November 1923


Free State Government announces that it has agreed to enter into a conference with Craig and the British Government on the boundary question – See Sep-22-23/1.  This conference eventually took place on February 1st and 2nd 1924.


Phoenix (1994), pg 294; Matthews (2004), pg 125


Seven officers in the Free State army in the Curragh refuse to sign demobilisation papers.  They are arrested and court martialled.   They claim, that as members of the Old IRA, ‘they could not lay down their arms until Ireland’ was ‘an independent Republic’. 

The disturbance spread and eventually involves approximately 60 officers.  A major compliant is that old Volunteers are being dismissed while ex-British Army officers are being retained.  The officers involved are removed from the Curragh and refused demobilisation pay and grants.  (Subsequently, all but one officer accepts demobilisation papers.) 


Hopkinson (1988), pg 165; Valiulis (1985), pg 45


Cahir Healy writing to Kevin O’Sheil from the Argenta says that the forthcoming conference could be valuable if it could achieve ‘essential unity’. 


Phoenix (1994), pg 294


Anti-Treaty prisoner, Owen Boyle from Donegal, dies in Newbridge Camp, Co. Kildare.


Durney (2011), pg 164


Following the killing on October 31st (see Oct-31-23/2) another Jewish man, Emmanuel Kahn, is shot dead in Stamer St in Dublin.  His companion, David Millar, is shot in the arm but survives.  There are a number of unanswered questions about these killings. 

More Detail 


Dorney (2017), pg 263


A number of British civil servants involved with Ireland meet in London to review what could be done about the Boundary Commission (to be ready after the UK General Election scheduled for December 6th). 

Those attending probably included Lionel Curtis, James Masterton-Smith, John Anderson, Mark Sturgis, Tom Jones, G. G. Whiskard, Norman Loughnane and Stephen Tallents.  (With the exception of Andy Cope, this represented all the senior British civil servants who had been responsible for Irish affairs over the preceding three years.)  

The outcome of this meeting was eventually a 27-page memorandum (probably written by Curtis).  According to Matthews, this document is crucial “because it foreshadowed subsequent British policy in the boundary dispute”.  In this memo, according to Matthews, the wording of the Treaty’s Article 12 was turned on its head “economic and geographic conditions” were no longer to be read as a qualification to the wishes of the inhabitants.  On the contrary, they were to be granted a status equal to – perhaps greater than - the desires of the population.”  (Matthews notes that he had rebutted this interpretation earlier in his book.  See, for example, Llyod George’s contribution to the debate on the Treaty on the December 14th 1921 – see Dec-14-21/1 - see also September 10th 1924 - Sep-10-24/1.)

The memo also pointed out that “It is difficult to see an award which would not precipitate war between the North and South” especially as there existed “a large force of Specials equipped and armed by the British taxpayer” which would almost certainly “resist the findings of the Boundary Commission”. 

The memo therefore recommends a continuation of the policy of indefinite delay with regards the Boundary Commission but with one twist.  It suggested that a Boundary Commission chairman should be appointed by the British government immediately as this would remove the possible accusation that the British side were not upholding the Treaty.  However, once appointed, the chairman would “have time to study the whole subject until he had fully grasped the issues at stake”.  In other words, further delay.


Matthews (2004), pgs 126-127


Dennis Barry, from the anti-Treaty Cork No. 1 Brigade, dies after 34 days on hunger strike in Newbridge camp. (Durney says November 11th.) 

At first the government refused to release his body to his family but do so after his family take a high court action.  The RC Bishop of Cork, Daniel Cohalan, does not allow him a funeral in a RC church.

O'Kelly in The Kerryman (1955), pg 36; Macardle (1999), pg 867; Durney (2011), pg 163; Ferriter (2021), pg 118


Andrew Sullivan from Cork dies after hunger strike of 40 days in Mountjoy.


Macardle (1999), pg 867


Hunger strike by anti-Treaty prisoners ends (See Oct-13-23/1) without the prisoners achieving their demands. 

However, over 5,000 of the some12,000 prisoners were released at this stage. Women prisoners released but rest of prisoners continue to be released in a ‘dribble’. 

By the start of December, there were still 5,774 prisoners in custody.  Release of uncharged and interned prisoners is completed by April 1924 but by June 1924 there were still 237 prisoners.

(Power says November 13th.)

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xxiv; Litton (1995) pg 127; Hopkinson (1988), pg 269; Macardle (1999), pg 867; McCarthy (2015), pg 133; Durney (2011), pg 164; Power (2020), pg 139; Ferriter (2021), pg 117


Executive Council (Cabinet) of the Free State government sets up a cabinet committee on demobilisation consisting of MacNeill, Blythe and McGrath. 

More Detail

See Dec-05-23/1 and Mar-06-24/1.


Valiulis (1985), pgs 45-47


The Minister of Local Government directs local authorities to reduce labourers’ wages in line with pay scales in their districts.  This leads to reductions of about 25% in wages of local authority wages.


McCarthy (2015), pg 131


In an Official Memo to the members of cabinet, the Garda say that that the suppression of the anti-Treaty ‘revolt’ could not be said to be complete with so many bands of armed anti-Treaty men roaming around the country with some of these bands led by men who were returned at TDs in the August election.


Kissane (2005), pg 96


Frank Barrett, who had been the leader of the hunger strike in Mountjoy prison comes off hunger strike, signs the document promising to keep the peace and is released.

See Feb-1924/1.


Power (2020), pg 141


Kevin O’Shiel ceases to be director of the North-Eastern Boundary Commission.

Phoenix (1994), pg 298


As part of on-going demobilisation, the CID is wound up with eleven of its detectives being taken into the new detective division of the DMP.  The Protective Corps and the CDF had already been wound up at this stage.

Dorney (2017), pg 262

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