The Irish Revolution: from war of independence to civil war donal ó drisceoil




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НазваниеThe Irish Revolution: from war of independence to civil war donal ó drisceoil
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SIXTEEN FILMS, MATADOR PICTURES, REGENT CAPITAL,

UK FILM COUNCIL, BORD SCANNÁN NA HÉIREANN/THE IRISH FILM BOARD, FILMSTIFTUNG NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN


ELEMENT FILMS, BIM DISTRIBUZIONE, EMC PRODUKTION, TORNASOL FILMS,

DIAPHANA DISTRIBUTION, PATHÉ DISTRIBUTION, CINÉART, TV3 IRELAND, FILM COOPI


THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY


Directed by

KEN LOACH


Written by

PAUL LAVERTY


Produced by

REBECCA O'BRIEN


Starring

CILLIAN MURPHY

PÁDRAIC DELANEY

LIAM CUNNINGHAM

ORLA FITZGERALD

'Twas hard for mournful words to frame

To break the ties that bound us,

Ah but harder still to bear the shame

Of foreign chains around us.

And so I said: the mountain glen

I'll seek at morning early

And join the brave united men

While soft winds shake the barley.

Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830-1883) "The Wind that Shakes the Barley"


'To break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country - these were my objects.'

Wolfe Tone c.1790


'The entire ownership of Ireland, moral and material, up to the sun and down to the centre, is vested of right in the people of Ireland; that they and none but they are the landowners and law-makers of this island'.

James Fintan Lalor, 1848


'We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies...

...In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms'.

Proclamation of the Irish Republic, 1916.


The English ruling class first invaded Ireland in the twelfth century, when feudal barons staked out their territory. Over the centuries English landlords grew rich at the expense of the Irish people.

A settler population to rule on behalf of the English was established and penal laws kept the Irish in subservience. As well as taxes and rents, Ireland supplied England with farm produce and cheap labour. Famine, evictions and poverty were the lot of Ireland's rural population.

The United Irishmen fought for their country's independence in the wake of the French Revolution. In the nineteenth century the Fenian Brotherhood took up the struggle. Then in the early years of the twentieth century the movement would no longer be denied, though it was fought at every turn by the British establishment.

The Irish Revolution: from war of independence to civil war - DONAL Ó DRISCEOIL


At the height of the First World War, in which thousands of Irishmen were fighting with the encouragement of moderate nationalist leaders, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army staged a militarily doomed but symbolically powerful armed uprising in Dublin during Easter 1916. The execution of its leaders, including the socialist James Connolly, and the military repression that followed, helped to sway public support in Ireland away from moderate nationalism towards the separatist movement, embodied in the resurgent Sinn Féin ('We Ourselves') political party and the Irish Volunteers.

In the general election of December 1918, Sinn Féin won a huge majority across the country, with the exception of the northeast, where Unionists, opposed to any diminution of the Union with Britain, held sway. Sinn Féin established an Irish parliament, Dáil Eireann, based in Dublin and declared Irish independence to the world. However, attempts to secure international recognition for the Irish Republic fell on deaf ears, and the British government refused to accept it. The Dáil was outlawed, the Republic went underground, and the Irish Volunteers became the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

IRA volunteers were mainly young men from 18 to 30 years old. They were apprentices, shop assistants, farmers' sons, rural labourers, factory and transport workers. Some were veterans of the First World War, whose military training was vital. Most became involved through family, neighbourhood or peer connections.

A counter-state structure, including courts, was developed; the labour movement threw its weight behind the Republican struggle (which included the refusal of rail workers to transport British military personnel or equipment, a crucial part of the Republican campaign); and the IRA took the offensive against the armed police force - the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) - which was also a vital source of arms and ammunition. The British sent RIC reinforcements in the form of the notorious 'Black and Tans'(mainly demobilised First World War soldiers) and the Auxiliaries, a corps of former officers. The Tans and the Auxies wreaked havoc, terrorising the communities that were seen to be sustaining the IRA. An onslaught of arrests and raids led to the IRA organising 'flying columns' - mobile active service units that fought the British mainly through countryside ambushes. The British countered by raiding, burning and looting houses, villages and towns. A cycle of tit-for-tat violence developed, and the war became increasingly dirty.

Women, organised in Cumann na mBan, played a crucial role in the highly effective IRA intelligence network and in the running of the Dáil courts.

The guerrilla war began in earnest in the late summer of 1920 and was most intense in the South, particularly Cork. A stalemate was reached by the summer of 1921, and in July a Truce was declared. The Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed in December 1921, soon dashed the hopes of many. This created an Irish Free State with dominion status within the British Commonwealth. The Free State consisted of 26 counties, the other six having already been established as the Unionist-dominated statelet of Northern Ireland in June 1921, which remained within the UK. Britain retained control of key Irish ports and members of the Irish Free State parliament would have to swear an oath of fidelity to the British Crown, which would continue to be represented in Ireland by a Governor-General.

This Treaty violently split the revolutionary movement. The pro-Treatyites, who argued that the settlement was the best achievable at that stage and that the alternative offered by the British was 'immediate and terrible war', took state power with the support of the British state and the Irish establishment. Anti-Treaty Republicans resisted and a bitter civil war ensued, pitching former comrades against each other. While the anti-Treatyites enjoyed initial numerical advantage, the Free State army militarily defeated them within a year.

British Major (later Field Marshal) Bernard Montgomery, who served in Cork during the war of independence, wrote in 1923 about the necessity of giving the Irish 'some form of self-government' so that they could 'squash the rebellion themselves; they are the only people who could really stamp it out.' This they did.
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