Tragically, many of these families who had fought so ferociously together before the treaty soon turned against one another in the Civil War that followed. While Britain was left in peace, the Irish fought amongst themselves so mercilessly that they left Ireland a wrecked shell of its former ideal. This infighting and terror did not fully stop until the 1990s and the inbred distrust within the nation still haunts each succeeding generation.
In April 1922, Anti-Treaty forces had taken over the Four Courts building in Dublin. The subsequent bombardment by National Army forces in June led to a huge explosion of stored munitions which destroyed the Public Records Office, and along with it a huge swathe of Irish cultural memory
Thirdly, this was a propaganda and information war. The tactic of fighting the British in open combat was nearly eliminated after the doomed Easter Rising of 1916. Instead, the Irish focused on securing the ballot box and infiltrating the network of British spies and assassins. This British network had proved successful at crushing previous uprisings by arresting Irish leaders at the very first suspicion of revolutionary activities. The methods the Irish Republican Army used to achieve this control over government Intelligence were brutal and condemned by the British as unethical. This, however, did not serve to deter the British from inflicting upon the Irish people equally brutal reprisals.
The aftermath of the Easter Rising, a failed attempt to throw off the British government and establish an independent Irish republic
Lastly, unlike many previous uprisings, this final war was the product of a long nurtured cultural struggle known as the Gaelic Revival. There was a general acknowledgment by the generation’s leaders that their long outlawed culture, language and history had to be revived. They knew this heritage must be learned and valued by Ireland’s youth before any martial attempt would be blessed with lasting success.
The aftermath of The Burning of Cork by British forces December 11-12, 1920
With this purposeful throwing off of imperial indoctrination, there grew an ever increasing admiration for America’s founding documents and principles of liberty and self government. Catholic Ireland’s struggle—as in the contemporary communist Revolution of Russia, or even that of the French—was to justify the singularly Protestant assertion that freedom is a God-given right. Asserting that freedom can neither be claimed nor earned, but is a right inherited from God, the one true Lawmaker, dictates that neither Popes nor ordained Sovereigns can take that away. The inhabitants of County Cork found themselves in the thick of this dilemma when the Pope excommunicated the entire county simply for defending their homes as British troops set them ablaze!
In conclusion, in a Christian nation, methods of warfare matter. And when you have once pushed the moral line of conduct against your enemy, it is shockingly easy to use the same methods on your friends, given provocation. By doing so, you destroy what you once fought for and greatly risk destroying the collective conscience of your nation.