War, Loyalty, and Trauma in Ireland, 1914-1927
Justin Dolan Stover
War poster. It shows Irish Parliamentary Party leader John Redmond. It refers to his speech at Woodenbridge, Co. Wexford, where he called for Irishmen to go "wherever the firing line extends" during the Great War. The speech was used by Irish nationalists as a recruiting cry, and by radical factions as proof that Ireland was simply a recruiting ground for the war effort.
This paper explores definitions and examples of loyalty and treason in Ireland during the Great War, Irish Revolution, and early Irish Free State period. Loyalty informed many seemingly divergent outlooks and actions in Ireland throughout this turbulent age, from collective enlistment in the British Armed forces to the perpetration of paramilitary violence within the Irish Republican Army. Further shifts in what was already a fluid nationalist loyalty standard produced a variety of traumas in Irish society, particularly amongst those who fell outside newly refined standards of republican loyalty. The individual and collective experiences of two distinct, yet connected groups - anti-Treaty Irish republicans and Irish veterans of the Great War - are explored here.