“This thing must stop. We must have either Truce or War, and whoever, by any want of discipline, reopens the War prematurely will have to be held strictly accountable for it.”
General Richard Mulcahy, IRA Chief of Staff (1919-1922)
The above declaration gives an indication as to the thoughts emanating within the hierarchy of the Republican movement at the height of the War of Independence.
Saturday, 9th July 1921 brought about a definitive action taken to avert a further escalation of this War. On this very day, terms of a Truce were agreed upon by representatives of the British and Irish Governments.
This Truce would come into effect at noon on 11th July 1921. One of the most highly significant moments in Irish history came about after considerable dialogue and correspondence between the leaders of the Republican movement, the British Government and representatives of the political minority in Ireland. The result of these conversations ended two and a half years of conflict between Crown and Republican forces. This formal end of hostilities brought about the beginning of official negotiations between representatives of the British and Irish Cabinets. Negotiations would last for almost five months, culminating in the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6th December 1921.
The document we have displayed this month is a communication from General Richard Mulcahy relaying news of an agreement of the Truce to all Officers of the Irish Republican Army. The prime motive of the communication was to alert every unit throughout the country to cease hostilities in order to easily facilitate the process of negotiation. The document itself is located within the Bureau of Military History Contemporary Documents Collection and is available to be viewed in the Military Archives Reading Room, by appointment.