News and Events

Irish Civil War Digital Project

24 May 2023

The Civil War Digital Project coordinated by the Atlas of the Irish Revolution Team in UCC brings together a range of scholarly contributions on myriad aspects of the internecine conflict. 


In 2022, the RTÉ and the Atlas of the Irish Revolution editorial team in UCC collaborated on the development of the Irish Civil War, a three-part television documentary based on UCC's definitive Atlas of the Irish Revolution. Screened on RTÉ 1 over three consecutive nights in December 2022, and notable for its wide range of contributors, original musical score and visual impact, the series explored the full, often difficult, story of the Irish Civil War and its legacy. The documentary series is available to view on the RTE player. 

The Irish Civil War digital project was launched on the RTE website in January 2022 as a companion to the documentary series. It offered an opportunity for a 'deeper dive' into the often complex history of 1922-23.

The large-scale project, coordinated by UCC's Atlas editorial team and supported under the Government of Ireland's Decade of Centenaries Programme, is organised around a timeline of 11 key centenary dates between the handover of Dublin Castle on 16 January 1922 and the ceasefire on 24 May 1922.

Each centenary date has a dedicated index featuring a selection of maps, thematic articles and curated content from across RTE's platforms as well as archival images and documents from a range of cultural institutions. 

Collectively, the 11 indexes, 54 articles, 33 maps, and 10 explainer videos represent a valuable long-term resource for students, teachers or anyone interested in Ireland's social, cultural, military or political history during the Irish revolutionary period. 


Index 1: 

16 January 1922: The Handover of Dublin Castle to the Provisional Government 

''The Castle has Fallen': The Transfer of Power' by Dr John Gibney

''Women of Character': Women TDs of the Second Dáil and their contribution to the Treaty debates' by Claire McGing

'How the Civil War devastated the Labour Party' by Dr Emmet O'Connor

'Michael Collins: From Treaty to Civil War' by Dr Gabriel Doherty 

'Blurred lines: The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State' by Dr Helene O'Keeffe 


Index 2:

26 March 1922: The IRA Convention 

''A Defiant Gathering': The 1922 IRA Convention' by Dr John Borgonovo 

'Thank God you have got to manage it and not we': Britain and the Irish Civil War by Prof Charles Townshend 

'Call to arms: creating the Irish National Army' by Gerry White

'Shadow boxing: the Limerick Stand-Off, March 1922' by Dr John O'Callaghan

'Ireland's Other Civil War: Ulster January-June 1922' by Dr Robert Lynch 


Index 3:

16 June 1922: The 'Pact' Election 

'The 1922 "Pact" Election' by Prof Michael Gallagher 

'Press, Propaganda and the Treaty split' by Dr Donal Ó Drisceoil 

'Class warfare: was there a social basis to the Civil War divide?' by Prof Gavin Foster 

'Taking Sides? How voters responded to the "pact election"' by Dr Bill Kissane 

'Practicalities of the future: the 1922 Constitution Committee' by Antoinette Doran NAI


Index 4:

27/28 June 1922: The Battle of Dublin 

'Attacking the Block: the Battle of Dublin' by Liz Gillis 

'Under Siege: the Battle of the Four Courts' by Michael Fewer

'Soldiers of the Republic: Cumann na mBan and the Civil War' by Dr Margaret Ward

'Why the Four Courts?' by John Dorney 


Index 5:

21 July 1922: The Conventional Phase of the Civil War 

'Urban warfare: the Battle for Limerick' by Dr Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc

'What was the Conventional Phase of the Civil War?' by Dr Helene O'Keeffe

'Bullet holes and battlefields: the archaeology of the Battle for Cork' by Dr Damian Shiels

'Conventional warfare: the Battle of Kilmallock' by Dr John O'Callaghan

'How did the Civil War impact civil society?' by Dr Bill Kissane 


Index 6:

