On this day in 1922 the Irish Civil War begins
Irish History

On this day in 1922 the Irish Civil War begins

ON THIS day in 1922, the Irish Civil War began with an outbreak of violence in Dublin city.

Three months previously anti-Treaty IRA men held an army convention in the Mansion House in Dublin, in which they rejected the authority of the Dáil and elected an Executive led by Rory O'Connor and Liam Mellows.

In April, O'Connor led 200 anti-Treaty men to the Four Courts and began its occupation.

Chairman of the Provisional Government Michael Collins managed to convince a number of anti-Treaty men to meet him, Richard Mulcahy and others on the pro-Treaty side, and together they issued a statement on 1 May:

"We, the undersigned officers of the IRA, realising the gravity of the present situation in Ireland, and appreciating the fact that if the present drift is maintained a conflict of comrades is inevitable, declare that this would be there greatest calamity in Irish history, and would leave Ireland broken for generations."

They called for acceptance of the fact that the majority of the people in Ireland were willing to accept the Treaty, however the IRA executive occupying the Four Courts rejected it.

A Dáil peace committee was established with five members on each side, but talks broke down within three weeks.

A Joint Army Committee was then set up, which included four IRA men from the Executive at the Four Courts. That executive eventually rejected calls for peace and declared the June 1922 election, which had seen anti-Treaty Sinn Féin win 36 seats in comparison to the 92 pro-Treaty candidates, illegitimate.

Anti-Treaty man Leo Henderson was arrested, which was retaliated by the kidnapping of pro-Treaty JJ O'Connell on 26 June.

With Collins under pressure to deal with insurgents, he bombarded the Four Courts at 4.10am on 28 June 1922, beginning the Irish Civil War.

The conflict last almost a year and claimed 2,000 lives.