January 1923

Jan

Paddy O’Daly takes over the Kerry Command of the pro-Treaty forces from General W R E Murphy.  Murphy claims to have broken the back of anti-Treaty resistance in Kerry.  (But see September 26th 1922)

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 205 & pg 240

Jan

Pro-Treaty army is re-organised with a training period in the Curragh instituted, a disciplinary code laid down, a battalion structure put in place and the Western Command split up. 

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 224

Jan

A commission was set up by the Northern Ireland government under Judge John Leech to hold public enquiries into electoral divisions – particularly in Fermanagh and Tyrone.  The enquiries of this commission were boycotted by nationalists.  Subsequent electoral divisions were made to favour unionists.  When the local elections were held in May 1924, nationalists lost control of Fermanagh and Tyrone county councils as well as the six (out of nine) rural district councils they had controlled.  The gerrymandering was achieved by arranging the electoral units so that large nationalist majorities were together in one electoral unit and given the same representation as ones with much smaller unionist majorities.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 275

Jan-01

De Valera and Stack announce that they are re-organising Sinn Féin.

Macardle (1999), pg 829

Jan-04

After receiving from Lynch some ideas for a possible manifesto which included the possibility of wholesale nationalisations, de Valera wrote back saying “The economic life of modern nations is a most complicated and highly delicate mechanism”.

Dorney (2017), pg 145

Jan-05

Writing to Mulcahy, Seamus Woods, O/C of one of the two Northern Pro-Treaty Divisions of the IRA, warns about “a tendency amongst the volunteers in the six county area to become sympathetic towards the Irregulars”.  He also requests that he be relieved of his ‘anomalous’ commission.  He was captured by the northern authorities shortly afterwards and interned.

 

McDermott (2001), pg 275; Phoenix (1994), pg 259.

Jan-05

Pro-Treaty Private Christopher Sween from Nelson St, Athy, Co. Kildare is killed while on escort duty.

Durney (2011), pg 154

Jan-05

A five-man pro-Treaty escort party in Waterford City, who were providing protections for Labour Exchange officials who were collecting money from the Bank of Ireland on O’Connell St, are attacked – one pro-Treaty soldier, Private Christopher Sweeney, is killed and two others wounded.  Sniping by anti-Treaty volunteers on pro-Treaty positions was common in Waterford throughout January.

McCarthy (2015), pg 116

Jan-08

Five anti-Treaty prisoners - Terence Brady (Wilkinstown, Co. Meath); Anthony O’Reilly (Cellbridge, Co. Kildare); Leo Dowling (Curragh, Co. Kildare) and Laurence Sheehy (Braytown, Co. Meath) - are executed in Kilmainham Jail, Dublin.  Also, Sylvester Heaney (Dillionstown, Dunleer, Co. Louth) is executed in Keogh Barracks, Dublin. 

Macardle says that the five were former pro-Treaty soldiers who were executed for “treachery”.  Dorney says that the five were deserters from the pro-Treaty army captured at Pike’s Bridge on the 1st December and Durney concurs.

Durney says that they were executed in either Portobello Barracks or Keogh (formerly Richmond) Barracks.

Dorney, however, says that there six men were executed– not included above is Thomas Murray (Navan, Co. Meath) and he says all six were executed in Portobello Barracks.  However, both Macardle and O’Farrell have Thomas Murray being executed in Dundalk on the 13th January – See below.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 222 & 223; Macardle (1999), pg 831 & 984; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 144; Dorney (2017), pgs 218 & 312; Durney (2011), pgs 105-107

Jan-08

The body of a pre-Truce member of the IRA, John Ivory of Faithlegg, Co. Waterford, is found in a ditch.  He had been shot twice at close range.  He had taken no part in the Civil War and it is not known why he was killed.

McCarthy (2015), pg 116

Jan-09

Senator John Bagwell’s house Marfield near Clonmel, Co Tipperary is burnt.  In January & February the houses of 37 senators are burnt to the ground.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 195; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 142

Jan-09

Catholic landowner, Walter Joyce, is shot dead near Mountbellew, Co. Galway.  In the same week, a young farmer - John Fahy from Aughrim, Co. Galway - is shot dead.

McNamara (2018), pg 175

Jan-09

The British Army evacuate Pettigo village in Co. Donegal.  They had been in possession of the village since June 7th 1922.  They are replaced by 150 pro-Treaty troops under Captain McNaughten. 

Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 216-217

Jan-10

West Waterford is removed from John Prout’s pro-Treaty command and allocated to the Cork Command.  Re-enforcements are sent to Youghal and Fermoy and they are soon patrolling frequently, and setting up outposts, in the anti-Treaty controlled areas in the Knockmealdown mountains.

