SOLD Hammer price: €3400, Estimate: €1500-2000
The Last Truce
(Gen.) Owen O’Duffy and Liam Lynch
An important typescript document (carbon copy), signed by both O’Duffy and Lynch, with amendments in O’Duffy’s hand, dated 4 May 1922, providing for a Truce (between pro and anti – Treaty forces) from 4 p.m. on that day to 4 p.m. on Monday 8 May, ‘with a view to giving representatives of both sections of the Army an immediate opportunity to discover a basis for Army unification,’ and providing that
1. All operations except training and ordinary Army routine will cease,
2. All penetrative re-organisation will cease;
3. Both sections will co-operate to maintain order and prevent acts of aggression against person and property.
With a second document, entirely in O’Duffy’s hand and with the same two signatures, dated 6-V-(19)22, ordering ‘an open continuance of the Truce .. with a view to allowing the Army and Dail Committees to bring their work to completion.’
These are documents of the first importance, recording the last significant attempt to resolve the differences over the Treaty by discussion and agreement. Owen (Eoin) O’Duffy was at that time Chief of Staff of the newly established Free State Army, responsible to the Provisional Government; Liam Lynch was chief of staff of the so-called ‘Headquarters,’ section of the IRA, appointed at a convention in March 1922, which repudiated the authority of the Minister for Defence. He disapproved of the action by some Dublin units to occupy the Four Courts on 14 April, but later joined the garrison there just before the Free State attack.
Attempts were made in late April and early May 1922 to bridge the differences between the two Army executives, and a joint Dail Committee was set up after an address by Sean O’Hegarty of Cork with the support of Dan Breen and other Southern Officers. But these efforts did not lead to success. The report of the Dail Committee was inconclusive, and eventually the pressure on the Provisional Government became too great, and on 28 June they opened fire on the Four Courts Garrison. The Civil War followed, and within a few months Liam Lynch and many others were dead.
Provenance: O’Duffy Archive