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Michael Collins and the Civil War by T. Ryle…

Michael Collins and the Civil War

by T. Ryle Dwyer

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    The Northern Ira And the Early Years of Partition 1920-1922 by Robert Lynch (thegeneral)
    thegeneral: This is a very well written book. It is well referenced throughout. Little research has been done to date on the IRA in what became Northern Ireland during the War of Independence and the Civil War. The author sheds some enlightening information on this topic during the course of the book. The curious and duplicitous role of Michael Collins is highlighted and his attempts to develop a united IRA invasion of Northern Ireland while professing ignorance to both the British or his own colleagues is also demonstrated. The collapse of the Northern offensive is examined and the fact that many active volunteers were persuaded to enlist into the Free State Army is also developed. It is very illuminating.… (more)

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I have consistently been a fan of Dwyer’s previous books and enjoyed this one also. It is typically well written, referenced and researched. Unlike some authors Dwyer has always had an open mind when writing about both Collins and de Valera and their mutual relationship. This pattern emerges again here in this book. Both individuals are analysed critically and given a fair assessment. The main reason I acquired the book was for the information about the IRA’s invasion of the North and Collins’ involvement in the various initiatives during that time. Dwyer does not spare the reader any details and shows how Collins readily played both sided of the fence with his Government colleagues, the British and the IRA. The final chapter is also very good in my opinion. ( )
  thegeneral | Sep 20, 2012 |
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On22 August, 1922, Michael Collins was shot dead by the anti-Trreaty IRA in an ambush at Béalnablath, in his home county of Cork. His death ended all hope for a quick end to the Civil War and cut short the life of one of Ireland's most charismatic leaders.

Michael Collins and the Civil War sheds new light on Collins' role in the critical period of the run-up to the Civil War. While carring out his ministerial duties and negotiations with the British, he was also secretly supporting the IRA's campaign to destabilise Northern Ireland through kidnappings and assassinations, and attempting to reconcile the anti-Treaty IRA with the new Provisional Government and the terms of the Treaty. However, this last proved to be too great a challenge, even for a man of Collins's stature, and on 28 June the first shots in the cCivil War were fired.

In the concluding part of his series on Michael Collins, Ryle Dwyer recounts the tragic final chapter in the story of the man who helped shape the Ireland of today.
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During the Civil War, Michael Collins was commander-in-chief of the Free State Army. This new book sheds light on previously unknown information about actions taken by Collins and Churchill during the Civil War. On 14 April 1922 a group of 200 anti-Treaty IRA men occupied the Four Courts in Dublin in defiance of the Provisional Government. Michael Collins, who wanted to avoid civil war at all costs, did not attack them until June 1922, when British pressure forced his hand. This led to the Irish Civil War as fighting broke out in Dublin between the anti-Treaty IRA and the Provisional Government's troops. Under Collins' supervision, the Free State rapidly took control of the capital. In 'Michael Collins and the Civil War', Ryle Dwyer sheds new light on Collins' role in the Civil War, showing how in the weeks and months leading to the campaign he secretly persisted with guerrilla tactics in border areas. This involved not only assassination but also kidnapping and hostage taking. In confronting those tactics on behalf of the British, for instance, Winston Churchill engaged in similar behaviour, including killing and hostage-taking. But until now much of this has conveniently been swept under the carpet of history. T. Ryle Dwyer is a historian and journalist with 'The Irish Examiner'. He has written many books, notably on the period of the War of Independence and the Civil War, and on p9samon De Valera and Michael Collins. His most recent titles with Mercier Press are: 'I Signed My Death Warrant: Michael Collins and the Treaty' and 'The Squad'. Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and MP for Cork South in the first Dil of 1919. He was Director of Intelligence for the IRA and a member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. During the Civil War, Michael Collins was Chairman of the Provisional Government and commander-in-Chief of the Free State Army. He was shot and killed in August 1922 during the Irish Civil War.… (more)

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