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A blog about the recent history of Ireland, with a focus on the revolutionary period of the 20th century, including the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War.
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Shadows and Substance: Seán Mac Eoin and the Slide into Civil War, 1922

Posted May 5th, 2018 at 07:32 AM by Ascendant (Éireann Ascendant: An Irish History Blog)

Article on the build-up to the Civil War, from the Dáil debates to the confrontations in Westmeath and Sligo, with a focus on Seán Mac Eoin, the Longford IRA leader turned Free State general.

Shadows and Substance: Seán Mac Eoin and the Slide into Civil War, 1922

Seán Mac Eoin was in a triumphant mood when he came to Athlone to oversee the evacuation of its British garrison in February 1922. Standing in the centre of the Castle square, he addressed the parade of Irish soldiers...
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The Weakness of Conviction: The End of Liam Lynch in the Civil War, 1923 (Part VII)

Posted April 10th, 2018 at 01:32 AM by Ascendant (Éireann Ascendant: An Irish History Blog)

Article on Liam Lynch and his death on the 10th April 1923 (last in a seven-part series).

The Weakness of Conviction: The End of Liam Lynch in the Civil War, 1923 (Part VII)

As the Civil War escalated, Liam Lynch ordered in December for "three enemy officers to be arrested and imprisoned in each Brigade area", to be killed in turn for every anti-Treaty prisoner executed. A month later, a list of Free State senators was circulated among the IRA, with instructions...
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The Irrelevance of Discourse: Liam Lynch and the Tightening of the Civil War, 1922-3

Posted March 16th, 2018 at 12:11 PM by Ascendant (Éireann Ascendant: An Irish History Blog)

Article on Liam Lynch and his management of the Irish Civil War as it dragged on.

The Irrelevance of Discourse: Liam Lynch and the Tightening of the Civil War, 1922-3 (Part VI)

A week after the start of the fighting in Dublin, many assumed that the war was as good as over. The Free State had triumphed, ran the conventional wisdom, thanks to the might and valour of its National Army. For those anti-Treaty guerillas who still held out, the Irish Times had nothing but scorn:...
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Liam Lynch, Ernie O'Malley and the politics of the Civil War, 1922

Posted February 10th, 2018 at 08:18 AM by Ascendant (Éireann Ascendant: An Irish History Blog)

Article on the working relationship between Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley during the Civil War, and their efforts towards victory in the face of the Free State's might, the IRA's mishaps and their own frequent disagreements.

The Treachery of Peace: Liam Lynch, Ernie O’Malley and the Politics of the Civil War, 1922 (Part V)

When O'Malley returned to Dublin in July 1922, after helping to cut a swathe through the countryside, he had been tasked by his Chief of Staff, Lynch,...
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The Self-Deceit of Honour: Liam Lynch and the Civil War, 1922 (Part IV)

Posted January 20th, 2018 at 10:14 AM by Ascendant (Éireann Ascendant: An Irish History Blog)

Article on Liam Lynch and how his decisions helped determine the struggle for Limerick and then Cork during the Civil War.

The Self-Deceit of Honour: Liam Lynch and the Civil War, 1922 (Part IV)


The ten-day battle for Limerick reached its weary climax before midnight on the 19th July 1922 when the anti-Treaty IRA decided that enough was enough. Following the orders of their Chief of Staff, Liam Lynch, the men left the city in a line of motorcars.

At the...
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