8 August 1922: The Sea Landings 

'Turning point: the Battle of Cork' by Dr John Borgonovo

'W.D. Hogan: The man who photographed the Civil War' by Elizabeth M. Kirwan

'Emmet Dalton: the man behind the sea landings' by Sean Boyne

'The Civil War on water' by Dr John Borgonovo 

'No means of defence: raids on lighthouses during the Civil War' by Dr Eoin Kinsella 


Index 7:

22 August 1922: The Death of Michael Collins 

The Last Journey - Interactive Map 

'The Death of Michael Collins' by Dr Gabriel Doherty 

'Interactive map: the ambush' that killed Michael Collins

'War of words: censorship and propaganda during the Civil War' by Dr Donal Ó Drisceoil 

'The Catholic Church and the Irish Civil War' by Dr Brian Heffernan 

'The Archaeology of an Ambush: Surviving Traces of Béal na Blá, 22 August 1922' by Dr Damian Shiels and Niall Murray


Index 8:

28 September 1922: The Guerrilla Phase of the Civil War 

'Sentenced to death: the Civil War executions' by Seán Enright

'Guerrillas in the west: guerrilla warfare in west of Ireland during the Civil War' by Dr Joost Augusteijn

'Settling scores: everyday violence during the Civil War' by Dr Gemma Clark

'Cave men: cave hideouts in the Civil War' by Dr Marion Dowd 


Index 9:

6 December 1922: The Irish Free State 

'An end and a beginning': the birth of the Irish Free State' by Dr Helene O'Keeffe

'W. T. Cosgrave: an iron fist in a velvet glove' by Prof Michael Laffan 

'Burning down the House: Big House burnings during the Civil War' by Prof Terence Dooley 

'Enemy lines: the conflict on Irish Railways 1922-23' by Peter Rigney 

'A new land war? Land, class politics and state-building in Civil War Ireland' by Dr Tony Varley 


Index 10:

18 January 1923: The Arrest of Liam Deasy 

'Bitter enemies: the guerrilla phase of the Civil War' by Dr John Borgonovo

''The Mainstay of the Trouble': the imprisonment of 'suspect women' during the Civil War' by Dr Sinead McCoole

Crochet, cards and céilís: Civil War women behind bars

'Hidden away: the treatment of Civil War internees' by Dr Anne-Marie McInerney

'Working for peace: how people on all sides tried to end the Civil War' by Dr Eve Morrison 


Index 11: 

24 May 1923: The end of the Civil War 

'The legacy of the Civil War' by Prof Diarmaid Ferriter 

'The arms... are to be dumped': the cease-fire that ended the Civil War' by Dr Brian Hanley 

''Wild geese': IRA emigration and settlement after the Revolution' by Prof Gavin Foster 

''If we stand united, victory is certain': Liam Lynch's final days' by Gerard Shannon

'Broken for generations: the transgenerational impact of the Irish Civil War' by Dr Síobhra Aiken

'From grievance to reconciliation: commemoration and the Civil War' by Dr Eve Morrison 





The War of Independence Project

The Civil War Digital Project was the third in a series of collaborative projects between RTE and the Atlas of the Irish Revolution Team supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Programme, 2012-2023.

The first, The War of Independence Project, was launched in the Spring of 2020 as a companion to the three-part Irish War of Independence documentary series, produced by Tyrone productions and based on the Atlas of the Irish Revolution. It is available to view long-term on the RTÉ player.

Like the Civil War project, it offers a series of explainers and articles in indexes linked to 12 key dates on the centenary calendar between the historic general election in December 1918 and the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty in December 1921. The indexes feature a selection of archival footage from the RTÉ archives; video explainers; articles from the Century Ireland project and contributions by a range of scholars.


