Dwyer, T. Ryle  

Michael Collins and the Civil War


During the Civil War, Michael Collins was commander-in-chief of the Free State Army. Contains previously unknown information about tactics and strategies taken by Collins and Churchill during the Civil War.


On 14 April 1922 a group of 200 anti-Treaty IRA men occupied the Four Courts in Dublin in defiance of the Provisional Government. Michael Collins, who wanted to avoid civil war at all costs, did not attack them until June 1922, when British pressure forced his hand. This led to the Irish Civil War as fighting broke out in Dublin between the anti-Treaty IRA and the Provisional Governments troops. Under Collins supervision, the Free State rapidly took control of the capital.

In Michael Collins and the Civil War, T. Ryle Dwyer sheds new light on Collins' role in the Civil War, showing how in the weeks and months leading to the campaign he secretly persisted with guerrilla tactics in border areas. This involved not only assassination but also kidnapping and hostage taking. In confronting those tactics on behalf of the British Winston Churchill engaged in similar behaviour, including killing and hostage-taking.

Until now much of this has conveniently been swept under the carpet of history.

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ISBN 9781781170328

About the Author

T. Ryle Dwyer is a historian and journalist. He took his PhD at the University of North Texas and lives in County Kerry. He has written many books, notably on the period of the War of Independence and the Civil War, and on Éamon De Valera and Michael Collins. He is also an expert on relations between Ireland and the Allies during the Second World War. Some of his titles with Mercier Press include: I Signed My Death Warrant - Michael Collins and the Treaty, The Squad, Tans, Terror and Troubles: Kerry's Real Fighting Story and an acclaimed biography of Jack Lynch, Nice Fellow.