Truce Liaison and Evacuation Papers (1921-1922)

Reference Code: IE/MA/LE
Title: Liaison and Evacuation Papers (1921-1922)
Dates: 1921-1922 (LE/B, LE/C) and
1868-1940 (LE/A, LE/D)
Level of Description: Fonds
Extent: 4 boxes
Creator(s): Office of the Chief Liaison Officer
Office of the Directorate of Intelligence
Administrative / Biographical history:

The Office of the Chief Liaison Officer operated from the Gresham Hotel Dublin and was set up following the successful negotiation of a Truce between the British Government and the Army of the Republic (also known as Irish Republican Army), effected on 11th July 1921. Representing the British, General Sir Nevil Macready Commander in Chief, Colonel J. Brind and A.W. Cope, Assistant Under-Secretary, acting for the British Army agreed as follows

  1. ¹No incoming troops, Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), auxiliary police and munitions.  No movements for military purposes of troops and munitions, except maintenance drafts.
  2. No provocative display of forces, armed or unarmed.
  3. It is understood that all provisions of this Truce apply to the martial law area equally with the rest of Ireland.
  4. No pursuit of Irish officers or men or war material or military stores.
  5. No secret agents, noting description or movements, and no interference with the movements of Irish persons, military or civil, and no attempts to discover the haunts or habits of Irish officers and men.
  6. No pursuit or observance of lines of communication or connection.

Commandant R.C. Barton TD and Commandant E.J. Duggan TD, acting for the Army of the Republic agreed as follows

  1. Attacks on Crown forces and civilians to cease.
  2. No provocative displays of forces, armed or unarmed.
  3. No interference with Government or private property.
  4. To discountenance and prevent any action likely to cause disturbance of the peace which might necessitate military interference.

Chief Liaison Officers (CLO) included Commandant Eamon Duggan, Commandant F. Murphy and Commandant J.E. Dalton.  In December 1921, the Office of the Chief Liaison Officer liaised with 30 appointed Liaison Officers (LO’s) on the staff distributed throughout the country (locations amongst 30 counties are noted) and the British authorities in reporting and investigating alleged breaches of the Truce.  The Office of the Chief Liaison Officer took on extra responsibilities after the signing of the Treaty in England, December 1921, including the direction of police work following the frequent reporting of armed hold ups and motor thefts to the CLO.  In January 1922, the staff was reorganised and new officers recruited (many from the Liaison staff) to take on the responsibility of signing for and reoccupying positions evacuated by the British Army (military posts and barracks), checking and in some cases creating inventories of barrack equipment and materials (categorised as new, part worn and unserviceable) and to work with the Disposals Board, who were set up to dispose of British Army materials and were operated by British forces.  Correspondence between the CLO and appointed Liaison Officers dates to August 1922, with material dating immediately from January 1922 mainly concerning the handover of barracks and property, breaches of the Truce terms and complaints on the operation of the Disposals board and auction arrangements.

The Office of the Directorate of Intelligence, in this context, was tasked with custodial responsibilities for records predating the establishment of the National Army in 1922, including collections such as the Collins Papers and the Kilmainham papers (transferred to the National Library in the 1940s) and this function was carried out by the Historical Section (known as the Military Archives from 1935).  In addition, the Historical Section collected newspaper cuttings, publications and articles on Irish history generally, created catalogues and provided research assistance and advice to personnel; the Historical Section were not open to the public generally. The Historical Section frequently compiled chronologies (for reference purposes) including the Chronology of events 1913-1922 featured in this collection (LE/A/1 — 3).  An insight into the operation of the Historical Section can be gleaned from files contained in the Collins Papers (MA/CP/1 to MA/CP/84).

In modern times, the Intelligence Section is responsible for Operational Intelligence, Security Intelligence, Combat Intelligence and Archives. This section is also responsible for liaison with Defence Attaches. In addition they have a considerable input into overseas planning, particularly when new missions are under consideration.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists mainly of correspondence files and press cuttings.  The former have been arranged firstly as general correspondence, then according to the location of the Liaison Officer and finally an incomplete section of monthly correspondence files from November/December 1921 to July/August 1922.  The collection is organised as follows

  • LE/A/1 —3      Chronology of events. Three (3) files containing index to events 1922 (with newspaper extracts) and Chronology showing key events connected with the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican movement 1913-1921, prepared by the Office of the Directorate of Intelligence
  • LE/B/4 —11    Liaison Correspondence. One (1) General file, twenty two (22) by location files (county or town) including Ballinasloe, Bandon, Carlow, Castlebar, Cavan, Clonmel, Cork, Curragh, Dungarvan, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mullingar, Naas, Navan, Donegal, Derry, Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo, Armagh and Fermanagh, Offaly, Roscommon, Tralee, Killarney, Tipperary, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Westmeath, four (4) files on subject of specific breaches of the Truce including Rathkeale Raid (10 — 30 November 1921), Kesh Raid (15 November 1921), Raid on Charleston Police Barracks (17 January — 7 February 1922) and breaches of the Truce in Northern Ireland and eight (8) files arranged by covering dates (date early 1 November 1921; date late August 1922)
  • LE/C/12 — 19    Handover of Barracks and Property. Six (6) files and one (1) bound volume
  • LE/D/20 — 24     Prisoners.  Four (4) files of correspondence between CLO and LO’s concerning Republican prisoners in Irish, English and Welsh jails 1920-1921, includes file containing lists of prisoners and file of newspaper cuttings assembled by the Office of the Directorate of Intelligence during 1926-1938 period concerning deceased members of the IRA who took part in the War of Independence
  • LE/E/25     Office of the Directorate of Intelligence.  Twenty one (21) files mainly containing press cuttings, articles and notes relating to Irish history generally. Assembled by the Office of the Directorate of Intelligence during 1925 — 1936 period. With copy of journal titled The Irish Republic, published Chicago, 1868.

¹BMH CD 200/4/1 Dr Nancy Wyse Powers collection (incl. Papers of John Chartres) Truce Terms, 12th July, 1921.

Access Conditions

Access: Open to the public
Language: English
Finding Aid: Paper, available in Reading Room