Category Archives: Events

May 1922

By May 1922 the tension between the pro and anti- Treaty sides was heating up to boiling point. The was a palpable sense, that those hostilities could erupt in to combat at any moment in the atmosphere. That did come to pass in Kilkenny City on May 2nd.

Kilkenny Moderator 06 May 1922

About 300 members of the IRA took the city centre, which included one of the cathedrals, the city hall and the Castle. In counteraction the The Free State Army on behest of The Provisional government took over the Barracks, Jail and the Bank of Ireland. The government sent in over 200 troops from Dublin to remove the irregulars by force if necessary. It was. Fighting broke out causing many to be injured and eighteen deaths. A ceasefire, followed by a truce was negotiated and the fighting drew to a halt.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal 06 May 1922

Kilkenny Castle; Weekly Freeman’s Journal 06 May 1922

Under the instruction of the provisional government 200 troops were dispatched by train to Kilkenny. It was not a peaceful operation as a shootout ensued with a total of 18 casualties. The following day civil war is just about prevented when the Anti-Treaty members of the Dail announce a truce.

At the other side of the country there after the IRA enter and rob a bank in Buncrana, Donegal. There was a shootout between them and the Free State Army, in which two members of the IRA and young female civilian are killed and numerous injured. Again troops are sent in from the Free State Army, but were ambushed at Newtowncunningham, and three are killed.

As May 1922 progressed there was a spate of bank raids by the IRA, around the country. In one such raid in Westport, the irregulars left a note stating that as the state refused to finance them, they were only taking the money to cover their expenses.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal 06 May 1922

As the violent flare ups around the country continued it was becoming increasingly clear that civil war could easily break out in an instant. A ‘pact’ was drawn up between Eamonn de Valera and Michael Collins, to establish the most peaceful way forward. The agreement resulted in the call for a general election, with view to forming a coalition party which would include both the pro and anti-Treatyites. The move allowed the public to have their say on the Treaty and the general politics of the new state. Polling day was set for June 16th. But as May drew to a close even Michael Collins had his doubts about a peaceful outcome. He told a reporter from the Chicago Tribune: “If this peace conference fails, then there will be no other, and we will have to take strong action to restore order in the country.”


Kilkenny Moderator 06 May 1922

Weekly Freeman’s Journal 06 May 1922

Weekly Freeman’s Journal 06 May 1922

Freeman’s Journal 19 May 1922

Weekly Irish Times 20 May 1922

Weekly Freeman’s Journal 20 May 1922

Today in Irish History, The Truce, 11 July 1921

Keys of the Castle

On this day one hundred years ago the British Government handed over the keys of Dublin Castle, to Michael Collins.

Collins issued the following press release: ‘The Members of the Provisional Government received the surrender of Dublin Castle at 1.45 pm today. It is now in the hands of the Irish nation’.

If Emily was in the crowd that day, it was only to have the pleasure of seeing a foreign power leave, and certainly not in support of the Irish Free State instead the Republic proclaimed on the steps of the GPO in 1916.


Freeman’s Journal 17 January 1922

Weekly Freeman’s Journal 21 January 1922

One Hundred Years Ago

One hundred years ago today, 3 May 1921 under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, the partition of Ireland took place. The then Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing zones, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Emily had Northern Irish family origins, in Ardglass, Co. Down when her maternal grandfather, Richard M’Arthur was born, as was her mother.

It is one hundred and five years since the first executions of the 1916 Rebels began, starting with Patrick Pearse.

Also one hundred years ago on this day the Tourmakeady Ambush took place in Co. Mayo. The South Mayo Flying Column, backed by local volunteers staged an attack on a convey of lorries carrying supplies to the RIC station there. Read more:


Art on Achill August 1920 and 2020

In August 1920 an exhibition opened at St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin showing the work of Ireland’s finest artists of the day. Paul and Grace Henry had spent almost a decade painting on Achill, its unique landscape and people proving a backdrop and subjects for their visual accounts of the epoch. Leticia Hamilton along with her sister Eva spent time painting on the island too, capturing it in all its splendor. One hundred years later these artists along with many others are celebrated in Mary J Murphy’s book, Achill Painters, an Island History.

On August 1st 2020, under the auspices of Scoil Acla, Achill Painters was launched in Lourdie’s (The Pub) car park, by Achill poet John F. Deane complemented by Anne Burke and local Historian John ‘Twin’ McNamara. The book is a written and visual love letter to Achill, by the artists who found their inspiration on the island, in the words of Mary J. Murphy. It is available from Kennys and Charlie Byrnes of Galway both in store and online. It is also available from Achill Tourism and in other outlets on Achill and Co. Mayo.

Mayo News


Irish Society (Dublin) 14 August 1920