Catholic priests and political violence in Ireland, 1919-21
Author: Brian Heffernan

The guerrilla war waged between the IRA and the crown forces from 1919 to 1921 was a pivotal episode in the modern history of Ireland. This book addresses the War of Independence from a new perspective by focusing on the attitude of a powerful social elite: the Catholic clergy. The close relationship between Irish nationalism and Catholicism was put to the test when a pugnacious new republicanism emerged after the 1916 Easter rising. When the IRA and the crown forces became involved in a guerrilla war from 1919 onwards, priests had to define their position anew. Using a wealth of source material, much of it new, this book assesses the clergy’s response to political violence. It describes how the image of shared victimhood at the hands of the British helped to contain tensions between the clergy and the republican movement, and shows how the links between Catholicism and Irish nationalism were sustained.

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British measures against the clergy
Brian Heffernan

7 Priest and victim: British measures against the clergy While there were abundant grounds for condemning the British campaign in Ireland after the escalation of violence in mid-­1920, Catholic priests nonetheless had some specific reasons of their own for doing so. The old RIC’s traditional rapport with the parish clergy became increasingly strained as normal relations between the constabulary and society broke down. Moreover, the newly arrived Black and Tans and Auxiliaries had none of their Irish colleagues’ lingering inhibitions with regard to the way

in Freedom and the Fifth Commandment
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Priests involved in the IRA campaign
Brian Heffernan

5 Aiding and abetting: priests involved in the IRA campaign As Volunteers on the run began to form flying columns from the spring of 1920 onwards and as the British government started to deploy Black and Tans and Auxiliaries to aid the hard-­pressed RIC, violence escalated in certain parts of the country. For priests in areas where local Volunteers remained impervious to this process of radicalisation, things remained much the same. In these areas, the connections between the clergy and the republican movement described in Chapter 4 continued as before. But in

in Freedom and the Fifth Commandment
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Brian Heffernan

, Oracles, p. 139. EPILOGUE 241 1921. The new interpretation contrasted the ‘nobility and glory of the fighting in the War of Independence with the ignobility of the Civil War’, as Catherine Candy has observed with regard to an early fictionalised account of the clergy’s role.2 Joseph Canon Guinan’s 1928 novel The Patriots, about a parish priest and his curate in the fictional village of Druminara in the midlands, portrayed the anti-­ treaty republicans much as the Black and Tans.3 As Patrick Maume has observed, an important theme of the book is the ‘indissoluble

in Freedom and the Fifth Commandment
Clerical responses to the British campaign
Brian Heffernan

life and property’, were now under the charge and even the suspicion of organised murder. He hoped that the charge would be disproved.13 As Auxiliaries and Black and Tans began to arrive from early summer 1920, the dilemma of the ‘old RIC’ engaging in atrocities resolved itself quickly. Clerical criticism shifted to the new recruits while continuing to focus on the authorities in Dublin Castle.14 John Canon Doyle, parish priest of Ferns, County Wexford, warned a congregation in July that ‘the police’ – meaning the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries – ‘were strangers, and

in Freedom and the Fifth Commandment
Considering going
Angela McCarthy

. Such comments reveal that the oppression thesis was still important to migrants in the United States. As well as apparent endemic discrimination, Walls also scathingly discussed the Black and Tans, British veterans of the Great War recruited to the Royal Irish Constabulary. They were, he asserted gravely, ‘creating an awful lot of trouble for the Catholics in and around Belfast, as a matter of fact all over Ireland. The Black and Tans were English criminals, mostly people let out of jail to come over and harass the Irish Catholics.’ As with other statements by child

in Personal narratives of Irish and Scottish migration, 1921–65
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Marnie Hay

, which was fought between British government forces and the Irish Volunteers, who became known as the Irish Republican Army, can be divided into three main phases. The first phase in 1919 mainly involved the sporadic seizure of arms and attacks on individual policemen by republican forces. The campaign shifted into higher gear in 1920 with IRA attacks on police barracks, raids and ambushes. The British government responded to this challenge by deploying military troops and creating two new forces, the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries, to bolster the Royal Irish

in Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish Revolution, 1909–23
Reflections on the narrative mode of Fools of Fortune
Michael O’Neill

cynicism may be the critic’s rather than the character’s. Trevor leaves the issue on a knife-edge; in making a judgment we effectively become judges of our own outlook on life. The novel longs for peace and stability, even as it knows that violence and change govern Irish history. It is an unusual Big House novel, in that Kilneagh is destroyed by the Black and Tans, a paramilitary force often consisting of demobbed English soldiers and so-called because of the colour of their uniforms, rather than by republicans.8 Trevor resists the tone of inevitable slide into decline

in William Trevor
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Kate O’Malley

in this study: The answer is, firstly, there is a bit of Irish in every heart, but with us Indians there is more. We and the Irish had strong ties of friendship. We suffered under the same tyranny for many centuries. They had the Black and Tans; we had the massacre of Amritsar. They had de Valera and Casement and MacSwiney; we had Gandhi and Nehru and Bose. They had Sinn Féin; we had our National

in Ireland, India and empire
Political violence in the fiction of William Trevor
Elmer Kennedy-Andrews

Duke of Wellington Road, named after the Irish-born hero of British imperialism. Hilditch’s home is adorned with the prizes of colonial adventuring – ‘ivory trinkets’, ‘Indian carpets’, ‘twenty mezzotints of South African military scenes’ (FJ 7). His ambition since childhood has been to join the British Army, an ambition inspired by Uncle Wilf, who claims to have been a soldier and whose fabricated view of Ireland Hilditch still recalls: ‘The Black and Tans7 should have sorted that island out, his Uncle Wilf said, only unfortunately they held back for humane reasons

in William Trevor