May 1923

May

Over 12,000 anti-Treatyites in prison or internment camps.  Dorney says 11,500 men and 250 women

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 228; Dorney (2017), pg 204

May-02

Two anti-Treaty prisoners - Christopher Quinn (from Turnpike, Ennis, Co. Clare) and William Shaughnessy (Ennis, Co. Clare) - are executed in Ennis.  These are the final executions on Macardle’s list.  They had been arrested on the day that Private Canty was shot dead in Ennis and charged with his murder.  See April 21st and April 26th.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 225; Macardle (1999), pg 985; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 318-319

May-03

Senators Andrew Jameson and James Douglas (two Southern Unionists) meet with de Valera but he refuses to acknowledge pro-Treaty Government as legitimate government.  De Valera also said that there would be no surrender of arms.  However, Douglas said that his bearing was ‘that of a defeated man’.  De Valera’s peace terms are rejected by pro-Treaty Government who forward their own proposals.  (Macardle says that the two unionists met de Valera on the 1st and at de Valera’s invitation.  They met again on 3rd and 5th.  Curran says that de Valera wrote to them asking them to act as intermediaries on the 30th April and that they put de Valera’s proposals before the Executive Council on the 2nd May)

 

Hopkinson (1988), pgs 256-257; Macardle (1999), pgs 849-850; Curran J M (1980), pgs 274-275

May-7

De Valera forwards to pro-Treaty Government amended terms for peace but they are rejected on the 8th May.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 853; Curran J M (1980), pg 295

May-12

With the end of the Civil War at hand, a meeting of the cabinet of pro-Treaty Government takes first steps towards the setting up of the Boundary Commission.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 288

May-14

Strike by farm labourers in Waterford.  Since the ending of the strike the previous year (see August 5th 1922), both sides had been preparing for a resumption of the conflict.  The Waterford Farmers Association (WFA) led by Sir John Keane and the ITGWU met in the Granville Hotel in Waterford City.  The WFA offered almost a 20% drop in the weekly wage – this was rejected by the ITGWU and the strike began on the 19th May.  At the beginning, the strike went well for the strikers as they received support from dockers, railwaymen, carters, creamery workers, etc.  They also mounted pickets to prevent the movement of goods to and from strike-bound farms.  However, the farmers appealed to the pro-Treaty army to keep the roads open and they proved decisive in breaking the strike.  See June 1st below.

McCarthy (2015), pgs 122-125

May-13/14

Joint meeting of anti-Treaty Government and Army Council instructs Aiken to order a cease fire and dumping of arms to be published on 24th.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 257; Macardle (1999), pg 857; Curran J M (1980), pgs 275-276

May-14

Bitter meeting between about 30 Devlinites and Eoin MacNeill and Kevin O’Sheil (representing Free State government).  Former complained of neglect by Free State but MacNeill asked them not to go into the Northern Ireland parliament as the Free State representative to the Boundary Commission was almost chosen. 

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 286

May-15

The Plunkett column of the anti-Treaty Dublin No. 2 Brigade is captured at Knocknadruce, Valleymount, Co. Wicklow after the death (in disputed circumstances) of its leader, Ned (Niall) Plunkett O’Boyle from Burtonport, Co. Donegal.  (McDermott says that Roger McCorley – from 3rd Northern Division IRA – was “allegedly implicated in the killing of Niall Plunkett O’Boyle … after his surrender”.)

 

Macardle (1999), pg 857; McDermott (2001), pg 272; Dorney (2017), pg 254; Durney (2011), pg 158; Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 208-209

May-19

A pro-Treaty army survey of the military situation states that “Reports point to the fact that nearly every command of [the anti-Treaty military] organisation is absolutely broken and or else hampered in such a way as to render it almost impossible for them to carry out any major operation”.

McCarthy (2015), pg 120

May-21

An anti-Treaty volunteer, Thomas MacNicholas, is shot and killed while travelling from Kilkelly to Kiltomagh in Co. Mayo in the custody of  pro-Treaty forces.

Price (2012), pgs 256-257

May-24

Aiken publishes order of cease-fire and orders the dumping of arms.  The Civil War is over.  De Valera also issues a statement to the anti-Treaty army which says that “Further sacrifice on your part would be now in vain and continuance of the struggle in arms unwise in the national interest.  Military victory must be allowed to rest for the moment with those who have destroyed the Republic”.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xxiv; Hopkinson (1988), pg 258;

Macardle (1999), pg 858

May-29

An anti-Treaty prisoner, Joseph O’Leary, is killed while in custody in Castleisland, Co. Kerry.

Doyle (2008), pg 309

May-24

A young anti-Treaty volunteer, Thomas Makey, is shot dead when trying to evade a pro-Treaty patrol near Tallow, Co. Waterford.

McCarthy (2015), pg

May-29

Kevin O’Shiel submits a detailed memorandum to the cabinet of pro-Treaty Government on the northern situation.  He reminds ministers that their primary goal remained national union and in this they were different from both the border nationalists whose focus was on “the inclusion within the Free State of their own parish” and the East Ulster nationalists who were in favour of “scrapping the Boundary Commission and accepting a compromise cooperation settlement with Craig”.  It went to say that the Government’s best chance lay with a tripartite conference aimed at producing a federal solution.  Tellingly he said there were “sufficient differences to justify an autonomous parliament in that corner of Ireland”.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 288

May-30

Anti-Treatyites, Michael Murphy and Joseph O’Rourke (from Ardrahan, Co. Galway) executed in Tuam.  O’Farrell says that these were the final executions of the Civil War.  However, they are not listed by Macardle in her 77 executions.  O’Farrell does say that they were arrested for armed robbery in Athenry on the 24th May and also says that accounts differ as to detail, date and affiliation (if any).  O’Farrell also gives the date of the 13th May for the execution of O’Rourke.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 224 & 180

May-31

Margaret (Maggie) Doherty from Curanarra, Foxford, Co Mayo is attacked, badly beaten and raped in her home by, at least, three members of the pro-Treaty army.  After this brutal attack, Ms Doherty’s health deteriorated and she eventually died, at the age of 32, in the mental hospital in Castlebar on 28th December 1928.  Three pro-Treaty soldiers, Lieutenants Watters, Benson and Mulholland, were court martialled on the 22nd July 1923 in Claremorris but were acquitted.  As of 2019, the proceedings of the court martial remain closed in the Military Archives, Dublin 

Connolly (2019), pgs 35-37

May

By the end of the Civil War, at least 199 country mansions and hundreds of homes of pro-Treaty supporters have been destroyed by anti-Treaty supporters.

Dorney (2017), pg 227; Dooley (2017), pg 449

May

At end of Civil War, Free State army consists of 52,000 men and 3,000 officers. GHQ wants to reduce this to 30,000 men and 1,300 officers by January 1924 and eventually to have an army of 18,000 men. Demobilisation of enlisted men and non-commissioned officers starts in June.

Valiulis (1985), pg 31 & 43; Doyle (2008), pg 304

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