McCarthy (2015), pg 117

Jan-10/20

During this period, a number of attacks carried out by anti-Treatyites on the railway infrastructure in Co. Kerry including the destruction of the newly reconstructed railway bridge at Currans.

Doyle (2008), pg2 242-243

Jan-11

The pro-Treaty Executive Council (Cabinet) decides that some of its members should meet with the Army Council to discuss methods to deal ‘with the lawlessness prevailing throughout the country, with a view to bringing it to a speedy end’.  In preparation for this meeting, Patrick Hogan wrote: “the civilian population will surrender definitely before long if the Irregulars are able to continue their peculiar form of war … Two months like the last two will see the end of us and the Free State”.  O’Higgins called for executions in every county and Hogan concluded that a policy of extensive executions could only be applied for a limited time “but within that time they ought to be going with machine-like regularity”.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 221-222

Jan-11

Kevin O’Higgins writes that there was among the ‘Irregulars’, “a small amount of idealism or fanaticism, and a good deal of envy, lust, drunkenness, irresponsibility and anarchy under a political banner”.  He also wrote that among the anti-Treatyites there was a “feeling that anyone who helped militarily against the British is due a parasitic millennium”.

Dorney (2017), pg 137

Jan-11

Sligo railway station is burnt by anti-Treaty forces causing considerable damage.  Pro-Treaty army comes under considerable criticism for lack of response.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 243; Farry (2012), pg 104

Jan-11

Urban local elections in Northern Ireland.  In some towns and cities, such as Derry, Dungannon and Enniskillen, where nationalists felt their position was eroded by gerrymandering, they boycott the elections.  In other places where the nationalist position has been preserved, such as Strabane, Omagh, Newry and Armagh, they contest the elections.  In Belfast, the Devlinites contest the Sinn Féin backed Expelled Workers Association and win – capturing all eight seats in the two nationalist wards (but only narrowly).

 

Phoenix (1994), pgs 269-270

Jan-12

Pro-Treaty Private Patrick Lynch is wounded in an ambush and later dies in the Curragh Military Hospital. 

Durney (2011), pg 154

Jan-13

Three Anti-Treatyites - Thomas McKeon or McKeown (Piedmont, Belurgan, Co. Louth); Charles (or Thomas) Murray (White’s Cross, Co. Armagh or Kilkarn, Navan, Co. Meath) and John McNulty (Currymannon, Co. Louth or Belleek, Co. Donegal) - are executed in Dundalk Goal.  All three men were arrested less than two weeks earlier. 

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 223; Macardle (1999), pg 984; Hall (2019), pg 116

Jan-14

Private Patrick McCarthy is shot dead by fellow pro-Treaty soldiers at Rathea near Listowel, Co. Kerry.

Doyle (2008), pg 244-245

Jan-15

Four anti-Treatyites Frederick Burke (from Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary); Martin O’Shea (from Carrinagreena, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary); Patrick Russell (from Summerhill, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary) and Patrick McNamara (from Nenagh, Co Tipperary) are executed in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. 

Also James Lillis (from Bagnalstown, Co. Carlow) is executed in Carlow.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 222 & 223 & 224; Macardle (1999), pg 984

Jan-16

Martin ‘Sparky’ Breen, O/C of the anti-Treaty Tipperary No. 1 column is shot dead near his home.  His companion Capt Denis Ryan is wounded and dies from his wounds on 4th June.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pgs 144-145

Jan-16/17

Anti-Treatyites attack a pro-Treaty army patrol in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.  The following night there is an attack on a pro-Treaty patrol in Donegal Town.  There are no casualties in either attack.

Ozseker (2019), pg 191

Jan-18

Liam Deasy, O/C 1st Southern Division anti-Treaty forces, is captured in the Galtee mountains.  After his capture, in lieu of being executed, he issues a letter to senior anti-Treaty officers calling for the armed struggle to be stopped and asking for “an immediate and unconditional surrender of all arms”. Not published until 9th February.  This is rejected by the men who receive his letter (but a major effect is to undermine rank and file confidence in their leadership). Walsh says that ‘several men’ in Kilkenny Jail accepted Deasy’s views and were released after signing the declaration that they would no longer use arms against the “Parliament elected by the Irish people”.

(Macardle says 29th January.)

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xxiii; Hopkinson (1988), pg 230; Macardle (1999), pg 833; Walsh (2018), pg 226

Jan-18

A goods train is derailed by the anti-Treaty forces at Liscahane Bridge, near Ardfert, Co. Kerry.  The train driver, Patrick O’Riordan, and his fireman, Daniel Crowley, were killed.  The anti-Treaty volunteers had been expecting a train carrying pro-Treaty soldiers.

