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Richard Mulcahy

(1886—1971) Irish revolutionary and politician


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(1886–1971). A Waterford-born Post Office employee, Mulcahy fought with Thomas Ashe in north Co. Dublin in the rising of 1916. As chief of staff of the Irish Volunteers from March 1918, he sought to impose central control on the developing IRA campaign during the Anglo-Irish War. Following the Anglo-Irish treaty he became minister for defence, and also succeeded Collins as commander-in-chief. Despite having tried desperately to avoid military confrontation, he was inevitably associated with the crushing of the anti-treaty forces in the Civil War. Forced out of the Cumann na nGaedheal government following the army mutiny, he returned in 1927 as minister for Local Government. During 1944–59 he was leader of Fine Gael, but hostility to his civil war past ruled him out as head of the interparty governments, in which he was instead minister for education.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.


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