Chapter

‘Come out, Sinn Fein!’

D. M. Leeson

in The Black and Tans

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199598991
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730597 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199598991.003.0007
‘Come out, Sinn Fein!’

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This chapter analyses police reprisals, using evidence from a range of sources, and shows that, in many ways, police violence resembled guerrilla violence. Like the level of guerrilla provocation, the level of police retaliation varied widely from place to place. Like most guerrilla violence, most police violence was petty: large-scale reprisals were as uncommon as large-scale ambushes. Like the guerrillas, the police were waging a penny-ante war of attrition, and in this war, property damage was more common than personal injury. But just as there were guerrilla bands taking part in ambushes and assassinations, there were police death squads meting out punishment beatings and extra-judicial executions in reprisal. Finally, like the guerrillas, most police did not choose their victims at random. Even during mass reprisals, the police usually singled out well-known republicans for punishment.

Keywords: reprisals; Connacht; arson; riots; violence; extrajudicial killing; discipline

Chapter.  14943 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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