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ONLINE LECTURE: From Treaty to Civil War in Ireland
A centenary lecture on the Irish Civil War from Seán Byers
The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on 6 December 1921, consolidating partition and granting the embryonic Irish Free State a truncated form of political independence. Within six months, disputes over the Treaty clauses had ushered in a brutal civil war among erstwhile comrades in the broad-based national independence movement.
This lecture will trace how the Treaty was negotiated and ratified, highlighting the key issues that triggered a split within Sinn Féin and led to civil war. It will look at how the issue of partition and Ireland’s relationship to Empire were treated by the two sides, as well as exploring the underlying class dimensions of the Treaty settlement and Civil War. Finally, we will assess the overall significance of the Civil War as a key phase in the counter-revolution.
Seán Byers works for Trademark Belfast, a trade union linked organisation focused on anti-sectarianism, political education and the new economy. He is the author of Seán Murray: Marxist-Leninist and Irish Socialist Republican (2015), a political biography of the eponymous War of Independence veteran and Communist Party of Ireland general secretary.