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The Politics of the Irish Civil War$
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Bill Kissane

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273553.001.0001

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Explaining the Intractability of the Conflict

Explaining the Intractability of the Conflict

(p.99) 5 Explaining the Intractability of the Conflict
The Politics of the Irish Civil War

Bill Kissane (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an analysis of the failed peace initiatives which accompanied the fighting, and explains why the Irish civil war did not result in a negotiated peace. A process of ideological polarization accompanied the guerrilla phase of the conflict, and elite attitudes to the Treaty came to reflect different stances on the question of Empire. The dominance of Liam Lynch within the IRA and his failure to grasp military realities also meant that peace initiatives were ignored on the republican side, while the pro-Treaty leadership felt that a harsh prosecution of the war would bring peace sooner than negotiations. As a result, the civil war ended in an IRA ceasefire rather than negotiations.

Keywords:   peace initiatives, intractability, ceasefire, Liam Lynch, William Cosgrave, negotiations

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