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Recalling the painful and difficult birth of our nation

Less than a year after the ceasefire, former comrades were fighting and killing each other in a bloody civil war

IN 1933, Fianna Fáil's Minister for Education, Tomás Derrig, suggested in a letter to the Department of Defence that it would be desirable to take steps to collect and preserve the political records of the War of Independence period for historical posterity. He expressed concern about the ignorance of students in relation to this period, in particular "lack of knowledge of the 1916 leaders and of the events subsequent to 1916". What was needed, he concluded, was "a record of facts from the Irish point of view" to match "the prevailing British view of the period".