January 1923


Hopkinson says that Paddy O’Daly takes over the Kerry Command of the Free State forces from General W R E Murphy.  Murphy claims to have broken the back of anti-Treaty resistance in Kerry.  (But see Sep-26-22/1.)


Hopkinson (1988), pgs 205 & 240


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.  See also Jan-1923/4


Hopkinson (1988), pg 224


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/June 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.

See Jun-01-24/1


Phoenix (1994), pg 275


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

Macardle (1999), pg 829


Reacting to the meeting of the Neutral IRA held on December 31st, de Valera writes to Lynch saying that the Neutral IRA would propose terms that would allow the Free State to function unhindered.

See Feb-04-23/1

Kissane (2005), pgs 139-140


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


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.


Free State Private Christopher Sween from Nelson St, Athy, Co. Kildare is killed while on escort duty.


Durney (2011), pg 154


A five-man Free State 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 Free State 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


The anti-Treaty column based in the Arigna mountains carries out a raid on the village of Ballyconnell in Co. Cavan.  During this raid, anti-Treaty Volunteer Michael Cull is shot dead by pro-Treaty Capt J. F. Kellegher.

 Later, Free State soldier, Michael McManus, was shot dead by the same anti-Treaty column at Dowra on the Cavan-Leitrim border.


McGarty (2020), pgs 124-125


Four 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 December 1st and Durney concurs – see Dec-01-22/2.

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 January 13th– See Jan-13-23/1.


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


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


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


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


The British Army evacuate Pettigo village in Co. Donegal.  They had been in possession of the village since June 7th 1922 (See Jun-07-22/1).  They are replaced by 150 Free State troops under Captain McNaughten.


Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 216-217


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 to 20-23/1

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


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”.

Committees of Free State army officers were set up at battalion level to sentence anti-Treaty prisoners.  This was in response to O’Higgins call for executions in every county in order to disperse responsibility for the killings.

In his memo, O’Higgins wrote “the Government is simply a Committee with a mandate to make certain conditions prevail, to make life and property safe, and to vindicate the legal rights of their fellow citizens”.  Kissane notes that the protective democracy view of government not only “signalled a dramatic re-orientation of Irish nationalist politics away from the revolutionary exuberance of 1916-21” but would also would come to form the “bedrock of the Provisional Government’s propaganda campaign during the civil war and after”. 


Hopkinson (1988), pg 221-222; Kissane (2005), pgs 92 & 151 & 161


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


Posters appears in Kerry saying that four anti-Treaty prisoners had been found guilty of carrying arms and had been sentenced to death but that their sentences would not be carried out if anti-Treaty attacks ceased in the county.  The men were not executed.


Kissane (2005), pg 92


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


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


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


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


Durney (2011), pg 154


Three Anti-Treaty prisoners - 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


The Colonial Office in London send a telegram to Dublin saying that there was “increased evidence of Irregular activity on this side” of the Irish Sea.  They request a conference.  The Director of Intelligence of the Free State army subsequently goes to London and meets with the Special Branch of the London Metropolitan Police.  They devise a plan to crush the anti-Treaty forces in Britain. 

See Mar-11-23/3.

McMahon (2008), pg 107


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


Doyle (2008), pg 244-245


Four anti-Treaty prisoners - 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


Writing to Tallents, Lionel Curtis says that the Free State Government had “crossed the rubicon and definitely ranked themselves on the side of the constitutional governments by opening fire on their old comrades”.


McMahon (2008), pg 87


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


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


Free State Private Pat Nugent is killed when the garrison at Kilmihil, Co. Clare is sniped by anti-Treatyites.

Power (2020), pg 110

Jan-16 & 17-23/1

On January 16th, anti-Treatyites attack a Free State 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


Writing to Churchill, Londonderry (Minister of Education in the NI government) says “it is merely a question of whether at some stage of the descent of Ireland into anarchy and chaos the British Government will step in … If Ireland is to be left to its own devices, it is an ugly sore and in the end may poison the whole body of the Empire”.


McMahon (2008), pg 185


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”. This letter is not published until February 9th. 

This plea is rejected by the men who receive his letter but, after its publication, it has the effect of undermining rank and file confidence in their leadership. For example, 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”. Anti-Treaty prisoners in Limerick and Clonmel sign a similar letter.

