On this day in 1922, the Four Courts in Dublin city was shelled by Irish Free State forces, using two 18 pounder guns lent to them by the British army. This is generally accepted as the beginning of the Irish Civil War, a brutal conflict between former friends and combatants, between those who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and those who opposed it.
The six months before this had been a period of rising tensions in the country. Despite parliamentary acceptance of the treaty in Dáil Éireann on the 7th of January, a large majority of the militants rejected it believing that the settlement fell far short of their goal of an all-Ireland Republic.
“Cogadh na gCarad” we called it, meaning: the war between friends.
You might know that I’ve been working on a series of charcoal drawings for some time now, reflecting on the trauma of the Irish Civil War. This project continues to put other global conflicts in perspective for me. Whatever the reasons, whatever the causes, when it comes down to it, it’s always some mother’s son, it’s somebody’s sister or brother, it’s somebody’s neighbour who get’s killed.
Why is no one calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine? Why is no one trying to bring an end to this devastating war?