EASTER WEEK IN REVERSE
“The defensive is the death of every armed rising”—Karl Marx
ALL rulers are liars and the special “myth of origin” propagated by their official historians in Ireland is that the bourgeoisie came to power amid that “terrible beauty” which, as every schoolboy knows, was born in 1916. The true genesis of that power in the bloody counter-revolution of 1922 is concealed, and, like the Queen of Spain’s bottom, presumed devoid of existence. Counterrevolution was simultaneously national and social. The bourgeoisie and their landlord friends were the classes whose immediate interests conformed to the aims of British imperialism, namely the completion of the related systems of Versailles and Washington and the further pursuit of Churchill’s fantasy. No treaty could be safe while Ireland contained an independent armed force not committed to it and its bad example encouraged imitation throughout an Empire smouldering with revolt. To the large property-owners within Ireland another aspect presented itself. The existence of a people’s army, no matter how reliably it had protected property in the past, involved a principle superior to property. If it could not be suborned it must be suppressed.
June 27th 1922 was one of those fateful days like 23rd April 1916, when the forces of history seem to equip themselves with the passions of human beings. As the leaders of the “Treaty” party screwed up their courage at Beggars Bush, Lynch’s officers reported to the Clarence Hotel. In the doomed citadel of the Republic there was little apprehension. Rumours of impending attack were heard, but were disregarded.
In the early evening Lynch and Deasy left the Clarence Hotel for discussions with Mellows and McKelvey. It was after 10 p.m. when they returned. According to Dorothy Macardle the meeting took place at the Four Courts. But it has proved extremely difficult to find anybody to testify to seeing them there. It seems possible that they met elsewhere and that Traynor was present. It is clear that Dorothy Macardle, who describes their leaving the Four Courts after midnight, had postponed the time of the meeting. But that they returned without