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Phelan

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  1. Equally interesting idea but utterly impossible, I think. The RUC were always different from mainland Police for a reason. Mainland Forces just wouldn't have the intelligence support or the degree of ability/credibility to prosecute the sort of campaign that's required, so any concept of Mutual Aid is out of the question for both operational and political reasons. They would be portrayed as modern-day 'Black & Tans' by the Sinn Fein spin doctors. I was a Military Policeman in NI from 1972-74 and we tried to introduce 'Mainland Policing' in the form of joint (RMP/RUC) unarmed patrols in Na
  2. Gents, getting back to the original question, splits have always been enshrined in Irish Republicanism. The standing joke is that the first item on any Ard Feis agenda is what the new break-away group is going to be called and I think this reflects a certain ambivalence in Irish attitudes to UK. There's a strong debate going on here in RoI about the real significance of the Easter Rising. Some take the traditional view (heroes, martyrs, etc.) and some view 1916 and the ensuing War of Independence as utter folly, bearing in mind that the Home Rule Bill was already signed & sealed in 1914 an
  3. Thanks Bob. This will be a protracted project as most of the solid material is likely to be held at the British Public Record Office in Kew, London. I work in Africa in the private security industry month on-month off and I can't really justify extended periods in London during my downtime. I hope to be able to focus my study on the activities of the Auxiliaries in W. Cork since it's the area that saw most of the real action. Contrary to popular belief the War of Independence didn't inflame the whole island and membership of the IRA only became really 'fashionable' after the Treaty was conclud
  4. Thanks Nick, in Ireland the mere passage of time does not confer a badge of historicity on any event. I've spoken to people in N. Cork who speak of the 17c Battle of Knocknanuss and the death of Lord Inchiquinn as if they were a car crash that happened yesterday and left some current families bereaved. In the case of 1919-22 I think the word 'atrocity' is probably key to understanding what went on. Atrocity wasn't simply an occasional by-product of an otherwise 'clean' war. Atrocity was the entirety of both the strategic and tactical War of Independence as fought by either side (a policy that
  5. An interesting comparison indeed, but I don't think it holds up for very long. Germany was badly fragmented at this time and had all but descended into anarchy with a variety of virtual warlords attracting allegiance on the grounds of politics, ethnicity/regionalism (to a certain extent), or past Service Records. The Tans & Auxiliaries were much more coherent, driven by a central political impetus and deployed as a solution to a very particular problem. I don't know about their further employment post-1922 but I doubt whether the Regular Forces would have seen their Irish Service as a hind
  6. Thanks for your reply. I would be most interested in what those 'Tans' had to say even though I'm trying to focus on the Auxilliaries in particular. As far as I'm aware only Richard Bennett has written a book called 'The Black and Tans' (well written but direly referenced) even though one can find 'references' to 'Tans' & Auxilliaries in numerous works. 'The Green Flag', as you say, is one of the most objective works on Irish Nationalism per se but Robert Kee was painting with a broad brush. I'm trying to get specifics relating to: Parliamentary decisions Qualifications Desired/Accepted
  7. Hi Bob, I fully understand the personal aspects of all this. One of my ancestors at the time was Sean Treacy (shot dead in a gunfight in Dublin by Crown Forces) whilst both my Tipperary Grandfathers fought in the British Army in WW1. I currently live in W. Cork (the real hotbed of violence in the War of Independence) and few of my neighbours' families were left untouched. Indeed, my wife's uncle, a teenager at the time, was shot in the arse by a passing patrol of Tans near Mallow (N. Cork) in a fit of joie de feu. All of this notwithstanding, it's the job of the historian to get beneath indivi
  8. That may well be the case but I think we have to see them in the context of the time & place they were operating. Too much of what passes for Irish history is little more than propaganda posted by the victors. Only one book has been written about them. It's a good book but lacks footnotes & references. I'm interested in their backgrounds, motivations, experiences etc as they appear in primary sources - records, diaries, letters, conversations etc. I think we owe them that objectivity.
  9. I've been researching the history of the 1919-1921 Irish War of Independence. The RIC Auxiliary Cadet Force (all ex military officers) were reviled as Black and Tans (a separate unit in fact) and I've got the feeling they've had a bad press. I'm trying to get behind the rhetoric and propaganda and find out about the stories of the real people. Material is quite hard to come by. Any ideas?
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