A Descriptive History of the Irish Citizen Army

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The Irish Citizen Army , our of the more obscure elements of Ireland's revolutionary past, was born out of events which occurred in and around Dublin during 1913. These events became known as the "1913 Dublin Lockout". The leadership, poverty and police brutality suffered by the working class of Dublin during the "Lockout" ranks among the worst ever witnessed in a Western European country, past or present. The brutal acts of malicious violence meted out on the workers by the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) and Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) reached a level perhaps matched only by the actions carried out by the police during the British Coal Miners strike of 1984-85. It was against this backdrop the ICA was formed.

The maternity ward of the army was a most unlikely place to say the least. At a meeting of the Industrial Peace Committee 0n 12th November 1913 in the rooms of the Reverend R.M. Gwynn at 40 Trinity College the idea of instilling some pride and discipline into the workers, through drilling and organisation was discussed. These discussions were to give both to the Irish Citizen Army which progressed from being a workers defence force into a revolutionary socialist armed force.


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