17

Two RIC men were attacked in Garryowen, Co. Limerick resulting in the death of one (Con Lauchlin McEdward).

Abbott (2000), pg 278

Feb-17

A Catholic, John Duffin (28), is shot by gunmen on Sunnyside St and died the following day.

Parkinson (2004), pg 227

Feb-18

O/C Mid-Limerick Brigade IRA issues a proclamation saying that “We no longer recognise the authority of the present head of the army, and renew our allegiance to the existing 1rish Republic”.

Macardle (1999), pg 674

Feb-18

Long serving RIC Constable (or Sgt) Eugene Ahern accidentally shot dead by a Special in Springfield Rd barracks in Belfast. (McDermott says 15th February.)

Abbott (2000), pg 315; McDermott (2001), pg 170

Feb-19

A bomb is thrown into Flynn’s public house in Belfast – miraculously only minor injuries.

Parkinson (2004), pg 227

Feb-21

At Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, pro- and anti-Treaty sides agree that (a) no election would be held in next three months; (b) that the Dáil would continue to function as before Treaty and (c) new constitution would be put to the people at same time as they would be asked to vote on Treaty.  More Detail

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 213; Hopkinson (1988), pg 56; Phoenix (1994), pgs 187-188; McDermott (2001), pg 172

Feb-21

At a special Labour Party conference, the party’s secretary Tom Johnson welcomes the Treaty but condemns both wings of Sinn Féin for being unable to deal with the mounting economic problems.  Labour decides to take part in the next general election.

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 164

Feb-21

Civic Guard formed to be the police service of the new Free State.  (Curran says that GHQ ordered the disbandment of the IRA police in late January and open recruitment for a new Civic Guard.)

 

Abbott (2000), pg 293; Hopkinson (1988), pg 91; Curran J M (1980), pg 163

Feb-22

Collins secretly authorises formation of a specially-paid unit of 70 IRA men (Parkinson says 72 including 12 officers) known as the Belfast City Guard to protect Catholics district from sectarian attack. Divided into three sections.    It continues to function until August 1922.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 184; Parkinson (2004), pg 219; McDermott (2001), pg 172-173

Feb-24

Follow-up meeting to meeting of 18th January of GHQ Staff and divisional commanders.  Rory O’Connor asked Mulcahy to get Dáil approval to hold an army convention on 26th March.  (At his point only the 2nd Southern Division had repudiated the authority of the Dáil.)

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 212; Macardle (1999), pg 676

Feb-24

Edward Hardy, a Protestant from Belfast, dies of injuries sustained earlier.  Another Protestant, James Hutton (45) was shot dead by gunmen who broke into his home (possibly mistaken identity).

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 228

Feb-25?

Gunmen kill publican, James Reilly, as he walks past the Mater Hospital in Belfast.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 227-228

Feb-25?

Lt Mead, Royal Army Service Corps, is shot dead during an attack on his car on the Naas Road outside Dublin and QM Sgt Cunliffe is injured.

 

Litton (1995), pg 37

Feb-25 or 26

In Belfast, a Protestant, Issac McMillan (22) shot in the head by a sniper in the Short Strand.  An off-duty ‘B’ Special, David Fryer, also shot by a sniper in Thompson St area and dies later.  (This S/Constable not mentioned by Abbott.) James Hughes (20) was walking along the Crumlin Rd with his mother when they are fired on.  Mr Hughes dies later – he was a Catholic.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 228

Feb-26

At meeting of British and Provisional Government ministers, Churchill expresses fears about the postponement of the election and that an unacceptable constitution would be drawn up.  Griffith assures him that constitution would have to be accepted by British government before being submitted to the Dáil.  Churchill agrees to resume troop evacuation. 

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 56; Macardle (1999), pgs 667-668

Feb-25

Young boy (aged 5) called John Devlin dies from gunshot wounds after being shot the previous day.

 

Litton (1995), pg 49

Feb-27

Dáil Cabinet sanctions Minister of Defence's request to hold Army Convention.  Duly announced by Eoin O’Duffy who also summons brigade conventions to elect delegates.

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 212; Macardle (1999), pg 676

Feb-26

Clonmel RIC barracks attacked by South Tipperary IRA and they capture a large number of arms (including nearly 300 rifles and an armoured car).  A number killed and wounded.  (South Tipperary Brigade part of 2nd Southern Division IRA which had repudiated GHQ authority.)

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 60 & 74; Curran J M (1980), pg 170

Feb-28

A patrol of Specials is attacked on York St in Belfast – no fatalities.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 228

Feb

McDermott says that the “events of February seem to have affected the IRA and Sinn Féin in Belfast profoundly.  The IRA’s capacity to deal with loyalist attacks was limited and on the Falls Road they had been reduced to sectarian reprisals.”

 

McDermott (2001), pg171

 

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