Podcast series: Treaty, Civil War and Michael Collins — Ireland's lost leader

Podcast series: Treaty, Civil War and Michael Collins — Ireland's lost leader

Ireland's lost leader? Michael Collins. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In an Irish Examiner podcast series, Mick Clifford delves into Ireland's history. He discusses the signing of the Treaty in 1921 and the violence that stemmed from it, causing a bloody civil war that claimed the life of Michael Collins — Ireland's lost leader. 

Part 1: A Politics Divided with David McCullagh

The signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921 opened up a chasm in Irish politics that wouldn’t really close for nearly a century. In this episode, we talk to historian and journalist David McCullagh about the politics that led up to the conflict, how politics was sidelined while the guns were firing and what kind of political firmament emerged when the smoke cleared on the newly established free state.

Part 2: The Big Fella Writ Large with Gabriel Doherty

Michael Collins was the man who won the war, or so some said. Others considered him the Lost Leader, a figure who could have brought the new state to a bright, new shining place. On 22 August 1922, Collins was shot dead in Béal na Bláth in West Cork. A life well and fully lived came to a horribly premature end. 

But who was this man who served as both Director of Intelligence and Minister for Finance in the War of Independence, who went on to sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty in the prophetic knowledge that he would never live to see a form of freedom for his country?

UCC historian and lecturer Gabriel Doherty is the guest on this episode. He talks about the man, the myths and the tragedy.

Part 3: The Violence with Gemma Clark 

The Civil War was noted for episodes of outrage that many felt sank to the depth of depravity. Many of these occurred in Munster and in particular in Co Kerry. But what was the real character of the violence, and how did it get so out of hand among combatants who until the previous year had all been united in fighting a common enemy, the British crown forces?

In this episode, Dr Gemma Clark from the University of Exeter examines the character of the violence in the conflict.

Part 4: The Role of Women with Dr Mary McAuliffe and Dr Hilary Dully 

For most of the last hundred years, the role of women in the revolutionary period, including the Civil War, received shockingly little attention but that is now changing. Apart from the general omissions, there were women who played particularly prominent roles in the Civil War. Their lives and contributions to the period are examined in this podcast by Dr Mary McAuliffe and Dr Hilary Dully.

Part 5: Civil War Trauma with Dr Gavin Foster 

The Civil War lasted for little more than a year but what of the lingering fall-out and the bitterness that infected politics for decades afterwards? 

Dr Gavin Foster, Associate Professor in Irish Studies at Concordia University in Canada, has studied the trauma that followed the hostilities in 1922-23 and he found that while the conflict was relatively brief it case a very long shadow. 

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