WeeklyWorker

06.01.2022
Members of Irish Republican Army’s Flying Column

Creating a carnival of reaction

James Harvey looks at how and why the island of Ireland was partitioned one hundred years ago

January 7 marked the centenary of the vote by Dáil Éireann to ratify the Anglo-Irish Treaty and thus bring the Irish Free State (Saorstat Éireann) into existence. Although the exact boundaries were not to be finalised until 1925, this vote in effect agreed to the partition of Ireland and the creation of two political entities: the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British empire covering 26 counties; and Northern Ireland’s Six Counties, which remained within the United Kingdom.

Looking back, partition was the product of tumultuous events and revolutionary crises that had gripped Ireland and Britain since the 1880s; looking forward, far from resolving these fundamental contradictions, partition would simply produce further crises and yet more instability in the following hundred years. James Connolly’s prediction in 1914 - when the ‘exclusion’ of some Ulster counties from home rule was first mooted - that partition would produce a “carnival of reaction” has sadly proven to be all too accurate.1 The events of one hundred years ago have cast a long shadow and still continue to shape politics and society on both sides of the Irish border.

Thus, understanding how and why Ireland was partitioned is of more than academic interest or simply a chance to refight old battles. It is essential for Marxists to grasp the historical dynamics and political forces that produced and continued to sustain two sectarian and reactionary states following the defeat of a series of revolutionary waves in early 20th century Ireland.

Understanding this history also has immediate relevance for contemporary politics across the island. Partial and plainly inaccurate readings of history have long been used to justify and legitimate the political status quo in capitalist societies. The current history wars - in the US about slavery and racism, and in Britain about the legacy of the British empire - show that Ireland is far from unique in this respect. However, in Ireland these history wars have taken a particularly acute form, especially during the Troubles, but paradoxically perhaps have become even more important since the end of armed conflict.

The outbreak of violence in the late 1960s simply highlighted the incomplete nature of the national democratic revolution and the ways in which the unfinished business of partition had long cast a shadow over the national project and the raison d’être of the southern state since 1922. The Dublin establishment needed to legitimate its own state when faced with the insurrectionary challenge of Provisional republicanism and a fear that violence in the north could spread south. Similarly, unionists used historically based narratives to justify and explain the existence of the northern state, whilst the British state likewise rewrote history to portray itself as a neutral arbiter, forced to intervene in an ancient quarrel between two warring tribes.2

So history has long moved far beyond the seminar room and into the political and public arena in Ireland. From the late 1960s and 1970s the so-called ‘revisionist’ controversy has dominated all aspects of Irish historiography, while since 2012 ‘the decade of centenaries’, commemorating and celebrating (in some cases) the events of the early 20th century that shaped modern Ireland, has also heightened the public debate on Irish history.3 The ‘decade of centenaries’ and the public interest it has aroused on both sides of the border has also attracted official and political attention, with a series of official and unofficial events, discussions, commemorations and celebrations marking key events such as the 1916 Easter Rising.

However, whilst these officially sanctioned events have naturally been tailored to fit the current political agenda stressing reconciliation, inclusion and the diversity of historical narratives, they have also engendered justified criticism from historians protesting against these distortions and the rewriting of history.4 Given that the decade 1912-1922 is the founding moment of both states on the island of Ireland, such attempts at revisionism are both understandable and necessary for the political class in Dublin and Belfast. But that is all the more reason why the working class movement needs its own analysis and clear understanding of what happened in this decisive, formative period.

British imperialism

At the heart of these debates is the nature of the Irish revolution, and the defeat of that movement by the counterrevolutionary forces of British imperialism and Irish capitalism. Far from partition being an inevitable outcome of immutable, historical ethno-national or ethno-religious divisions, which pitted ‘Protestant Ulster’ against the rest of Ireland, the creation of both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland was the result of more immediate conjunctural factors: the British state’s strategy to maintain its control over Ireland by mobilising the unionist reaction against the mass movement for national independence; and the willingness of the petty bourgeois leadership of that movement, fearful of the developing revolutionary elements of this fight, to limit its struggle and compromise with imperialism and capitalism. Thus, a Marxist analysis of partition must put British imperialism and its role in Ireland at its centre, if it is to have any serious value at all.

Given its proximity to Britain, Ireland has always held an important place in the political and economic strategy of, at first, the English state and, from the 17th century onwards, the emerging British state. Ireland’s geopolitical position during the British state’s struggles with Spain and France and its majority Catholic population added another dynamic to these conflicts. The conquest, subjugation and exploitation of Ireland by the British produced movements of resistance and opposition, which from the late 18th century increasingly drew together demands for political independence with struggles for land and other economic rights.