Index 1: 

21 January 1921: The First Dáil and Soloheadbeg

“How Sinn Féin's daring decision made the First Dáil happen” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“Miniature flags, prayers and cheers: what was the atmosphere like at the Mansion House on 21 January 1919?” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“How the First Dáil was viewed at home - and in Britain” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“The Soloheadbeg ambush - Sudden, bloody and unexpected” by Donal Byrne

“Ambushed! The story of a crucial tactic” by Niall Murray

“Outcasts: how Ireland shunned the R.I.C. and their families” by Dr Brian Hughes


Index 2: 

September 1919: The Dáil Ban and Cumann na mBan

“Banned! Why nationalist groups were driven underground in 1919” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“Banning the Dáil: the drastic move that turned "turned passive resistance into an offensive war” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“Couriers, propagandists, spies: Cumann na mBan and the War of Independence” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe


Index 3: 

De Valera in America

“De Valera in America: David McCullagh tells the story of a controversial tour” by Dr David McCullagh

“How the Russian crown jewels went from the palaces of the Romanovs to Harry Boland's family home in Dublin” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“They were a crucial part of De Valera's American mission. Who were the Friends of Irish Freedom?” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“From Friends to Foes: How tension with De Valera led to the decline of the Friends of Irish Freedom” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe


Index 4: 

5 April 1920: Hunger Strike

“'A Shocking Weapon': Hunger Strikes and the War of Independence” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“Censorship and propaganda: what happened to Irish media during the War of Independence” by Niall Murray

“What did the general public think of the War of Independence?” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

"Dead their conquerers": the significance of the 1920 hunger strikes” by Dr Justin Stover


Index 5: 

20 May 1920: Munitions Strike

“The 1920 Munitions Strike: "An unusual kind of strike"” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“Soviets and solidarity: the Labour movement during the War of Independence” by Niall Murray

“What did the general public think of the War of Independence?” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

"Dead their conquerers": the significance of the 1920 hunger strikes” by Dr Justin Stover

“Under attack: how the burning of co-operative creameries devastated rural Ireland” by Dr Patrick Doyle


Index 6: 

21 Nov 1920: Bloody Sunday

“Ninety seconds of horror: Croke Park on Bloody Sunday 1920” by Dr Michael T Foy

“The Squad: Michael Collins and Bloody Sunday” by Dr Michael T Foy

“A gruesome rite of passage": the deadly toll of the Bloody Sunday assassinations?” by John Dorney

"Changing sides: the GAA and the War of Independence” by Dr Paul Rouse


Index 7: 

Dec 1920: Martial Law and the Burning for Cork City 

“Terror in Cork: the burning of a city” by Gerry White

“Guns, books and life masks: the material culture of the War of Independence” by Brenda Malone

“Martial Law: powers with 'practically no limitation'?” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

"Who were the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries?” by Professor Marie Coleman


Index 8: 

23 Dec 1920: Partition

“Road to partition: how the plan to divide Ireland was born” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“Interactive map: how the border could have been” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“How the prospect of partition played out politically in 1920?” by Dr David McCullagh:

"Road to partition: how unionists came to accept a 'least worst' compromise?” by Professor Alvin Jackson


Index 9: 

25 May 1921: The Burning of the Custom House

“Fire in the heart of Dublin: the burning of the Custom House” by Liz Gillis

“Crown forces and urban guerrillas: Dublin as a theatre of war” by John Dorney


Index 10: 

26 June 1921: Northern Ireland  

“Northern Ireland 1921-1955: a state of emergency” by Dr Robert Lynch

“'An orgy of violence': sectarianism in the War of Independence” by Dr Robert Lynch


Index 11: 

11 July 1921: The Truce

“The Truce: how both sides laid down their arms” by Dr Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc        

“'I have brought both mules to the water': Jan Smuts and the Truce talks” by Dr Ciarán Reilly

“The Geography of the War of Independence: how the conflict played out across the country” by Dr John O'Callaghan


Index 12: 

06 December 1921: The Treaty

“Peace by ordeal: how the Treaty was signed” by Professor Diarmaid Ferriter

“How the Treaty debate changed Irish politics forever” by Dr Liam Weeks and Dr Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh

“’I rather wish we could go': The Big House and the War of Independence” by Dr Maeve O'Riordan




The Great Irish Famine Project

Launched in the autumn of 2020, the Great Irish Famine Project brought together a range of national and international scholars. The digital project, organised in three parts, and based on the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, is intended to complement the three-part documentary series of the same name, still available to view on the RTÉ Player.

