February 1922


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Constable Ednie was from Edinburgh and had one year’s service with the RIC. 

Abbott (2000), pg 275; Abbott (2019), pg 352


British army evacuate Sligo military barracks and local anti-Treaty IRA take possession.

Farry (2012), pg 91


Over Ł10,000 taken in raids on two banks in Sligo Town.  Local IRA deny involvement.

Farry (2012), pg 92


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

Constable Gourlay was from Lanark in Scotland and Constable Kershaw was from Lancashire in England with eight months’ and twelve months’ service with the RIC respectively. 

Abbott (2000), pg 275; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 291; Abbott (2019), pg 352


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; Townshend (2014), pg 363-364


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


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


British Army evacuate Kilkenny Military Barracks.  It is taken over by the IRA.

Walsh (2018), pg 151


IRA kidnaps 42 prominent loyalists and ‘B’ Specials in Fermanagh and Tyrone (Hopkinson says 42; Phoenix says 70; McDermott says some 40 persons, Parkinson says 42 and Dooley says 60) 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; Dooley (2017a), pgs 103-104; Lawlor (2011), pgs 204-210; Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 61


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

McDermott (2001), pg 165


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


Meeting held in the Gresham Hotel Dublin attended by among others Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy, Michael Staines and Michael Ring to discuss the setting up of a new police force for the fledgling Free State.  As Collins knew that he would need the help of former members of the RIC in setting up the new force, he invited a number of ex-RIC men who had helped him during the War of Independence to the meeting. At the meeting, a number of committees were set up and tasked with various elements required for the setting up of the new force.  See February 21st.

Durney (2011), pgs 44-45


British military evacuate Ballymullen Barracks in Tralee and it is handed over IRA led by Humphrey Murphy, O/C, Kerry No. 1 Brigade.

Doyle (2008), pg 68


Both RIC barracks in Sligo Town are evacuated and took over by local anti-Treaty IRA

Farry (2012), pg 91


Robert Sadlier, a blacksmith in the village of Butlersbridge, Co Cavan, is killed during a raid for arms on his home by the IRA.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 210-211


An Ulster Special Constabulary patrol is attacked in the village of Clady, Co. Tyrone resulting in the death of S/Con Charles McFadden. The attack is carried out by the Donegal IRA.  The USC retaliate by attacking nationalist houses in Castlederg.

Abbott (2000), pg 276; McDermott (2001), pg 167; McCluskey (2014), pg 119; Lawlor (2011), pgs 202-204


An attempt is made to rob Lieutenant John Hubert Wogan Browne of the Royal Field Artillery at Infirmary Road outside Kildare Town.  He had just been to the Hibernian Bank in the town to collect the pay for the British troops in the nearby Kildare barracks.  A struggle ensued and Lieutenant Wogan Browne is shot dead.  (The lieutenant was unarmed.) Members of the IRA attended his funeral. 

Durney (2011), pgs 37-38


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


Writing from the Riviera to her husband, Winston Churchill, Clementine Churchill says “Michael Collins does not appear to be able to control his wild men”.

Dolan and Murphy (2018), pg 119


The Clones Affray - An 18-man party (Parkinson says 16) of ‘A’ Special Constables is stopped in a train in Clones, Co Monaghan by the local IRA led by Matt Fitzpatrick.  The Specials had not applied for a special permit with they would have required to travel through Clones.   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).   It also leads to serious rioting in Belfast – see February 12th to 15th below.

Some of the captured Specials are released on the 22nd February with the last released on the 10th April.


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; Dooley (2017a), pg 104; Lawlor (2011), pgs 212-246 & 328; Abbott (2019), pgs 353-354


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

Abbott (2000), pg 277


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

Parkinson (2004), pg 212


Thirty armed men raid the RIC barracks in Castleisland, Co. Kerry.  They lock up the RIC constables and make away with a large quantity of arms and ammunition.  Almost definitely carried out by Tom McEllistrim’s men. 

Doyle (2008), pg 78


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


James Street barracks in Westport, Co. Mayo evacuated by RIC and handed over to IRA. British army barracks in Castlebar also handed over.

Price (2012), pgs 198-199


Rioting in Belfast (sparked off by deaths in Clones – see February 11th) in which 27 people (Phoenix says 31) were killed between 12th and 15th February.  Macardle says 12 deaths by violence in Belfast.  The most notorious incident was the Weaver St bombing in which six people were killed including four children.  

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 high 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


Led by Commandant Sean Broderick, the IRA take over Renmore Barracks in Galway from the departing British Army.  (They had taken over Lenaboy Castle from the departing Auxiliaries on the 15th January.)

Henry (2012), pg 239


In an altercation with a British soldier in Donegal Town, two IRA men (Captain Hugh Britton and Volunteer James Gallagher) are wounded and later die from their wounds. The British soldier is subsequently arrested by the IRA but handed back to the British military stationed in Finner Camp.

Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 66-67


While the violence in Belfast had subsided, James McCormack (45), a Protestant, was shot dead on his way to work. Also, S/Constable Hector Stewart is shot at the corner of Edlingham Street and the New Lodge Road and later dies of his wounds.

Parkinson (2004), pg 227; Abbott (2019), pg 355


By this point, the three IRA prisoners in Derry had been reprieved and the Monaghan footballers released (reluctantly by Craig at Churchill’s insistence).  Collins arranged for 26 of the loyalist hostages to be released. The remainder are released during March. 

