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Republican Army Orders, 1921

Author: Irish Republican Army

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Electronic edition compiled by Audrey Murphy, Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Funded by University College, Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

2. Second draft.

Extent of text: 909 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(2005) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: E900018

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Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


Dorothy Macardle, Republican Army Orders, 1921 in Dorothy Macardle The Irish Republic: a documented chronicle of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the partitioning of Ireland, with a detailed account of the period 1916-1923. Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, (1937) page 935–936


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Created: Irish Republican Army. (1921-06-22)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The whole text is in English.

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Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E900018

Republican Army Orders, 1921: Author: Irish Republican Army


Irish Republican Army General Headquarters Dublin 22nd June, 1921


Brigade Commandants are authorised to answer reprisals against property on the part of the Enemy in the following way: (Where a Division has been formed Brigade Commandants will require to receive formal delegation of authority from their Divisional Commandants.)

On every occasion on which the Enemy destroys house property, or house contents, whether alleging military necessity or not, the following counter-reprisals may be taken:

  1. A. A similar number of houses belonging to the most active enemies of Ireland may be destroyed in the Battalion area in which the original destruction takes place.
  2. B. An equal number of houses belonging to the most active enemies of Ireland, may, in addition, be destroyed at that point in the Brigade area concerned which may be considered as the centre most strongly occupied by such enemies.
  3. C. The case should be reported to G.H.Q. with a covering statement of what has been done; and with a view to possible further action.
  4. D. Where the Enemy persists in taking counter-reprisals, they may be answered in the same way; stopping only when the district concerned has been entirely cleared of active enemies of Ireland.

Formal notice shall be served on any person whose house is so destroyed, stating clearly that it is a reprisal because of similar destruction carried out by their military forces; and specifying the particular property for whose destruction it is a reprisal.

In any particular case, or in any particular district in which, in addition to such reprisals, it would seem desirable that:

  1. (a) The members of any particular family concerned should be ordered out of the country; or
  2. (b) have their lands confiscated;
a special report should be submitted.


For the purposes of such reprisals no persons shall be regarded as enemies of Ireland, whether they may be described locally as Unionist, Orangemen, etc., unless they are actively anti-Irish in their actions.

No house shall be selected for destruction or destroyed without the personal approval and permission of the Brigade Commandant.

By Order