In the concluding volume of Pádraig Yeates’ critically acclaimed ‘Dublin at War’ trilogy, the author turns his attention to the Civil War.
The Truce that heralded the end of the War of Independence in July 1921 proved no more than a prelude to renewed conflict on the capital’s streets as many of the men who worked for Michael Collins in the fight against the British now turned their skills with deadly effect on former comrades.
For some Dubliners, including many southern Unionists, British ex-servicemen and anti-Treaty republicans, the city became a hostile environment with the City Council and Dublin Metropolitan Police abolished by the new Free State.
Yet, life remained a cycle of grinding poverty for the city’s slum dwellers. The main beneficiary of the chaos was the Catholic Church, which tightened its grip on vital social services with tragic consequences for thousands of the marginalised, while an embattled government was too preoccupied with securing its grip on power to provide for its own citizens.