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The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty. Time period/cultural context. Set during the early weeks of the Irish civil war IRA (Irish Republican Army) vs the Irish Free State The civil war lasted for almost a year.

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the sniper by liam o flaherty

The Sniperby Liam O’Flaherty

Time period/cultural context

slide2

Set during the early weeks of the Irish civil war

  • IRA (Irish Republican Army) vs the Irish Free State
  • The civil war lasted for almost a year
slide3

The Irish Free State was the state established as a territory under the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

  • Signed by the British government and Irish representatives who took an “Oath of Allegiance”.
  • Comprised the entire island of Ireland, but Northern Ireland almost immediately exercised its right under the treaty to remove itself from the new state
slide4

The Oath of Allegiance: “I... do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established, and that I will be faithful to His Majesty King George V, his heirs and successors by law in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of nations.”

slide6

The battle of Dublin marks the official start of the civil war from 28 June to 5 July 1922.

  • The fighting began with an assault by the Irish Free State forces on the Four Courts building, which had been occupied by the Anti-Treaty IRA.
  • Ended in a decisive victory for the Free state forces.
slide7
In the fall of 1922, after taking part in the Four Courts incident as a Republican soldier, O’Flaherty fled Ireland. Settling in London, O’Flaherty procured a typewriter and wrote “The Sniper” while the devastating Irish civil war was still going on. 

He believed that the war led to the disunity of Irish society, which in the end cost the lives of thousands of Irish people(between 1000-4000).

slide8

Near the end of the war, a lot of executions took place. The Irish Free state began executions on the 17th of November, 1922 where 5 IRA men were shot by a firing squad.

  • On november 24th, 1922 Robert Erskine Childers, an acclaimed author and treaty negotiator, was executed.
  • The IRA followed up by assassinating SeánHales, a member of the Irish parliament.
  • Number of unauthorized executions of Republican prisoners goes as high as 153 executions.
end of the war
End of the war
  • The Free State killed the IRA leader Liam Lynch and captured senior IRA officers allowing Frank Aiken to take over as Chief of Staff.
  • Aiken called a halt to the unwinnable war and later declared a ceasefire on behalf of the anti-treaty forces on the 30th of April, 1923.