February 1923

 

Feb-01

Lynch issues a proclamation saying that the anti-Treaty forces would resort to reprisals if there were further executions of prisoners.  (The pro-Treaty forces had executed 54 by this point.)

 

Feb-01

In a memo to Cosgrave, O’Higgins said that they should escalate their own reprisals for the anti-Treaty burning campaign “shoot those captured with arms on the spot … Destroy the anarchists and their sympathisers’ property in reprisals. Suspend the Coroners’ Court, suspend disloyal corrupt bodies like Dublin Corporation and give their members hard labour.  Do not hold general elections and keep prisoners in jail indefinitely.”  Writing in the margins after O’Higgins’ memo was sent to him, Mulcahy noted that his suggestions were “not practicable” and, with regard to the proposed destruction of the homes of anti-Treatyites, he noted “our people have more property for the destruction than the Irregulars”.

Dorney (2017), pg 230

Feb-01

Moore Hall, the ancestral home of Senator Colonel Maurice Moore is burnt.

Hopkinson (1988), pg 195

Feb-05

Writing to Joe McGarrity, de Valera ‘One big effort from our friends everywhere and I think we would finally smash the Free State’. He acknowledges that ‘Deasy incident’ was a set back but that he was certain ‘all will be right again’ in some time.

Hopkinson (1988), pg 235; Curran J M (1980), pgs 270-271F

Feb-05

In an attack on sentries guarding Portobello Barracks, two anti-Treaty volunteers (Nicholas Murphy and George King) are killed.

Dorney (2017), pg 228

Feb-06

Tom Barry and Tom Crofts go to Dublin to meet Liam Lynch and strongly request a meeting of the anti-Treaty Army Executive but Lynch declines to call a meeting. 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 294

Feb-06

An appeal from anti-Treaty prisoners in Limerick jail to the O/C of the 2nd Southern Division stated “A continuation of the present struggle is a waste of blood … and ought to stop now.”  Similar appeals were made from anti-Treaty prisoners in Cork and Clonmel jails.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 232

Feb-08

Major speech by Devlin in Belfast lamenting the delay in setting up the Boundary Commission and the paralysing effect this was having on nationalist politics in the North.  AOH subsequently sets up a ‘Provisional Council for Ulster’ under John J Nugent which organizes a series of public meetings in each of the six counties for the 10th May.  This is part of an ongoing campaign by Devlinites to unify northern nationalists especially in the light of Leech’s electoral division changes and the new education bill being introduced by Lord Londonderry.  Devlin still thought it was too early for nationalist representatives to take their seats in the Northern Ireland parliament until after the Boundary Commission. 

 

Phoenix (1994), pgs 276-277

Feb-08

Free State Government offers another amnesty to anti-Treatyites who surrendered with their arms before the 18th February.  Also announces suspension of executions.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xxiii; Curran J M (1980), pg 270

Feb-09

Free State issues Liam Deasy’s letter and similar letter from anti-Treaty prisoners in Limerick.  Liam Lynch rejects amnesty offer, Deasy's call and the Limerick letter.  He claims that anti-Treaty forces are “in a stronger military position than at any period in its history … The war will go on until the independence of our country is recognized by our enemies, foreign and domestic.  … Victory is within our grasp if we stand unitedly and firmly”

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xxiii; Hopkinson (1988), pg 229;

Feb-10

Tom Barry and Tom Crofts (back in Cork) hold a meeting of the 1st Southern Division Council and write to Lynch again calling for a meeting of the anti-Treaty IRA Executive - in this they are backed by Humphrey Murphy and Sean MacSwiney.  Barry tabled a proposal from Archbishop Harty of Cashel (formulated with the help of Fr. Duggan and Neutral IRA) that pending a General Election all anti-Treaty arms should be dumped and that after the election the arms should be handed over to the government.

 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 294

Feb-12

Ballyconnel, Co. Leitrim is raided in daytime by anti-Treaty columns from the nearby Arigna mountains.

 

 

Feb-13

Liam Lynch leaves Dublin and heads south.

 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 294

Feb-13

Two anti-Treaty volunteers from Tralee (Michael Sinnot and James O’Connor) are killed in their dug-out in Mrs Lyons’ shed at Currahane Strands (between Tralee Bay and Ballyheigue).

