Terror in Galway – Uafás i nGaillimh, 1920
In the general election of December 1918, the Sinn Féin party won 73 of the 105 seats allocated to Ireland at Westminster. Instead of taking their seats in London, on 21 January 1919, the Sinn Féin MPs formed an independent Irish parliament, Dáil Éireann, in Dublin and declared an Irish Republic. Dáil Éireann sought to undermine the British Government by setting up a parallel administration, police force and legal system.
At the same time, the Irish Volunteers, now increasingly known as the Irish Republican Army, mounted a guerrilla campaign against Crown forces in Ireland. In response to this challenge, the British Government declared Dáil Éireann illegal, and outlawed Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army. It also deployed regular troops, and created two new forces, the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries, to reinforce the police, called Royal Irish Constabulary.
From the summer of 1920 onwards, violence between Republican and Crown forces escalated throughout Ireland.
Terror in Galway – Uafás i nGaillimh, 1920 explores some of the incidents that took place in Galway in the autumn and winter of 1920 as the conflict raged on.
Produced by Galway City Museum with GK Media. Special thanks to our contributors for their time and expertise: William Henry; Orla Higgins; Cormac Ó Comhraí & Dr. Jackie Uí Chionna
Through Galway City Council, the film has been supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.
The 1918 General Election and Galway
Galway City Museum developed this short film to mark the centenary of the 1918 General Election in which Sinn Féin, led by many veterans of the 1916 Rising, swept aside the Irish Parliamentary Party and declared independence from Britain. The film is on display as part of the Museum’s ‘Revolution in Galway, 1913-1923’ exhibition, which looks at the period from a Galway perspective.
Special thanks to Síobhra Aiken, Mary Clancy, Dr. John Cunningham, Dr. Mary N. Harris and Prof. Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, NUI, Galway for their contributions; thanks also to GK Media.
Funded by Creative Ireland, through Galway City Council.