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”.

(Dooley and Hall says that the releases of the Monaghan footballers and most of the captured unionists did not happen until the 21st and the Specials captured at Clones were still held.  Dooley also says that the USC subsequently trenched all the roads on the Tyrone-Monaghan border so as to prevent further kidnapping.)


Hopkinson (1988), pg 80; Phoenix (1994), pg 184; Dooley (2017a), pg 105; Hall (2019), pgs 90-91


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


Churchill telegrammes Collins saying that “the North have ample forces to defend their territory but if not more troops will be sent them to any extent that may be necessary”.  (It would seem that Churchill had some intelligence on the Ulster Council.)

Dooley (2007a), pg 105


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

Constable McEdward was from Edinburgh and had eight months’ service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 278; O’Callaghan (2018), pg 102


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

Parkinson (2004), pg 227


Charlie Daly is replaced by Tom Morris as O/C of the 2nd Northern Division of the IRA on the orders of Eoin O’Duffy who claims that Daly had failed to bring the military activity of counties Derry and Fermanagh up to the level of other counties. Daly makes a strong defence of his time in command and claims that he is being removed because of his anti-Treaty views and resigned rather than take the position on GHQ staff offered to him by O’Duffy.

(Both Ó Duibhir and Ozseker says that O’Duffy wrote to Daly on the 4th March, following a meeting with 2nd Northern Division officers on the 2nd March, with Daly replying on the 8th vigourously defending his record. Ó Duibhir also says that O’Duffy had informed Richard Mulcahy, Minister of Defence, on the 21st February of his intention to replace Daly)

Subsequently, Daly is made V/C of the anti-Treaty 1st Northern Division under Sean Lehane.

Grant (2018), pg 132; McCluskey (2014), pg 120; Ozseker (2019), pg 164; Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 75-77


O/C Mid-Limerick Brigade IRA, Liam Forde, 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


Ballylongford and Ballybunion RIC barracks in Co. Kerry handed over to IRA.

Doyle (2008), pg 66


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


Ulster Special Constables fire at a lorry to get it to stop at Spawell between Enniskillen and Kinawley in Co. Fermanagh. It transpires that they had fired on one of their own lorries and killed S/Con James McInnes.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 246-247; Abbott (2000), pg 318


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

Parkinson (2004), pg 227


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


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


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.  See March 7th. 

Abbott (2000), pg 293; Hopkinson (1988), pg 91; Curran J M (1980), pg 163; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 294


During an IRA raid for arms on the house of former British Army officer, Leslie Huddlestone, at the Cairn, Ramelton, Co. Donegal, a shot is fired from the house and kills IRA Captain John Duffy from Milford. 

Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 69


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


RIC leave their barracks in Limerick. 

O’Callaghan (2018), pg 102


An ex-British soldier, Charles Herbert Burns from Kilmacrennan, is shot dead by an IRA police patrol in a grocery shop in Milford, Co. Donegal.  It was claimed that he tried to pull a gun on the patrol.

Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 71


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.)  See February 27th.


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


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


Anti-Treaty IRA men raid the arms store of John’s St RIC barracks in Kilkenny City.  They take 90 rifles, 100 revolvers, a Lewis submachine gun and assorted ammunition.  The arms belonged to decommissioned Black and Tans men who had left Kilkenny the previous week.  (The raiders left a note “expressing thanks for the rifles had been oiled and otherwise cared for”.)

Walsh (2018), pg 153


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


Parkinson (2004), pg 227-228


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 or Friars, also shot by a sniper in Thompson St area and dies later.  (Abbott says that he was waylaid by a number of armed men – he also says that it was the 27th.) 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; Abbott (2019), pgs 405-406


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


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


Litton (1995), pg 49


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

But see March 15th

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


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. 


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


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


Parkinson (2004), pg 228


Various meetings and initiatives took place emanating from the IRA’s Ulster Council (set up in late January).  Michael Collins instructed Eoin O’Duffy (Chief-of-Staff, pro-Treaty IRA) to discreetly begin organising an offensive on Northern Ireland using the border counties as a base. 

Meetings were held with Lynch, Collins and their staff in attendance.  It was agreed that both pro- and anti-Treaty sides would select officers for the offensive against NI and they would proceed to Counties Donegal, Louth, Monaghan and Cavan.  Collins is insistent that, when the shooting starts, it must be said that it is the anti-Treaty side which is doing it.

Among the officers who were selected was Sean Lehane from Co. Cork who was to take over as O/C of the anti-Treaty 1st Northern Division.   Subsequently, Charlie Daly (see February 17th) is made his V/C.  (In April, Lehane and Daly recruit a large number of experienced Cork and Kerry men to go north with them.)

Another element was an exchange of arms.  Weapons which the pro-Treaty side recently received from the British would be sent to the anti-Treaty Cork brigades who in turn would send weapons north.  In a related episode, over 400 rifles were sent to Joe Sweeney, O/C pro-Treaty forces in Donegal and he handed them over to Johnny Haughey and Dan McKenna of the Derry Brigade who took them over the border.   

Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 74-75 & 84-85


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.”  Hall says that 27 Catholics and 16 Protestants were killed in Belfast between 6th and 25th February.


McDermott (2001), pg171; Hall (2019), pg 91

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