The centenary of the Irish Civil War

Aiken_spiritual woundsThe Irish Civil War of 1922-1923—a wrenching, destructive run-up to the establishment of an independent Ireland—has long persisted in the national Irish memory, despite efforts to downplay or outright erase it from official discourse. Irish historian Síobhra Aiken has written a book, Spiritual Wounds: Trauma, Testimony and the Irish Civil War (Irish Academic Press, 2022), that unearths published testimonies by pro- and anti-treaty men and women, written in both English and Irish. Most of the testimonies discussed were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, and nearly all have been overlooked in historical study to date. This wealth of published testimony reveals that the silence of the Irish Civil War was not necessarily a result of revolutionaries’ inability to speak, but rather reflects the unwillingness of official memory makers to listen to the stories of civil war veterans. Aiken will present “Forgetting the Irish Civil War (1922-23)? One Hundred Years of Silence Breakers,” at a BC Irish Studies lecture on October 25 at 4 p.m. in Connolly House. Copies of Spiritual Wounds will be available for purchase at the event. Read more on BC News.

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