Although after the Act of Union 1801 Ireland was legally an integral part of the United Kingdom, in practice it was ruled as a colony and its population regarded by the British ruling class as an ever-present threat with the potential to pose a serious challenge to the political and economic status quo, both within the United Kingdom and the wider empire. Marx and Engels in their writings on Ireland carefully analysed these relationships and the important dynamics linking the struggles in Ireland with those of the British working class. They were also quite clear on the importance of the political and economic interests of the British ruling class in Ireland and how these dovetailed into the global position of British capitalism.5

From the 1880s political divisions opened up within the British ruling class about how to manage growing demands for Irish self-government and land reform. Faced with a militant Land League demanding tenant rights, a process of transfer from indebted landlords and purchase by Irish tenants, culminating in Wyndham’s 1903 land reform, laid the basis for an emerging class of ‘strong farmers’, a more secure property-owning, rural petty bourgeoisie. This class and its professional urban counterparts would form the backbone of constitutional political parties campaigning for devolved government for Ireland within the United Kingdom - Home Rule - as well as more radical groups working for complete separation.6

Whilst the Liberals had advocated Home Rule as a way of placating Irish discontent and removing Ireland as a political issue from Westminster, the Conservatives were firmly opposed, seeing any concessions as weakening the empire and undermining their political base in military-aristocratic and finance-capitalist circles. As the electoral franchise was extended in the late 19th century, the Conservatives had developed a mass base drawing on an updated form of ‘church and king’ politics, combining social reform, pro-imperialism, monarchical patriotism and popular chauvinism, which could easily fit opposition to Home Rule into its programme.7

Both the Tories and the Liberals saw the maintenance of British rule in Ireland as of fundamental political and strategic importance: neither wanted or would countenance an independent state separate from the empire. However, the Liberals saw limited devolution within the United Kingdom as a way of actually strengthening the British connection by reconciling the Irish population to their place within the Union and the empire. To the Tories, even limited self-government was the thin end of the wedge, which would have disastrous effects and encourage other restive parts of the empire to break free. These divisions over Ireland reflected wider divisions within the British ruling class about the future of the empire, protectionism and free trade, and how to respond to the growing demands of the organised working class in the early 20th century.

These divisions came to a dramatic head during the political and constitutional crisis over the Liberal government’s 1909 ‘People’s Budget’ and its introduction of a Parliament Act in 1911, which reduced the powers of the House of Lords to obstruct legislation. The Tories pushed their opposition beyond the normal limits of bourgeois politics and the accepted rules of the game, as hitherto understood by all sections of the ruling class. George Dangerfield’s celebrated account of this period describes the way in which these divisions and a series of interrelated crises came together to produce an unprecedented conflagration, ultimately ending in “the strange death of Liberal England”.8 It was in this period of crisis in the years before 1914 that the issue of Irish Home Rule became intermeshed with these other challenges and the partition of Ireland became a realistic strategic option for British imperialism.9

Ulster will fight

Ireland became a political issue at Westminster almost as an accidental by-product of the vagaries of parliamentary arithmetic following the two general elections of 1910, which left the Liberal government dependent on the votes of the pro-Home Rule Irish Party to pass its legislation. In return Asquith’s Liberals promised to introduce a Home Rule bill, whose chances of success were now greatly strengthened by the reduction in the Lords’ veto powers enacted by the Parliament Act.10

Although a useful issue to both unite a divided Conservative party and mobilise their electoral base, Home Rule was much more than an easily available weapon for parliamentary games. Increasingly, the Tories used ‘Ulster’ as the key weapon in their campaign against Home Rule in Ireland and began arguing that it was legitimate to organise resistance to a fundamental challenge to the established constitutional order. When the Tory leader, Bonar Law, called the Liberal government “a revolutionary committee which has seized upon despotic power by fraud” and claimed it could only be opposed by methods that went beyond “ordinary constitutional struggle”, he meant it. There were, he argued, “things stronger than parliamentary majorities” and so he could “imagine no length of resistance to which Ulster can go in which I should not be prepared to support them”.11 Such ‘revolutionary’ rhetoric and militant threats showed that for Bonar Law and the Tories Ireland was central to the interests of the British empire in this period and so the status quo had to be preserved at all costs.

