January 1923

Jan

Paddy 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.

 

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 rural 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 one 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-08

Anti-Treatyites 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 (Dunleer, Co. Louth) is executed in Keogh Barracks, Dublin.  Macardle says that five pro-Treaty soldiers were executed by their own side for “treachery”.  Dorney says that the five were deserters from the pro-Treaty army captured in Leixleip on the 2nd December.  Dorney also says that there were six – 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

Jan-09

Senator John Bagwell’s house Marfield near Clonmel was 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-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-Treatyities 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

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-13

Anti-Treatyites Thomas McKeon (Piedmont, Co. Louth); Charles (or Thomas) Murray (White’s Cross, Co. Armagh) and John McNulty (Currymannon, Co. Louth) are executed in Dundalk.

 

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

Jan-15

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-18

Liam Deasy , O/C 1st Southern Division Anti-Treaty forces, is captured in the Galtee mountains.  After his capture, 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). (Macardle says 29th January.)

 

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

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 Tralee are Michael Brosnan (Ballyfadora, Co. Kerry); James Daly (Killarney); James Hanlon or Hannon (Ardfert, Co. Kerry) and John Clifford.  The men executed in Limerick are Patrick Hennessy (Clooney, Ennis, Co. Clare) and Cornelius McMahon (Ennis, Co. Clare)

 

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

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

3 Anti-Treaty prisoners executed in Dundalk.  They are James Melia, Dundalk (aged 20); Thomas Lennon, Dundalk (aged 19) and Joseph Ferguson, 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

Jan-23

2 Anti-Treaty prisoners executed in Waterford.  They are Michael Fitzgerald (Youghal, Co. Cork) and Patrick O’Reilly (Youghal, Co. Cork).  (O’Farrell says 25th January as does Macardle.)

 

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

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-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 army 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-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-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 kill 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 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 from wounds, it is claimed that he got after capture.

 

Macardle (1998), pgs 12-14

 

Home     1923    Next Month    Previous Month      Bibliography