Doyle (2008), pgs 248-249

Jan-18

Two pro-Treaty soldiers are accidently shot in Ballyshannon Barracks in Co. Donegal.  One of them, Private Bonner, subsequently dies from his wounds.

Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 220

Jan-19

In the early hours of the 19th, Thomas Prendeville, a father of four children, is shot dead by pro-Treaty Lieutenant Larkin in the pro-Treaty post in Hartnett’s Hotel in Castleisland, Co. Kerry.  Larkin had been drinking since early the previous afternoon.

Doyle (2008), pgs 245-247

Jan-20

11 Anti-Treaty prisoners executed (two in Limerick, four in Tralee and five in Athlone).  The men executed in Athlone are Martin Bourke (Caherlistrane, Co. Galway); Thomas Hughes (Athlone); Stephen Joyce (Derrymore, Caherlistrane, Co. Galway); Herbert Collins and Michael Walsh (from Derrymore, Caherlistrane, Co. Galway).     The men executed in Ballymullen Barracks, Tralee are Michael Brosnan (Ballyfadora or Rathenny, Tralee); James Daly (Knock, Killarney); James Hanlon or Hannon (Causeway, Ardfert) and John Clifford (Mountlake, Cahirciveen).  The men executed in Limerick are Patrick Hennessy (Clooney, Ennis, Co. Clare) and Cornelius McMahon (also from Clonney, Ennis, Co. Clare)

 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 290; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 222 & 223; Macardle (1999), pg 984; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 315

Jan-20

First edition of Eire published by de Valera’s Republican Party.

Macardle (1999), pg 830

Jan-21

A pro-Treaty army report states that the “policy of militant action [by the anti-Treaty army] is slowly changing to one of sheer destructiveness and obstruction of Civil Government”.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 221

Jan-22

Three anti-Treaty prisoners executed in Dundalk army barracks.  They are James Melia, Dundalk (aged 20); Thomas Lennon, Dundalk (aged 19) and Joseph Ferguson (aged 27), Gyles Quay, Greenore, Co. Louth.  All three were arrested under arms on 7th Jan 1923.

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 290; Gavin and O’Donnell (1999), pgs 42-43; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 223; Hall (2019), pgs 117-118

Jan-23

Anti-Treaty forces burn down Athy barracks in Co. Kildare.

Durney (2011), pg 154

Jan-23

An anti-Treaty column, commanded by Tom McEllistrim and John Joe Sheehy, attack the pro-Treaty garrison in Castlemaine, Co. Kerry.  They were testing a trench mortar but it does not work very well.  After two hours, they withdraw.  One member of the pro-Treaty garrison, Private Ferguson, is killed during this attack.

Later on that evening, two men (Daniel Daly and Daniel Lynch) were leaving Tralee railway station when they were approached by two men who asked them their names.  When they replied, Daly was shot dead.  It was assumed that Daly has been killed by anti-Treaty men but it transpired that it had been carried out by pro-Treaty men with the sanction of pro-Treaty O/C Paddy O’Daly.  Doyle comments that “this was the one of the few occasions, if not the sole occasion, that the GOC/Kerry Command admitted that such a policy [of summary execution] existed.”

Doyle (2008), pgs251-254

Jan-24

Anthony Lawlor replaced as O/C of the pro-Treaty Claremorris Command by Major General Michael [or Dan?] Hogan (brother of Paddy Hogan, Minister of Agriculture).  He brought in Padraig Dunleavy (ex-O/C Claremorris Company and then O/C Tuam Battalion).  Along with the 8 existing posts in his area (which included Mayo, North Galway and South Sligo) he opened another 10 pro-Treaty army posts and instigated a policy of continual pursuance of anti-Treaty columns.  In the next three months, 322 arrests are made in the Claremorris Command area.  See April 1st.

Price (2012), pgs 241-243

Jan-25

Two anti-Treaty prisoners executed in the Infantry Barracks in Waterford City.  They are Michael Fitzgerald (Youghal, Co. Cork) and Patrick O’Reilly (Youghal, Co. Cork).  They were active members of the anti-Treaty Cork No. 1 Brigade and had been captured at Clashmore, Co. Waterford on the 4th December 1922.  They had been sentenced to death in early January. 

John T. Prout, the commander of the local pro-Treaty division had confirmed the sentence but did not name a date.  It was thought that he was delaying setting a date to see if anti-Treaty attacks on his forces would cease.  A petition for clemency was started in the Youghal area and collected over 2,000 signatures but it was in vain.

 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 290; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 223; Macardle (1999), pg 986; McCarthy (2015), pg 116

Jan-25

Cosgrave sends on report from Kevin O’Shiel to Mulcahy saying the war necessarily meant the postponement of the Boundary Commission.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 251

Jan-25

A group of unarmed pro-Treaty soldiers are attacked in Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry resulting in the death of Private Patrick Roche.