What gave Bonar Law’s threats real potency was the growing organised opposition to Home Rule amongst the unionist population of Ulster, especially in the north-eastern counties of Antrim, Down, Derry and Armagh. Centred on the urban area of Belfast, with its shipbuilding, engineering and textile industries, opposition to Home Rule was mobilised through well-established Orange Order and unionist organisations at a local level. Initially using the depth of opposition in these areas to argue that Home Rule for the whole of Ireland should not be implemented, the focus increasingly turned on ‘Ulster’s’ opposition to any form of limited devolution.

The reactionary sectarian politics of the Orange Order and the Ulster Unionists were given free rein. Home Rule was denounced as ‘Rome Rule’: a Home Rule parliament would place loyal Protestants at the mercy of their hereditary Catholic enemies, who would seek to undermine ‘Ulster’s’ modernity and economic progress and further the interests of the backward, rural south. A poem written by Kipling to rally support in Britain for the unionist cause captures the racist and bigoted nature of this sectarian appeal. It describes the qualities of Irish Catholics as “murder done by night, treason taught by day, folly, sloth and spite”, going on to warn of “the war prepared on every peaceful home” and “the hells declared for such as serve not Rome”. Calling for loyalty to “one law, one land, one throne”, it threatened violent resistance to the betrayals of a treacherous parliament: “if England drive us forth, we shall not stand alone”.12

Under the leadership of Edward Carson and the Ulster Unionist Council and with the financial and political support of Bonar Law and the Tories in Britain, a campaign to resist Home Rule began in earnest in 1912. Drawing on the social networks of the Orange Order and local unionist elites, landowners and business people, a mass campaign to sign the Ulster Covenant, establish an armed militia, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and prepare a ‘Provisional Government’ to take control of ‘Ulster’ in the event of Home Rule being passed had taken shape by 1913. This movement clearly added weight to the Tory threats of militant resistance and posed a real challenge to the Liberal government from which they naturally backed away.

Lenin accurately compared the UVF and the Orange Order to the Russian reactionary pogromists, the Black Hundreds, and argued that the Liberals, “the lackeys of the moneybags”, would not put up any kind of a fight and were only “capable of cringing before the Carsons”.13 This failure on the part of Asquith’s government was most clearly seen during the Curragh mutiny in 1914, when a section of the British army officer corps stationed in Ireland ‘let it be known’ that they would not ‘move against Ulster’, thus breaching military discipline. No action was taken against them. In the face of such ‘unconstitutional’ opposition within the state machine and further threats of civil war, all that the Liberals could do was to back down and offer yet more concessions to the Tories and their unionist allies.

The possibility that ‘Ulster’ would be excluded from Home Rule seemed increasingly likely, but the matter was put into abeyance by what for many in the Asquith government was the welcome outbreak of World War I.14 The idea of partition and the legitimation of ‘Ulster’s’ resistance to even modest measures of devolution was now clearly established and could emerge again when required. However, the reactionary alliance between the Tories at Westminster and the Ulster Unionists was designed not simply to defeat this very limited autonomy within the United Kingdom, but was rather part of a much wider strategy of popular mobilisation in defence of the empire and the constitution that could be turned against the increasingly militant British working class movement. When Bonar Law told the assembled ranks of the UVF, “You hold the pass for the empire”, this was much more than a figure of speech; it was the central core of the Tory campaign against Home Rule.15

Irish revolution

The growth of a movement for Irish national independence following the Easter Rising of 1916, and culminating in Sinn Féin’s electoral victory in the 1918 general election, posed a serious challenge to British rule in Ireland. Winning 73 out of 105 seats (six pro-Home Rule MPs were also elected with Sinn Féin support: the unionists secured 26 seats, largely in north-east Ulster), the party took this as a mandate to establish an independent republic.

Sinn Féin MPs did not take their seats at Westminster, but met instead in Dublin as Dáil Éireann - the assembly of Ireland. Initially conceived as part of a campaign of passive resistance and civil disobedience that would establish alternative structures of government and so undermine British rule, the British suppression of the Dáil and other attempts to crush the movement for independence, the armed guerrilla campaign of the Irish Republican Army provided a militant response. Combined with widespread popular support, the IRA’s armed struggle made the ‘normal’ functioning of the British state in Ireland impossible.