The three indexes tell the story of the greatest social disaster in nineteenth-century Europe from the emergence of the Blight to the commemorations of the 21st century. With an emphasis on maps and archival documents as entry points into the history and lived experience of the Famine, the project also includes 17 Document Studies by UCC's Dr John Crowley focusing on the Distress Papers held in the National Archives of Ireland. 


Part 1:

The Eve of the Famine 


“Hidden Ireland: The world of the cottier on the eve of the Famine” by Dr Ciarán Reilly

How "a truly modern famine" devastated Ireland - and changed the world forever” by Dr John Crowley

“Ireland before the Great Famine: the 1841 census” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“How Victorian artists depicted the Famine” by Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald

“The truth about Trevelyan: Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan and the Great Famine” by Professor Enda Delaney

“The Hunger: the making of the new documentary” by Lisa Burke

“Why was the Potato so important?” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“The other famine: Scotland and the potato blight” by Professor James Hunter

“"Their own wickedness": how the British press reported the Famine” by Dr Niamh Gallagher

“Peel's brimstone: the Temporary Relief Commission” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“A policy disaster: how British famine relief measures failed to quell the devastation of the Famine” by Prof Peter Gray

“The Lessons of Giving: the Choctaw and Cherokee Nations and the Great Irish Famine” by Padraig Kirwan and LeAnne Howe

“Hidden heroes: women and the Great Famine” by Professor Christine Kinealy

"Paupers and beggars' brats": Parsonstown Workhouse in the Famine” by Andrés Eiríksson

“Deadly disease: how the Great Famine led to outbreaks of illness” by Dr Laurence Geary


Part 2: 

Famine in Ireland 


"That diabolical system": evictions in Famine Ireland” by Dr Ciarán Reilly

“'Hunger will break through a wall': food riots during the Famine” by Professor James Kelly

"’A universal graveyard’: how the Temporary Fever Act of March 1846 failed to contain deadly disease” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

"’This Land of Sorrows’: the Poor Law Extension Act 1847” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“The lost generation: children and the workhouse during the Famine” by Dr Gerard Moran

“Forgotten victims: the children found in a Kilkenny Workhouse mass grave” by Dr Jonny Geber

“'Dreadful visitation': Lurgan Poor Law Union during the Famine” by Gerard MacAtasney

“Bearing witness: Asenath Nicholson, the American woman who described the Great Famine” by Professor Maureen Murphy

“'A Labour of Love': The Contribution of the Society of Friends” by Professor Christine Kinealy

"What we Learn from the Distress Papers in the National Archives, Ireland" by Elizabeth McEvoy 



Part 3: 

After the Famine 


"’So sad in themselves’: the impact of the Great Famine” by Professor Kevin Whelan

“The panicked flood: emigration and the Great Famine” by Dr Ciarán Ó Murchadha

“Changing memories: Famine memorials around the world” by Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald

“'Living skeletons': the Doolough Tragedy” by Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill

"The greatest ravages": what the 1851 census tells us about Famine Mortality” by Dr Helene O’Keeffe

“How the Irish Famine changed New York City forever” by Dr Anelise Hanson Shrout

“Girls of good character: female Workhouse emigration to Australia during the Famine” by Dr Perry McIntyre

“A strange environment indeed: the Famine Irish in northwest England” by Dr Lewis Darwen

“Helpless little wanderers: the Famine orphans in Quebec” by Professor Mark G. McGowan

"The Irish Invasion": how the Irish Famine changed Scotland” by Dr Martin Mitchell

“Hunger and poverty after the Famine: how old problems persisted and new ones emerged” by Dr Ray O'Connor

“Recovering voices and stories: the challenges of exhibiting the Great Famine” by Dr Jason King

“Her Silken Brown Hair': chronicling the Famine in song” by Declan O'Rourke 

“Paying for their starvation: the Great Famine and the imposition of Income Tax in Ireland” by Professor Peter Clarke


The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,