Macardle (1998), pgs 14-15

Feb-13

The London Times states “a large portion of the [pro-Treaty army] … sympathises with the Republican cause; that its movements have over and over again been betrayed before they could be carried out” 

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 243

Feb-14

The home of Senator Sir Bryan Mahon in Ballymore Eustace is burnt by the 2nd Dublin anti-Treaty Brigade. (Dorney says 16th.) They also reports to have burnt Lord May’s Palmerstown House in Co. Kildare; Horace Plunkett’s house in Foxrock; Kippure Lodge in Co. Wicklow and three ‘informers’ houses in Co. Wicklow.

Hopkinson (1988), pg 195;  Dorney (2017), pg 227

Feb-16

Neutral IRA (made of pre-Truce members of the IRA who took neither side in the Civil War) ask for a month’s truce to allow exchange of peace proposals.  It is rejected by both sides.

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 271; Macardle (1999), pg 835

Feb-16

Provisional Government threatens to ban import of the Daily Mail unless the editor gives guarantees that it will not carry anti-Treaty army statements and allow itself to be “used as a medium of Irregular propaganda”.

Dorney (2017), pg 148

Mid-Feb

Large sweep by pro-Treaty army of the Arigna mountains in Co. Leitrim produces few results.  (It is reported that Ned Bolfin, leader of the Anti-Treaty column in the area, got married in Leitrim village while the sweep was on.)

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 243

Feb-17

In a letter to the press, de Valera resurrects Document No. 2 as a basis for compromise between the two sides in the Civil War but gets no takers.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 233

Feb-18

Dinny Lacey, Commandant of Anti-Treaty Tipperary No. 3 Brigade killed at Cloghera, Glen of Aherlow, Co Tipperary.

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 297; Hopkinson (1988), pg 244; Macardle (1999), pg 837

Feb-19

A number of people from Co. Wexford complain to Mulcahy that ‘In the rural districts, Anti-Government forces are in effective control’.  They also complained about the inefficiency of the pro-Treaty army.  Two anti-Treaty columns operated in the New Ross and Wexford town areas (under Thomas O’Sullivan and Lambert respectively).

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 245-246

Feb-19

The anti-Treaty O/C of the local battalion, Thomas O’Sullivan, is shot dead fleeing pro-Treaty forces near Ballineanig on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.

Macardle (1998), pgs 48-49

Feb-21

Anti-Treaty forces attempt the wide-spread burning of offices and other buildings in Dublin but, for the most part, they are unsuccessful.  However, offices are burnt in Nassau St.; Upper Gardiner St.; and Lower O’Connell St.  Of the 75 men engaged in these activities, six are captured – including James O’Rourke (see March 13th).  In one attack on an income tax office, civil servant Peter Carney is fatally injured when the office in which he works is set on fire.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 246; Dorney (2017), pg 222

Feb-22

A member of the pro-Treaty Citizens Defence Force (CDF), Nicholas Williams, is found shot dead on Hollybank Road, Drumcondra, Dublin. 

Dorney (2017), pg 240

Feb-23

All the officers of the 1st Battalion of the anti-Treaty Dublin Brigade are arrested in an early morning raid on 14 Royce Terrace in Phibsborough.  (They were Robinson, Thornton, Brown, Blacknelly and Byrne.)

Dorney (2017), pgs 243 & 315

Feb-26

The anti-Treaty 1st Southern Division Council reconvenes at James Moynihan's Gortnascorta, Coolea with Liam Lynch attending.  Of the 18 officers at the meeting, only two held out any prospect of military victory with most being very pessimistic.   The Director of Operations stated “If we intensify our war it will mean losing some of our best men who will be executed”.   Lynch agrees that the position in the south is bad but claims that things are better in other parts of the country.  Most disagree with this – Lynch agrees to the holding of an Executive meeting.  (Tom Crofts replaces Deasy as O/C 1st Southern Division.)

 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 296; Hopkinson (1988), pg 228 & 235-236

Feb-27

Anti-Treatyite Thomas Gibson executed in Portlaoise.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 224; Macardle (1999), pg 985

Feb-28

Lynch berates de Valera ‘Your publicity as to sponsoring Document No. 2 has had a very bad effect on the army and should have been avoided’

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 234

Feb

The CID was moved from Oriel House to 68 Merrion Square.  Its 75 officers were merged with the Protective Corps (which had been set up in November 1922 to guard the houses of ministers) and with the 101 full-time (and 50 part-time) officers of the Citizens’ Defence Force.  (This was comprised of former British soldiers.)  The merged forces were put under Joe McGrath. (Dorney says 88 Merrion Sq.)

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 225; Dorney (2017), pg 238

 

 

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