Between Two Hells The Irish Civil War
In December 1921, five months after a truce between the IRA and British Crown Forces, Sinn Fein negotiators signed a compromise treaty with representatives of the British government. It created the Irish Free State, a self-governing dominion within the British empire, for the twenty-six counties of southern Ireland. Its terms generated turmoil within the republican movement and the country and in June 1922 Ireland collapsed into a cruel civil war, ripping Sinn Fein, the IRA and its female wing Cumann na mBan, local communities and families asunder. While the body count suggests it was far less devastating than some other European civil wars, it had a harrowing impact on the small island and cast a long shadow, socially, economically and politically, which included both public rows and recriminations and deep, often private traumas.