The course will investigate and interrogate the decade (1913-23) in which the foundations were laid for Irish independence and in which the establishment of the Irish Free State was achieved. We will examine the unionist drive to forestall Home Rule which would lead, ironically, to a form of devolution. We will trace the rise of Sinn Féin as it, somewhat fortuitously, came to epitomise the struggle for separatism. How did the Irish Volunteers of 1913 split into two numerically unequal forces? How did Ireland respond to the exigencies of the First World War? What, if any, role did organised labour play in state formation? How did the Volunteers of 1916 become the Irish Republican Army of 1919-21? How a form of legislative independence was achieved, and how the beginnings of decolonisation were postponed to accommodate an internecine conflict, as the unity of Sinn Féin and the IRA unravelled after the ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922.
WEEK 1 – Course Introduction + The Home Rule Crisis and the Unionist Response
How the People’s Budget led to the Home Rule crisis – the threat to the House of Lords – the Solemn League and Covenant – Tory support for unionist opposition to Home Rule – the emergence of Carson and Craig – the Ulster Volunteers
WEEK 2 – Ireland and Word War 1
The 10th, 16th and 36th in the Great War – how the three Irish divisions fared and the key encounters that led to 36,000 Irish deaths
Irish Recruiting posters – how advertising was used to recruit
Ledwidge’s war – the military career and early death of the poet Francis Ledwidge
A sort of homecoming – what Irish soldiers met when they returned from WW1
WEEK 3 – The 1916 Rising
The IRB Military council– planning, executing, aborting, and reinstating the insurrection
The battle for Dublin
How to lose a country in 16 executions – the courts martial and executions
WEEK 4 – 1917 – 1919
The rise, decline and rise of Sinn Féin
The Conscription crisis
The 1918 General Election
WEEK 5 – The War of Independence 1
The First Dáil and Soloheadbeg – the IRA gears up – the military campaign and the response – the British policy of reprisal
The Propaganda war
The ‘other’ war – land seizures and the Sinn Féin courts
WEEK 6 – War of Independence 2
De Valera in America
The Secret War – Michael Collins, IRA Intelligence and the Squad
IRA Executions – Meath case study
WEEK 7 – Miscellaneous
Labour from the Lockout to the 1920 local elections
What did granddad do in the War of Independence? – exploring Family history
WEEK 8 – Resolving the Anglo-Irish War
The Truce and the Treaty Negotiations
Dail debates and decision making – the slide to Civil War
WEEK 9 – The Irish Civil War
The 1922 election pact – the pact starts to fray at the edges – the occupation of the Four Courts – the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson – siege of the Four Courts – the battle for Dublin – the battle for Munster – the deaths of Collins and Griffith – Free State and IRA atrocities – the ‘77’ executions – the Republican surrender
WEEK 10 – Legacies
The Civil War and partition
What we lost in the Four Courts
The 1924 Army Mutiny
The Kevin O’Higgins assassination and the Sinn Féin/ Fianna Fáil split
Students must attend at least 80% of classes to graduate with either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance unless a serious and verifiable reason for further absence is provided.
If completing the course online, attendance and participation is tracked through Moodle.
A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding of the Diploma.
Dr Myles Dungan
Dr Myles Dungan has hosted current affairs, arts and sports programmes on both radio and television for more than two decades. A Fulbright scholar, educated at UCD and the University of California, Berkeley, he is the author of 11 books, including works on the Irish in America, the Great War, and the Irish Crown Jewels.
He is the author of two plays and the presenter of The History Show on RTE Radio 1. One of his best-known works, How The Irish Won The West, has been re-published in America.
Why City Colleges
- Courses for students who are passionate about their subject, delivered by leaders in their field.
- Live lectures which are also streamed live on Moodle and recorded for review
- City centre location in South Great George’s Street, convenient for bus, LUAS, DART
- Southside Dublin location in Dundrum
- Study rooms and library in our City Centre location
- Limited class size