chapter  3
54 Pages

Closing The Books

Britain and Ireland, 1920–6
WithSeán McConville

A truce between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British forces in Ireland was signed on 9 July 1921 and came into effect two days later. This was not a final settlement between the parties but cleared the way for Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political counterpart, to enter into discussions with the British government. A number of prisoners tried, convicted and sentenced in Northern Ireland were transferred to England. Public opinion in Southern Ireland was always apt to be stirred by reports about republican prisoners. In the closing weeks of the Civil War, conditions were extremely difficult in Ireland, both for a swathe of the civilian population and for the surviving anti-Treaty forces. As with earlier versions of internment and deportation, an Advisory Committee was established to consider appeals. This gave some gloss of elementary fairness to a process almost completely devoid of the elements of natural justice.