This chapter examines the role of Ireland’s British Army doctors in treating the wounded in the three primary conflicts in Ireland from 1916 to 1923: the Easter Rising (April 1916), Irish War of Independence (January 1919 to July 1921) and Irish Civil War (June 1922 to May 1923). As part of their wartime duties within the British Army, a contingent of Irish doctors tended to those wounded in the Easter Rising, including separatist Irish nationalists. Ex-Royal Army Medical Corps officers from Ireland also became professionally immersed in the War of Independence and the Civil War. As these wars transpired, many of the Irish doctors enlisted in the RAMC on temporary commissions for the duration of the First World War demobilised and returned to Ireland. Subsequently, some of these men provided health care to wounded IRA members and, later, to the Irish National Army.
Medicine, Health and Irish Experiences of Conflict, 1914-45 is the first exploration of Irish medical and health experiences during the First and Second World Wars, as well as during the Irish revolutionary period. It examines the physical, mental and emotional impact of conflict on Irish political and social life and medical, scientific and official interventions in Irish health matters. The volume asks: What made Irish medical and health experiences unique? Did the financial exigencies of war impact detrimentally on Irish health care provision? How were psychological and emotional responses to war managed in Ireland? Did Ireland witness unique disease trends? And how did Irish medical communities and volunteers partake in international war efforts? The authors suggest that twentieth-century warfare and political unrest profoundly shaped Irish experiences of medicine and health and that Irish political, social and economic contexts added unique contours to those experiences not evident in other countries. In pursuing these themes, Medicine, Health and Irish Experiences of Conflict, 1914-45 offers an original and focused intervention into a central, but so far unexplored, theme in Irish medical history.