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The Dead of the Irish Revolution$
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Eunan O'Halpin and Daithi O Corrain

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300123821

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300123821.001.0001

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Introduction by Eunan O’halpin

Introduction by Eunan O’halpin

(p.1) Introduction by Eunan O’halpin
(p.iii) The Dead of the Irish Revolution

Eunan O’Halpin

Daithí Ó Corráin

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of how many people died as a consequence of Irish political violence between April of 1916 and December 31, 1921. While some of those who died during the Irish Revolution are well known, most are not even recalled in historical footnotes. This book identifies their backgrounds, why they died and who was directly responsible for their deaths. It focuses solely on fatalities in a conflict which involved four main sets of protagonists — civilians, rebels collectively termed 'Irish military', police, and the British army — but other forces were also involved in nine-county Ulster, where some of the violence was attributable to the partisan Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) formed in November of 1920, to loyalist paramilitaries and civilians, and to nationalists who were not republicans. What most distinguishes 1916 from later years are the high proportion of civilian casualties and, within that category, of female deaths; the absence of any sectarian element in killings; and the absence of targeted killings — other than by execution following courts martial of the leaders of the rebellion — by either Crown forces or the rebels. What also distinguishes 1916 from 1919–21 is the absence of Ulster loyalist action against the Catholic minority during and after the Rising, in contrast to the considerable violence from 1920 onwards of which the Catholic civilian population were the main targets and the community which lost most people.

Keywords:   Irish political violence, Irish Revolution, civilian casualties, rebels, Irish military, police, British army, Ulster loyalists, 1916 Rising, nationalists

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