The Other Civil War

There was a civil war in Ireland between 1922 and 1923 but we rarely speak about it. It was such a destructive bitter conflict that the wounds were too deep to discuss. However there was another civil war happening at the same time that is even less discussed. This split was just as bitter, but instead of being centred on the Treaty it was based on something much deeper. It was a split between rich and poor, haves and have-nots, landlords and peasants. It is a story of Soviets, White Guards, sabotage, strikes, land seizures, violence and burnings. It was nothing short of a second civil war. Continue reading “The Other Civil War”

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Irish Soviets 1919-23

Workers throwing out the boss, hoisting a red flag and proclaiming a Soviet are not something that you would normally associate with Irish history. That sort of stuff is normally presumed to have happened in Europe but not Ireland. Most history books describe all Irish people as being united with the sole aim of driving the British out. Yet Ireland was caught in a wave of Socialism similar to that in Italy and France. During the War of Independence over 100 Soviets were set up in Ireland. Although it is now forgotten, many thought Bolshevism was a greater threat to British rule than Sinn Fein. Continue reading “Irish Soviets 1919-23”

1919 Limerick Soviet

Ireland is probably the last place in the world that you expect workers to host a red flag and seize control of a business let alone an entire city. That sort of stuff is usually considered too continental for our liking. Yet this is exactly what happened in 1919. A soviet was declared and the workers seized control of essential supplies. They even printed their own money. Nor was this some irrelevant backwater but rather Ireland’s fourth largest city. Continue reading “1919 Limerick Soviet”