(justified) Chris O'Kane
There are many conditions under which Ireland was divided into
two nations. Two main men were the main leaders of this split, Emon
de Valera and Michael Collins. Sinn Fein also played a large role. Their
differing visions for an Ireland free of British rule was the root
motivation for the split.
Born in New York City in 1882, Emon de Valera was described as
a 'tall, spectacled, schoolmasterly, of Jewish cast' as Tim Healy said.
Edward Norman, the author of A History of Modern Ireland, added that
de Valera was an 'austere theoretician' (Norman, 265). Michael Collins
was born in 1890 at Clonakilty, Co. Cork. Edward Norman said his
personality was to be to the contrary of de Valera's; he said Collins was
not an intellectual and was a man of violent impulses. He took that
statement further when he said the Collins would go as far to tumble his
colleagues on the floor and bite their ears in playful attention.
de Valera's and Collins' personalities have been established, we can now
analyze the events and actual conditions under which Ireland was under
that led ultimately to her freedom.
All across Ireland people were repulsed by the executions which
they considered to be needlessly brutal. What they lacked was new
leadership to focus the restless energy of the Irish into effective political
action, but it was not long in coming. At Christmas 1916 all rebel
prisoners who had been interned without trial, those that the British had
considered insignificant, were released as a goodwill gesture to the
United States which had been very angry by British conduct regarding
the rebels. This proved to be a costly mistake. Among those released
was a cadre of IRB men who had spent their time in prison...