The Wind That Shakes The Barley…Directed by Ken Loach.

Image © Terence wiki

Nora Connolly

I first saw this movie in 2006 and recall people leaving the cinema in tears. A powerful film directed by a master of the craft, Ken Loach. The last fifteen minutes deeply moving, as Teddy O’Donovan (Padraic Delaney) fails to persuade his brother and former brother-in-arms Damien (Cillian Murphy) to join the ranks of the pro-Treaty forces and give up his anti-Treaty comrades. Teddy O`Donovan orders Damien`s execution, granting the condemned man time to write a letter to Sinead (Orla Fitzgerald). In the early hours Damien meets his death, Teddy O`Donovan dressed in his Free State uniform, commands the firing squad to kill his brother. A scene of betrayal realistically portrayed. We then see Teddy go to Sinead with the letter; Sinead breaks down (a beautiful performance by Fitzgerald) and orders O`Donovan off her land. Sinead becomes a metaphor for Ireland, the Cathleen ni Houlihan of the film (TWTSTB has more in common with O`Casey than Yeats). It deserved its critical acclaim but as a piece of history it`s flawed. Read more of this post

The British Gunner and the Irish Civil War

Nora Connolly

Michael Collins

Copyright drick

The BBC Radio 4`s investigative history series (Document) has unearthed evidence concerning a sensitive period in Anglo-Irish relations, the programme focuses on a primary source written by a British soldier, Percy Creek which undermines the nationalist foundations underpinning the establishment of the Irish state and potentially damages the heroic status of Michael Collins.

On the 6 December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and ratified in Dail Eireann January 1922. This granted dominion status or partial sovereignty to the twenty-six counties, amongst other things the British held various sea-ports in the South and significantly the island was partitioned with the North remaining within the United Kingdom.

As the broadcast explains the Anglo-Irish Agreement led to a split in the Irish Republican movement, into pro and anti-Treaty camps. In April 1922 anti-Treaty forces took control of Dublin`s Four-Courts, while a general election was underway in the South, resulting in the pro-Treaty forces gaining power. Those supporting the agreement included Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy and Arthur Griffiths and on the anti-Treaty side De Valera and Rory O`Connor. A political split eventually led to armed insurrection and Civil War, a bitter struggle the first shot fired on the 28 June 1922, when the Provisional Government led by Collins attacked the Four-Courts – then under the control of Rory O`Connor – attempting a re-run of the 1916 Easter Uprising – he was executed in December 1922. Read more of this post

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