As the militant campaign for independence accelerated in 1919-20, the British undertook a ruthless counter-insurgency campaign, deploying troops, along with the notorious Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, to defeat the IRA. These state terrorists carried out murderous reprisals and collective punishments against the civilian population, whilst the British government suspended basic democratic rights and civil liberties in an attempt to undermine support for the republicans.16 Republican leaders such as Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith were petty bourgeois nationalists and socially conservative Catholics, who wanted to maintain existing property relationships and the established social order.17 They actively reined in any movements for the redistribution of land or the occupation of factories, aiming instead for their ideal of a self-governing bourgeois society, in which people like them ruled and prospered.18

Even so class conflict ran in parallel with the struggle for independence, frequently bringing militant workers and the rural poor into direct conflict with the Sinn Féin leadership and the IRA.19 A protest general strike against British plans to introduce conscription in 1918 was just the beginning of the rapid growth in trade union membership and a wave of working class militancy, such as the Limerick Soviet in 1919 and land seizures in rural areas.20 The leadership’s strategy was to use their popular base and the IRA’s military campaign to secure negotiations with the British rather than unleash a genuinely revolutionary movement. However, even with a leadership of this timid character, the movement in Ireland still posed a major threat to the interests of British imperialism and capitalism.

In the immediate aftermath of World War I an exhausted British imperialism faced challenges at home and abroad. A militant working class movement in Britain fought for improvements in wages and conditions, with many political and trade union activists influenced by the example of Soviet Russia. There were strong fears within the British ruling class that the wave of revolution could spread to Britain. There were similar fears about the empire, with movements for independence developing in India and Egypt. Attempts were made to crush these movements: the Amritsar massacre in 1919 was just the most blatant of a whole series of repressive measures taken throughout the British empire to maintain imperialism’s grip over its colonies.

Seen in this light, the crisis in Ireland goes beyond a little local difficulty and becomes quite central to the threats that the British ruling class faced. The broad outlines and aims of British strategy in Ireland were clear, although how they were to be effected still remained an open question and subject to a range of factors and dynamics. Given Ireland’s geographical and strategic position, its domination by British capitalism and close integration into the British economy, it was clear that the British state could not be indifferent about the stability of the country and the protection of vital British interests in Ireland. Furthermore, an ignominious retreat from Ireland - England’s oldest colony - in the face of a successful popular movement would be a significant spur to similar movements throughout the empire.

The British advocates of Home Rule had recognised in the 19th century that Ireland could not be governed in the old way. Instead, they sought to maintain the essence of British control and safeguard their selfish strategic, political and economic interests by reconfiguring the forms of British rule. This entailed drawing in the emerging urban and rural bourgeoisie - politically represented by the constitutional nationalists of the Irish Parliamentary Party - into a new governing partnership: Home Rule. With due recognition of the significant political changes that had occurred since 1914, it was an updated form of this strategy that the British government now attempted to implement in 1920.

Ireland Act

One important change was a major shift in the balance of political forces within the British ruling class. Although headed by Lloyd George, nominally a Liberal, the coalition government that had been returned following the 1918 general election was dominated by Conservatives, with strong representation from those Tories who had been closest to the unionist cause during the pre-1914 Home Rule crisis, including Bonar Law, Lord Birkenhead (formerly FE Smith) and Walter Long.21 To this government the interests of the empire and ‘Ulster’ would be paramount and effectively identical.

The Government of Ireland Act 1920 came into effect in 1921, partitioning Ireland by establishing two Home Rule parliaments in northern and southern Ireland. The act was a dead letter in most of the country, but it was implemented in the north and so established the political and constitutional status quo that still remains in place today. The devolved government set up in ‘Northern Ireland’ survived the negotiations that resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921, as well as the Boundary Commission 1924-25, which was subsequently charged with defining the boundaries of the new statelet.

Partition can thus be dated not from the Anglo-Irish Treaty, but the Government of Ireland Act: it was a British ‘solution’ to ‘the Irish question’ and was already a fait accompli even before the Irish delegation set off for London to hold talks with the British. The political rationale for partition presented by the coalition government drew heavily on contemporary ideas of ‘self-determination’ and the protection of the rights of minorities, which allegedly informed the Versailles and other post-1918 peace treaties. Unionist arguments about the existence of a homogenous ‘Ulster’ community - with a distinctive political, economic, cultural, religious and ethno-national character that distinguished it from the rest of Ireland - were used by the British government to justify partition.22

Politically, the government of Ireland would be at arm’s length from Britain and safely removed from party politics at Westminster. However, broader British interests were met by the two devolved parliaments having rather limited autonomous powers over their internal affairs, whilst remaining within the United Kingdom. Thus politically, strategically and economically, Ireland would firmly remain under British control.

