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Burning of the Custom House: The subsequent truce was marked by celebratory bonfires in Dublin city, reflecting the relief of a war-weary people.

Burning of the Custom House: The subsequent truce was marked by celebratory bonfires in Dublin city, reflecting the relief of a war-weary people.

100 years ago today, Dublin messenger boy Paddy O’Connor delivered an important dispatch to Ernie O’Malley of the IRA’s 2nd Southern Division. Signed by the IRA’s chief of staff Richard Mulcahy, it announced that a truce between the IRA and British crown forces would come into effect two days later. The cessation of violence began a process that was ultimately to transform Anglo-Irish relations, rupture the republican movement and foster divisions that are delicate to this day.

The truce was marked by celebratory bonfires in Dublin city, reflecting the relief of a war-weary people. Some employers gave their workers a half day and triumphant whistles could be heard from the barges on the Liffey; others opted to go to the seaside on the tram and bands belted out A Nation Once Again as Tricolour flags were flown.

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