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Justifying Political Assassination: Michael Collins and the Cairo Gang

Justifying Political Assassination: Michael Collins and the Cairo Gang In the fall of 1920, General Headquarters staff of the IRA realized that a new danger was facing them in their struggle for political independence from Britain. The British had begun to augment intelligence operations by organizing a special unit known as the Cairo Gang, whose mission was to execute the political leadership of Sinn Fein, including Michael Collins.2 By October 1920 this unit had taken residence in Dublin and begun its nocturnal operations. In civilian clothes members of the Cairo Gang raided private homes and hotel rooms. Among those selected for execution were Dr. Fogarty, the Catholic Bishop of Killaloe (he wisely went away after the plot was described to him), the Lord Mayor of Limerick (murdered in his home), a former Lord Mayor of Limerick, Alderman George Clancy, John Lynch, a Kilmallock businessman (shot dead in his bed at 2 A.M.), and Arthur Griffith, then Acting President of Sinn Fein, among others. As a result of fortuitous circumstances, Michael Collins was able to piece together information on the main figures in the plot to break Sinn Fein. His strategy to paralyze British operations during this critical period in Irish independence was simple and successful: identify the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Social Philosophy Wiley

Justifying Political Assassination: Michael Collins and the Cairo Gang

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
2000 Blackwell Publishers, Inc.
ISSN
0047-2786
eISSN
1467-9833
DOI
10.1111/0047-2786.00038
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the fall of 1920, General Headquarters staff of the IRA realized that a new danger was facing them in their struggle for political independence from Britain. The British had begun to augment intelligence operations by organizing a special unit known as the Cairo Gang, whose mission was to execute the political leadership of Sinn Fein, including Michael Collins.2 By October 1920 this unit had taken residence in Dublin and begun its nocturnal operations. In civilian clothes members of the Cairo Gang raided private homes and hotel rooms. Among those selected for execution were Dr. Fogarty, the Catholic Bishop of Killaloe (he wisely went away after the plot was described to him), the Lord Mayor of Limerick (murdered in his home), a former Lord Mayor of Limerick, Alderman George Clancy, John Lynch, a Kilmallock businessman (shot dead in his bed at 2 A.M.), and Arthur Griffith, then Acting President of Sinn Fein, among others. As a result of fortuitous circumstances, Michael Collins was able to piece together information on the main figures in the plot to break Sinn Fein. His strategy to paralyze British operations during this critical period in Irish independence was simple and successful: identify the

Journal

Journal of Social PhilosophyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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