September 1921



A teenager, Walter Campbell, is killed in the Shankill Rd area of  Belfast by a sniper.  However, city quiets down for a couple of weeks.

Parkinson (2004), pg 148 & 156


RC Bishop of Down and Connor (Dr McRory) writes to the American Committee of Relief saying that things were going from bad to worst in his diocese.  Many delegations from Belfast go to Dublin to explain to Dáil Eireann how terrible would be their future if the Dáil’s negotiators accepted terms which would leave them at the mercy of the Northern Government.

Macardle (1999), pg 541


Large meeting in Armagh addressed by Michael Collins and Eoin O’Duffy.  10,000 at meeting including large force of IRA men.  Collins speech was conciliatory towards unionists but O’Duffy threatened to “if necessary, to use the lead on them”.  For his remarks, O’Duffy removed as Northern Truce Liaison Officer and replaced by Frank Crummey.

Phoenix (1994), pg 147; McDermott (2001), pgs 116-117


British cabinet meets in Inverness to discuss de Valera’s letter of the 30th Aug. Discussion centres on conditional (Crown and Empire) or unconditional conference - decide on latter (but implicitly on Crown and Empire).  Lloyd George replies to de Valera saying that further correspondence was futile and asks if Sinn Féin would agree to a conference whose purpose was "to ascertain how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations."  Full text of letter in Macardle.  With regard to Fermanagh and Tyrone, Llyod George acknowledges that his government has a very weak case on the issue of “forcing these two counties against their will”.

Curran J M (1980), pg 70; Macardle (1999), pgs 511-513; Phoenix (1994), pg 146


De Valera receives joint Nationalist-Sinn Féin delegation from Down who expressed anxiety at partitionist settlement being reached.  Further delegations came from Derry, Antrim, Belfast and the Glens.  One member of the Belfast delegation, Councillor James Baird (Protestant trade unionist and expelled workers’ representative) said that “partition would place power in the hands of those responsible for the pogroms”,

Phoenix (1994), pg 148


Collins claims that 1,700 men were still interned while a further 1,500 serving sentences.  (40 of these were women.)  Men were still being sentenced.

Macardle (1999), pg 541


De Valera accepts Llyod George’s offer of a conference but explicitly on Irish independence saying that "Our nation has formally declared its independence and recognised itself as a sovereign state." Full text of letter in Macardle

Curran J M (1980), pg 71; Macardle (1999), pgs 513-514; Gallagher (1953), pg 316


Harry Boland and Joseph McGrath arrive in Gairloch in Scotland with de Valera’s letter. Llyod George did not accept it (he offered to consider it undelivered).  He telegraphs de Valera saying that accepting it would have meant recognition of Ireland as a sovereign state.  Text of his telegram to de Valera given in Macardle.  Letters from both sides published to consternation on the British side.  Llyod George calls cabinet meeting at Inverness to discuss crisis. 

Macardle (1999), pgs 515-516; Gallagher (1953), pgs 316-318; Brennan (1950), pgs 315-119


Dáil cabinet meets to appoint delegation to conference; De Valera announces he will not go and is supported by Brugha, Stack and Barton and opposed by Griffith, Collins and Cosgrave. De Valera’s own casting vote wins it.  (Macardle says that Griffith supported de Valera’s decision not to go.)  The delegation is as follows:

Arthur Griffith - chair

Michael Collins  (who strongly objected)

Robert Barton

Eammon Duggan - lawyer

George Gavan Duffy - lawyer

In addition, there are four secretaries to the delegation:

Erskine Childers

John Chartres

Diarmuid O'Hegarty

Finian Lynch

(See Macardle and Gallagher for de Valera’s reasons for not going.)

Curran J M (1980), pg 74; Macardle (1999), pgs 526-528; Gallagher (1953), pg 322



Dáil approves delegation with Collins again protesting.  Dáil gives delegation plenipotentiary status.  However, Cabinet instructions given to delegates before they leave state that all major decisions and final text of Treaty have to referred back to Irish cabinet in Dublin.  (See Macardle for text of both the delegation’s credentials and the cabinet instructions.  However, as cabinet could not limit powers conferred by Dáil these instructions were nothing more than suggested guidelines and, in this sense, Griffith accepted them.)

Curran J M (1980), pg 77-78; Macardle (1999), pg 528

Sep-15 to 18

Further riots in Belfast in the North Queen St area.  Two Protestants, Maggie Ardis and Evelyn Blair – both 22 years old – are killed by a sniper in Vere St. on the 18th.

Parkinson (2004), pg 149


De Valera replies to Llyod George’s telegram.

Macardle (1999), pgs 518-524;


Llyod George replies saying that “My colleagues and I cannot meet them [the Irish delegates] as the representatives of a sovereign and independent State without disloyalty on our part to the Throne and Empire.  I therefore must repeat that unless the second paragraph in your letter of the 12th is withdrawn conference between us is impossible”.  De Valera replies on the 19th asking “is [your] letter intended to be a demand for a surrender on our part or an invitation to a Conference free on both sides”. 

Gallagher (1953), pgs 319-321


NI Government press for re-introduction of Specials and eventually Dublin Castle agrees provided they are under control of army commander and used only in Protestant areas. 

McDermott (2001), pg 119


During rioting on the Newtownards Rd. in Belfast a Protestant, Samuel Robinson (53) is crushed by a military vehicle.

Parkinson (2004), pg 149


O/C West Limerick Brigade IRA issues a dispatch to his battalion commanders saying that the Truce is drawing to a close and all men should be in close touch with their officers.

Harnett (2002), pg 120


Speaking in Dundee, Churchill says that if the rejection of the British offer by the Irish was final “our course would be very unpleasant, but it would also be very simple … Not peace, but certain war – real war, not mere bushranging would follow such a course”

Gallagher (1953), pg 320


Rioting breaks out in the Newtownards Rd area of Belfast. A bomb is thrown at a loyalist mob advancing towards the Short Strand killing two teenagers – James McMinn and Alexander Harrison – and injuring over 20.

Parkinson (2004), pg 149


An IRA man, Murtagh McAstocker, is attacked, beaten and killed by a loyalist crowd in Seaforde St. in Belfast.  (UPA man, Thomas Pentland was later acquitted of McAstocker’s murder – he claimed that he was going to the dying man’s assistance.)  Also, in the Short Strand area, Eliza Kelly (34) is killed by a stray police bullet as she is sitting in her home and in Shore St.  George Berry – a 26 year-old Protestant – receives fatal wounds when a bomb is thrown into his home on the Shore Rd. 

Parkinson (2004), pgs 150 & 350


Republican snipers shoot at mourners attending the McMinn and Harrison funeral – see Sep 24 – killing John Orr (32) and wounding three others.

Parkinson (2004), pg 151


Llyod George replies to de Valera saying that since he could not enter into a conference on the basis of the correspondence to date that they start over again.  “We therefore send you herewith a fresh invitation to a Conference in London on the 11th October, where we can meet your delegates as spokesmen of the people whom you represent with a view to ascertaining how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire may best reconciled with Irish national aspirations”.  De Valera replied accepting this later offer on the basis that “Our respective positions have been stated and understood”.


Gallagher (1953), pgs 120-121


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