This site is an attempt to chronicle the events that took place in Ireland in the years 1919 to 1923.  These are the years of the War of Independence, the Truce period and the Civil War. A considerable amount of information has been brought together from a large number of (mostly secondary) sources.  The objective is to try to provide a comprehensive overview of what transpired during this period (with detailed reference to the sources for those who wish to follow up on particular events). It is intended to add additional information over time – in particular, more links to online sources.


Purpose of this Chronology 

One of the main motivations behind the site was that, too often, in discussions of what happened during these years, particular events were viewed (and commented on) in isolation from the preceding events and the context in which they occurred. Frequently, this lack of context has led to quite distorted views of what actually happened.  It is hoped that this chronology will enable those interested in this period of history to view what happened during these years in the ‘round’ and thus come to balanced assessments.  (Such assessments may be highly critical of particular actors but will hopefully be devoid of simplistic partisanship.)

Another related motivation was to try to provide an insight into what people (and, in particular, the main actors) were responding to in ‘real time’.  As mentioned, a lot of what has been written about this period tends to focus on particular topics or areas and this works to obscure the context in which people were operating at the time.  For example, a lot of what happened (both politically and militarily) is the southern part of Ireland during this period tends to be written about without the context of what was happening at the same time in the north-east of Ireland (in particular, in Belfast and its environs).  Similarly, a lot of what has been written tends to focus on events in Ireland and does not take into account the international environment.  In particular, with notable exceptions, a lot of what has been written about this period tends to ignore what was happening within British politics during this time and, especially, what was happening within the Liberal/Conservative Coalition which was the British Government in power for much of the 1919-1923 period.  Without this context, events in Ireland cannot be understood.


Events vs Commentary

For the most part, the intention in this chronology is to focus on events as relayed in the sources (what happened, where it happened, when it happened, who was there, what transpired, etc).  When there are conflicts between different sources, these will be noted and, where it is possible, an attempt will be made to resolve conflicts. 

However, where it is thought to be appropriate to the understanding of an event or series of events, commentary made by historians of the period will be included.  (In addition, in a few instances, I have included commentary of my own.)  Every effort has been made to ensure that commentary is clearly labelled as commentary.



Frequently different sources give different dates for when specific events occurred. With one exception, the dates given in different sources will be noted. The one exception is when sources give consecutive dates.  On many occasions different sources give consecutive dates for a specific event.  (For example, one source may give April 20th 1921 and another give April 21st 1921.  This frequently occurs for the date of attacks on RIC barracks which often started late at night and therefore continued in the following day.)  There are too many of these consecutive date conflicts to enumerate all of them – it would add up to 50% to the size of the chronology!!!  Therefore, only when different sources give dates of greater than one day will these different dates be noted in the chronology.   


Latest Updates

The latest updates to the chronology (September 2023) have continued to include information from a number of local histories (mainly from the Maynooth/DCU series of county histories of the 1912-1923 period published by Four Courts Press which continues to produce its impressive series of county histories). 

However, the major updates have come from inclusion of information from O’Halpin and Ó Corráin’s comprehensive The Dead of the Irish Revolution (published in 2020). This book attempts to name each individual who died due to the political unrest in Ireland from April 1916 until the end of 1921.  It has 2,850 entries and is a monumental piece of historical research.  It includes information such as each individual’s name, age, gender, where they died, when they died, their military affiliation (if any), etc, etc.  Naturally, in a work of such magnitude, there are some omissions and mistakes.  However, from the research carried out for this chronology, these are relatively few.  This work will transform the historical research of the 1916 to 1921 period in Ireland for years to come.

Another great resource for information on those killed during the this period is the on-going online project by Bielenberg and Donnelly called the Cork Fatality Register, 1919-1923. This Register “seeks to identify all of the conflict-related fatalities in County Cork during the War of Independence, the Truce period and the Civil War”.  (According to O’Halpin and Ó Corráin, County Cork accounted for 24% of all the conflict-related deaths in Ireland in the 1917 to 1921 period.) The Register brings together information on the Cork fatalities from a large array of sources and, given its online nature, can include a lot of detail from these sources. The work of linking the information in the Cork Fatality Register to this chronology is ongoing.


Extended Essays

During the creation of this chronology, clarifying what happened in quite of number of events has proven to be difficult, in the sense of different sources giving different accounts of what occurred. 

It would be impossible to attempt to resolve the conflicts in all the different accounts but I have chosen a small number of these events for ‘deep dives’ in the form of extended essays.  With regard to these events, I have interrogated all the sources available and attempted to reconcile the various accounts. I have also attempted to clarify, as far as is possible, what is likely to have happened during these events.     These extended essays cover the following events:

·        The Killing of the Loughnane Brothers in south Galway in November 1920 – See More Detail to Nov-26-20/3


·        The Killing of RIC Constables Jones and Mugan in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim in April 1921 - See More Detail to Apr-15-21/2


·         The Ballyturin House ambush outside Gort, Co. Galway in May 1921 - See More Detail to May-15-21/6


During research for these extended essays, I was greatly assisted by my colleague Dr Kay MacKeogh.

Dr MacKeogh has also contributed an extended essay on The Shooting of RIC Sgt McArdle in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon in January 1921 – see More Detail to Jan-05-21/5.


There is also an extended essay on The Kilmichael Ambush in Co. Cork in November 1920 – See Nov-28-20/1.  However, I wrote this extended essay in 2005 and it is now out-of-date due to more recent research on this ambush, in particular, the detailed research in Morrison’s recent book entitled Kilmichael - The Life and Afterlife of an Ambush (published in 2022).  This essay is included as it is referenced in the works of other authors.



I would greatly welcome any comments you have on this chronology.  In particular, I would like to hear about any events which are not in the chronology but you think should be included.  I would also appreciate any additional information or alternative versions you may have of the events described in the chronology. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me with references to your sources. Finally, I would also appreciate if you would inform me of any links that are not working. 

This site is maintained by Seamus Fox and my e-mail address is