Michael Collins, Luke O’Toole and Harry Boland, 1921. O’Toole was central to the success of the Gaelic Sunday events of 1918. (Image Credit: GAA)
1918 was a defining year in the Irish revolution, witnessing the first real acts of mass opposition to the British presence in Ireland from the civilian population. The year is primarily remembered for the General Election, which saw Sinn Féin essentially dismantle the Irish Parliamentary Party. Yet events like the general strike against conscription in April (described by The Irish Times as “the day on which Irish Labour realised its strength), Lá na mBan in June (when women pledged to oppose conscription in their tens of thousands) and Gaelic Sunday in August also demonstrated the manner in which Dublin Castle was slowly losing its grip over the Irish population.
In the summer of 1918, a Dublin Castle directive made it clear that there were to be…
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