The ‘southern’ parliament never functioned and the republican leadership continued to oppose both partition and the limited form of self-government that the act offered. However, in the north, despite some initial reservations from unionists suspicious of any government structure that smacked of ‘Home Rule’, elections were held and a new Northern Ireland parliament was formally opened in May 1921. Unionist objections were quickly overcome when it was clear that in the six counties designated as Northern Ireland the unionist electorate would form a clear majority, although in Tyrone, Fermanagh and the city of Derry unionists actually constituted a minority. As the Unionist leader James Craig argued the six counties were the largest area that contained a “decisive Protestant majority, in which unionist power could be guaranteed in perpetuity”.23

In creating a viable and compact territory, the Government of Ireland Act had secured the political interests of the overall unionist majority at the expense of a significant nationalist minority, which was incorporated into the new statelet without consent. As unionists themselves recognised at the time, this Northern Ireland was something of a political fiction specifically designed to secure a ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’. Three Ulster counties with significant minorities of unionists - Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan - remained outside the new dispensation in ‘southern’ Ireland, showing that, for all the talk of the organic territorial and cultural unity of Ulster that was heard during the Home Rule crisis, it was political expediency and British interests that decided the issue in the end.

The embryo of the new northern state lay in the political and social networks of unionism, including the Ulster Unionist Council and its local associations dominated by local landed and business elites, the Orange Order and the UVF, which would simply be rebadged as the Ulster Special Constabulary and become an armed militia compromising a majority of the adult male Protestant population of the Six Counties.24 Westminster stood aside and allowed the unionists to get on with the job of setting up their new state - with generous financial support from Britain and a cadre of experienced civil servants and police officers to organise the administrative and security apparatus.

The new state was born in violence, with repression and sectarian attacks directed at the Catholic population, especially in Belfast and Derry. Attacks on Catholic workers in the shipyards and factories, along with forced expulsions from their homes, added to the sense of defeat amongst the beleaguered minority. These measures and pogroms were soon to be followed in the early 1920s with a more systematic, conscious strategy to maintain the unionist ascendancy, including electoral gerrymandering, structured discrimination in public housing and employment practices, and emergency special powers legislation.

This rotten edifice was to remain substantially intact until the mobilisation of the nationalist population through the civil rights movement began to challenge the state in the late 1960s, paving the way for the mass insurrection of the Provisionals that finally brought down Stormont in 1972.

Truce and treaty

The establishment of a new southern state would not be far behind. Although the Dublin establishment defines its state as the product of a revolutionary struggle for independence and the negotiations that produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, the Irish Free State could be seen as in effect the continuation of the stillborn ‘southern’ parliament that the Government of Ireland Act had enacted in 1920.

There was, however, a major constitutional difference, which would cause serious political divisions and ultimately civil war. Rather than an independent republic, this new state was now a self-governing dominion within the British empire, with the British monarch as head of state and an oath of allegiance taken by members of the new Dáil. Moreover, whilst formally the Irish Free State covered all 32 of Ireland’s counties, the six counties of Northern Ireland were given the right to opt out of the arrangement, which they duly did.

In the Dáil debates about the treaty, symbolic issues such as the oath of allegiance and the Free State’s constitutional relationship with the British empire loomed larger than partition, but, as opposition grew to the settlement in the spring of 1922, the treaty’s de facto acceptance of the division of the island became more significant.25 Given the way that the pro- and anti-treaty positions ostensibly defined the ‘civil war’ politics of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the 26 counties until the 1980s, it is not surprising that the conduct of the treaty negotiations and the acceptance of the Free State as a stepping stone to ‘the Republic’ - the “freedom to gain freedom”, as Collins described it - has long fascinated historians and formed the stuff of political knockabout.26

However, for the Irish left the question is a rather more serious one than simply accusing Michael Collins of betrayal or lamenting the tactical mistakes of the Irish delegation during the negotiations. Given the nature of the leadership of the independence movement and its very limited aims, some form of partial settlement was perhaps inevitable. These ‘conservative revolutionaries’ wanted an independent Irish state and were prepared to use political violence to secure that objective. What they did not want was a revolution that radically altered the social and economic structures of Irish society. There were political and tactical limits to their militancy and these had been reached when they sat down to negotiate with the British in 1921.

The IRA’s campaign was designed to politically discredit and undermine British rule in Ireland rather than defeat the crown forces on the field of battle: despite some brilliant operations by the IRA flying columns and the ruthless campaign of the Squad in Dublin, for Collins and the other leaders the objectives of the armed struggle were always more propagandist and diplomatic than military or revolutionary.

