The Irish Civil War

The Irish War of Independence, which lasted from 1922 to 9123, was fought in order to determine whether or not the country would remain a part of the British Empire. The Free State forces won (as opposed to the IRA) and the country was kept in the Empire. However, at a cost that that divided the country so deeply that these debates are still going on today.

The documentary, The Madness from Within,¬†broadcasted in 1998, showed the lasting impacts on the country and different personal views from children whose parents’ lived through the wars themselves. Throughout the film, it showed the immense violence and bloodshed of leaders and activists as well as the outcome of the two party state we see today.

I found the documentary hard to follow, however very intriguing. This deep set division still resonates today in a way that leaves many Irish still bitter about the outcome. Current IRA members (now a guerrilla army) are being prosecuted today. This battle may have had a cease fire, but it doesn’t seem like the deep rooted ideologies ever left families after all these decades.

The Madness from Within

The Madness from Within is an interesting documentary that examines the causes, events, and consequences of the Irish Civil War through interviews and archival footage. On June 28th 1922, after the Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the Irish Free State, the Irish Civil War began. Conflict arose between two opposing groups of Irish nationalists, the Free State and the Irish Republican Army (IRA), over the Anglo-Irish treaty. The Free State triumphed over the Irish Republicans, thanks to the money, weapons, and support from the British. It was a short yet bloody war and the ramifications are still very much present in Ireland.

The part I found most interesting about the documentary is the unrest Ireland is currently experiencing because of the Civil War. Today, the IRA has a modern sect formed by the direct descendants of the original IRA. They are not afraid to use arms if necessary. This shows how there is still an immense amount of conflict within Ireland, and they are not a united country.

One of the main reasons the IRA may never be satisfied is because of their disdain for negotiation. Their mistrust comes from the original negotiation with Britain in 1921. Due to the IRA’s unwillingness to negotiate, I do not think the political unrest will ever die down in Ireland. They will continue to have power struggles and acts of violence until the IRA is willing to sit down, listen, and negotiate with others. Although it is impossible for everyone to get what they want, there could be a way to compromise.

As time goes on, will the younger generations care less about the past and be able to move forward from a century of conflict?