Anti-Treaty volunteer, Dan Foley, is also killed on this day – probably in an attack on a pro-Treaty cycle patrol in the Waterville area.

Doyle (2008), pg 255

Jan-26

Three anti-Treaty prisoners executed in Birr.  One is William Conroy, another is Patrick Cunningham (from Tullamore, Co. Offaly) and the third is Colm Kelly (Tullamore, Co. Offaly).

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 290; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 222 & 223; Macardle (1999), pg 985

Jan-26

The Adjutant General of the anti-Treaty forces, Con Moloney, issued a warning saying that “if any of our Prisoners of War are executed by the enemy one of the Senators on the attached list … will be shot in reprisal”

Dorney (2017), pg 226

Jan-26

Bomb attack on pro-Treaty armoured car on Templeogue Road in Dublin badly injuring three soldiers and slightly wounding two others and two passers-by. (Bomb not thrown but left in manhole and detonated from 50 yards away)

Dorney (2017), pg 228

Jan-26

Beginning of a strike in Waterford Gas Works with employers looking for a reduction in staff and 50% more time for same pay.  Workers occupy the gas works, declare a soviet and hoist the red flag.  See March 10th

McCarthy (2015), pg 121

Jan-27

Two anti-Treaty prisoners executed in Portlaoise, Co Laois – one is Joseph Byrne (from Cruit Croghan, Co. Offally) and the other is Patrick Geraghty (Rochefortbridge, Co. Westmeath)

 

O'Donoghue (1986), pg 290; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 222 & 223

Jan-27

Anti-Treaty TD Paddy Cahill is captured along with about a dozen other armed men in the mountains near Derrymore, Co. Kerry.

Doyle (2008), pg 255

Jan-28

An anti-Treaty prisoner in Kilkenny Jail, Andrew Power from Ballygunner, Co. Waterford, dies after contacting diphtheria.

McCarthy (2015), pgs 111-112; Walsh (2018), pg 225

Jan-28

A pro-Treaty patrol is attacked at Feale’s Bridge near Brosna, Co. Kerry resulting in the death of pro-Treaty Captain Patrick Coyle and anti-Treaty volunteer Dennis O’Connor.

Also, the summer residence of Senator O’Sullivan at Dooks near Killarney is burnt.

Doyle (2008), pgs 255-256

Jan-29

Palmerstown House, the home of Lord Mayo in Staffen, Co. Kildare, is burned by anti-Treaty forces.  Valued at £60,000.  On the same night, Millestown House, occupied by Major Ronald Barrow, near Castlebellingham, Co. Louth is destroyed

Durney (2011), pg 137-143 Hall (2019), pg 118

Jan-30

A group of anti-Treaty volunteers enter Tralee gasworks and proceed to wreck the gas equipment.  This greatly inconvenienced the many domestic users of gas as well as bakeries and factories who used gas to operate their machinery.

Doyle (2008), pg 256

Jan-30

Senator John Bagwell is kidnapped from his home in Howth, Dublin by anti-Treaty forces.  He is only released when the pro-Treaty side threatens to execute several imprisoned anti-Treaty leaders if he is killed.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 142; Dorney (2017), pg 227

Jan

In a re-organisation of the pro-Treaty army, Gearoid O’Sullivan is made Adjutant General, J.J. O’Connell is made Director of Inspections and Sean O’Muirthile is made Quartermaster General.  O’Connell later noted that as of early 1923 ‘nearly all pivotal positions were given to members of the [Irish Republican] Brotherhood’.  Among the members of the Collins’ old Intelligence/Squad ousted (or given demoted jobs) included Charlie Dalton, Tom Cullen, James Slattery, Frank Thornton and Frank Saurin. 

Dorney (2017), pgs 235-236

Jan

As a result of the army re-organisation, members of Collins old Intelligence staff, led by Liam Tobin, set up an organisation known as the ‘The Old IRA’ (and ‘The Irish Republican Army Organisation’).  They claim that they have not been given positions in the pro-Treaty army commensurate with their services during the War of Independence and they complained about the number of former British officers and post-Truce officers in positions of authority.  Other prominent members are Charles Dalton; Frank Thornton and Tom Cullen – all are former members of Collins’ Intelligence Unit.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pgs 225-226; Valiulis (1985), pgs 32-33

Jan

Eugene Fitzgerald (an anti-Treaty army man) dies in Tralee, Co. Kerry from wounds, it is claimed that he got after capture.

 

Macardle (1998), pgs 12-14; Doyle (2008), pgs 243-244

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