As petty bourgeois nationalists, the leaders of Sinn Féin and the IRA could not take the struggle forward and complete the national democratic revolution. They deliberately confined themselves to the political, economic and social structures laid down by British imperialism and Irish capitalism. The alternative strategy of mobilising the Irish masses in a real revolutionary struggle and linking up with the British working class to fight their common enemies was impossible for them to even contemplate, let alone initiate.

The defeat of successive republican leaderships shows the political and strategic weakness of these movements, not simply the personal weaknesses or betrayals of this or that individual. Even the most successful campaigns, such as that of the Provisionals in the 1970s, have run up against that barrier and will do so again, while militant republican politics confine the struggle to the limits set by British imperialism and Irish capitalism.

British imperialism partitioned Ireland and so created two sectarian, reactionary states on both sides of the border to meet its political and strategic interests. The subsequent political and economic development of the whole island after 1921 has continued to be shaped by that carnival of reaction, which in a different form is still reproduced by the communalised politics of the Six Counties and the corrupt bourgeois democracy of the Dublin establishment.

Centenaries are always a good opportunity to look back, but in the case of the treaty and the partition of Ireland they are perhaps more importantly a chance to look forward to a new working class politics that begins the real struggle to overcome the division of Ireland and overthrow the reactionary states that emerged from the defeat of the Irish revolution in 1921.


  1. www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1914/03/laborpar.htm.↩︎

  2. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-59855461.↩︎

  3. For a sample of the debate amongst historians see C.Brady (ed) Interpreting Irish history: the debate on historical revisionism, 1938-1994 London 1995. See also P Berresford Ellis Revisionism in Irish historical writing: the new anti-nationalist school of historians London 1989: www.connollyassociation.org.uk/about/revisionism-irish-historical-writing.↩︎

  4. See www.decadeofcentenaries.com/about/, and www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/decade-centenaries for the ways that these events have been framed by the governments in Dublin and Belfast. For some criticisms of these approaches by Trinity College Dublin historian Brian Hanley, see www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/historians-support-president-s-decision-not-to-attend-service-1.4677111; and www.irishtimes.com/opinion/the-ric-was-never-a-normal-police-force-commemorating-it-would-be-a-travesty-1.4136031.↩︎

  5. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/subject/ireland/index.htm.↩︎

  6. T Garvin Nationalist revolutionaries in Ireland, 1858-1928, Oxford 1987.↩︎

  7. See JA Hobson’s analysis of the psychology of jingoism and his contemporary explanations for Tory electoral support: archive.org/details/psychologyofjing00hobsuoft/page/n9/mode/2up.↩︎

  8. G Dangerfield The strange death of liberal England London 1936, pvii.↩︎

  9. R Fanning Fatal path: British government and Irish revolution 1910-1922, London 2013.↩︎

  10. C Townshend The partition: Ireland divided 1885-1925 London 2021, pp54-94.↩︎

  11. Ibid p73.↩︎

  12. poetandpoem.com/Rudyard-Kipling/Ulster-1912#.↩︎

  13. VI Lenin British labour and British imperialism London 1969, p56.↩︎

  14. C Townshend op cit pp83-85.↩︎

  15. www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/battle-lines-drawn-as-tories-join-fray-1.508421.↩︎

  16. C Townshend Political violence in Ireland: government and resistance since 1848 Oxford 1983; and The republic: the fight for Irish independence, 1918-1923 London 2013.↩︎

  17. T Garvin op cit.↩︎

  18. For examples of this ‘ideology’ see M Collins The path to freedom Dublin 1922.↩︎

  19. C Kostick Revolution in Ireland: popular militancy 1917 to1923 London 1996.↩︎

  20. For an assessment of Ireland’s ‘conservative revolution’ see ‘Marc Mulholland - Ireland’s conservative revolution on YouTube’: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxvErGPi0jI.↩︎

  21. C Townshend The partition: Ireland divided 1885-1925 London 2021, p127.↩︎

  22. I Gibbons Partition: how and why Ireland was divided London 2020, pp43-56.↩︎

  23. D Ferriter The border: the legacy of a century of Anglo-Irish politics London 2019, p8.↩︎

  24. M Farrell Northern Ireland: the orange state London 1976.↩︎

  25. www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/100-years-ago-today-mary-macswiney-s-marathon-speech-against-the-treaty-1.4761048.↩︎

  26. www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/parnell-and-now-michael-collins-what-s-with-tory-brexiteers-quoting-irish-heroes-1.4060216.↩︎