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New project highlights fatalities during Irish Civil War

The number of fatalities during the Civil War was “considerably less” than in the War of Independence, according to a new study.

The Civil War lasted 11 months from 28 June 1922 to 24 May 1923 and was over the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in November 1921.

The Treaty formally ended the War of Independence, set the stage for British withdrawal from most of Ireland and the handover of power to an independent Irish government.

The new research and digital mapping by The Irish Civil War Fatalities Project was launched by Minister for Culture Catherine Martin today.

It identified 1,426 violent deaths in the Free State during the conflict, of whom 648 were pro-Treaty, 438 were anti-Treaty, 336 were civilians and four were members of the Crown forces.

Read more:
The Irish Civil War Fatalities Project: death and killing in the Civil War

The research found civilians were three times more likely to have been killed in the War of Independence than in the Civil War.

It also found the Civil War was more “violent, brutal and protracted” in counties Kerry, Tipperary and Louth.

It also suggests what it calls “a new chronology of the Civil War” and contradicts “the idea that major combat was over after the first month of the war”.

Principal investigator of the Irish Civil War Fatalities Project Dr Andy Bielenberg said: “Drawing on a wide range of sources, this project offers new insights into the spatial and temporal patterns of violence during the Civil War as well as the social profiles, ages and backgrounds of the victims of that violence.

“In addition to building a clearer picture of the combatant fatalities of the Irish Civil War, the new research presents a fuller picture of civilian fatalities.

“We can now see the impact of the conflict on civilians in large swathes of Ireland which remained entirely uncharted until now.”

“The interactive map will be an invaluable tool for researching family history, local history, and filling in gaps in our knowledge about the Civil War,” Dr Bielenberg added.

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