The Madness from Within – Part One

The Madness from Within is an hour long documentary about the Irish Civil War.

It is presented by RTÉ news journalist Bryan Dobson, and features an in-depth look at the events leading up to and during the War, as well as interviews with some of the men and women that took part in the fighting.The Irish Civil War - The Madness from Within – Part One. Image copyright Ireland Calling

The Madness from Within is a quote from Richard Mulcahy, who had fought with the Irish nationalists during the War of Independence. He took the side of the Free State government after the signing of the Treaty. The ‘madness from within’ was the phrase he used to describe the Civil War that followed, with former comrades fighting and killing each other.

Part One of the series investigates the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and how by signing it Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins split the once united IRA.

Furthermore, Dobson examines the build-up to the treaty negotiations. He questions the motives of Éamon de Valera in sending Collins to negotiate. Did he know that the British wouldn’t concede any more, and didn’t want to be the man that let the Irish republicans down?

There is also an interview with the nephew of Michael Collins, also called Michael. He discusses the circumstances in which his uncle was sent to London, and the likelihood that Collins was selected by de Valera to become a scapegoat for the unsatisfactory terms of the Treaty.

The documentary is split into six 10-minute videos. Watch the first one below.


The Madness from Within

The Madness from Within videos


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We hope this video will inspire you to delve into Irish history further and gain a better understanding of the real-life circumstances your ancestors lived in. Many people enjoy learning about Irish history as part of researching their own genealogy and building their family tree.

If you are interested in learning more about Irish history, then we would encourage you to enrol on one of the numerous free online education courses and tutorials available with universities and colleges around the world.

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