1922 – Led by Rory O’Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seize the Four Courts in Dublin.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Anti-Treaty forces led by Rory O’Connor seized the Four Courts. O’Connor, with approximately 200 men under his command, hoped that his actions would provoke the British troops still in the country to attack, reuniting the IRA against a common enemy.

Arthur Griffith, who was the President of Dáil Éireann, wanted to take action immediately to dislodge the rebels from the Four Courts. Michael Collins, the head of the Free State Army, wanted to avoid a civil war at all costs. He negotiated a pact with DeValera to reunite Sinn Féin. The pact held until just before the General Election in June 1922. As a result of the pact’s failure, Collins’ Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin won the majority of the seats. Collins had left the garrison in the Four Courts alone but slowly built up the Free State Army presence in the area. He was still willing to negotiate to avoid a…

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