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War between British forces and Irish Republicans

Description of film

This film opens with titles proclaiming ‘Terror In Ireland’. We then see a scene in which a British checkpoint blocks an Irish street. The scene then switches to show a crowd gathering around an IRA man shot dead by British troops. It is probably Sean Tracey, a prominent Republican.


From 1915-1917 onwards, Irish Republicans were using political methods and armed force to try and drive the British out of Ireland. Both the IRA and the British forces used increasingly brutal tactics as the year went on. The British poured troops into Ireland, but could not defeat the IRA. By the end of 1919 there were 43,000 British troops in Ireland, costing Britain £860,000 per year.

Interesting or important points about the film

We get a very strong sense from this film of the impact of the IRA campaign on daily life. Checkpoints and roadblocks were very common, especially in the town, and there is some evidence that British tactics like these alienated Irish people and increased support for the rebels. The death of the IRA man also shows what an underground war looked like.

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Further information
Sub categoryIreland
FilmWar between British forces and Irish Republicans
SourceITN Source/British Pathe
ProducerBritish Pathe
DateOctober 18th 1920