See Feb-05-23/1 and Feb-05-23/2.


(Macardle says January 29th.)

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xxiii; Hopkinson (1988), pg 230; Macardle (1999), pg 833; Walsh (2018), pg 226; Power (2020), pgs 118-119; Kissane (2005), pg 112


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 Free State soldiers.


Doyle (2008), pgs 248-249


Two Free State 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


In the early hours of January 19th, Thomas Prendeville, a father of four children, is shot dead by Free State soldier 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


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, Herbert Collins and Michael Walsh (all three 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).  Hennessy and McMahon had been captured on January 15th.  McMahon had earlier been captured but had absconded from Ennis District Hospital (where he was being treated for a wound) despite giving an undertaking that he would not do so.  Hennessy was GAA County Secretary.


O'Donoghue (1986), pg 290; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 222 & 223; Macardle (1999), pg 984; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 315; Power (2020), pgs 113-117; Kissane (2005), pg 146


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

Macardle (1999), pg 830


A Free State 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


Three anti-Treaty prisoners are 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 had been arrested under arms on January 7th 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


Two Free State officers, Lt George Cruise and Lt James Kennedy, are captured near Clonmel in Co. Tipperary. They were unarmed and in civilian clothing.  Their bodies were discovered on April 3rd 1923.


Ó Ruairc (2021), pg 36


After Dublin Corporation had decided to pay half wages to the dependants of internees (who were former Dublin Corporation workers and who had refused to sign the undertaking not to take arms against the Free State government) the Executive Council (cabinet) decided on this day that the Commander-in-Chief of the pro-Treaty army should serve an order on the city’s Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer that no wages should be paid in respect of those employees currently in prison.


Kissane (2005), pg 144


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

Durney (2011), pg 154


An anti-Treaty column, commanded by Tom McEllistrim and John Joe Sheehy, attack the Free State 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 Free State garrison, Private Ferguson, is killed during this attack.

Later 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


Anthony Lawlor replaced as O/C of the Free State 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 Free State army posts and instigated a policy of continual pursuance of Free State columns.  In the next three months, 322 arrests are made in the Claremorris Command area. 

See Apr-01-23/2.

Price (2012), pgs 241-243


Two anti-Treaty prisoners are 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 December 4th 1922.  They had been sentenced to death in early January. 

John T. Prout, the commander of the local Free State army 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


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


A group of unarmed Free State 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 Free State cycle patrol in the Waterville area.

Doyle (2008), pg 255


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


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


There is a bomb attack on a 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


Beginning of a strike in Waterford Gas Works after the employers demanded 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 Mar-10-23/3.

McCarthy (2015), pg 121


Two anti-Treaty prisoners are 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


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


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


A Free State army 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


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


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


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


Patrick O’Boyle from Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim is shot dead near Arigna.  It is unclear who was responsible for his killing as it was condemned by both sides.


McGarty (2020), pg 125


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 Department or Squad who were ousted (or given demoted jobs) include Charlie Dalton, Tom Cullen, James Slattery, Frank Thornton and Frank Saurin.

As a result of this army re-organisation, members of Collins old Intelligence staff, led by Liam Tobin, set up an organisation known as the ‘The Old IRA’ (or ‘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.


Dorney (2017), pgs 235-236; Hopkinson (1988), pgs 225-226; Valiulis (1985), pgs 32-33


Writing to Sean MacEoin, Cosgrave condemns talk of peace negotiations with the anti-Treatyites.  He says that a minority had made war and now “when they are beaten they squeal … it is easy for them to try and win the peace now when they have lost the war”.  He continued that they needed to “act like men and admit the authority of the ballot box.”


Ferriter (2021), pg 95


A woman is raped by an anti-Treaty soldier who was one of a group who forced their way into her house in Westmeath.  She becomes pregnant as a result of being raped.


Ferriter (2021), pgs 105-106


During an attack by anti-Treatyites on the railway station at Quilty in Co. Clare, the father of the station master is said to have died of a heart attack.


Power (2020), pg 106


Eugene Fitzgerald (an anti-Treaty soldier) dies in Tralee, Co. Kerry from wounds he received. It is claimed that he got the wounds after capture.


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

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