Phase 1 of the Anglo-Irish War

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  • Phase 1 of the Anglo-Irish War (January 1919 to January 1920)
    • On 31 January 1919, the IRA declared that a state of war existed between Ireland and Britain
      • Argued that their actions should not be treated as acts of terror but legitimate acts of war
    • Their chosen targets were members of police force, the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC)
      • To the IRA, the RIC were the representatives of British authority in the country
      • The reality was more complex, 70% of the RIC were Catholics and often the RIC constable was the mainstay of the local community
    • The campaign of terror in 1919 did not have support of the Catholic church or from many within Sinn Fein (who hoped the Versailles Treaty would deliver self-determination for Ireland)
    • It was not until April 1921 that Sinn Fein took full responsibility for the actions of the IRA.
      • By the end of 1919, 18 policemen had been killed

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