I know he was executed for having a gun Michael Collins had given him. I was reading up on him recently and I discovered he appealed his sentence and he was executed while awaiting his appeal. It seems someone wanted him out of the way and the illegal gun was just an excuse.
From what I have read of the man he could have made a valuable contribution to the state had he lived.
IMHO the real reason why he was executed was that he was, in modern terms, the spin doctor for the Republican side in the Civil War, perhaps even its leading intellectual. Whether he could have reconciled himself to the Saorstat in the same way that DeValera did is moot.
Another potential reason was that he had the inside track on what had happened during the Treaty negotiations.
A lot of people who had potentially damaging inside information ended up dead in dubious circumstances - e.g. Harry Boland, Joe McKelvey and Charlie Daly, all anti-Treaty members of the IRB Supreme Council: Boland shot "while attempting to escape", McKelvey and Daly executed in reprisal for killings that were committed long after they were captured so could not have been responsible for.
Childers wsas a very interesting character. His murder was a great loss to this country.
Heard his son speak a few times. He was not bitter about the way his father was killed ( his father had asked him not to ). I could not blame him if he was.
the British are rightly criticised for executing so many after 1916. Free State were ruthless in executing prisoners- The bitterness lingers
interesting theory. was any of this in his official biography published in 1977? surely by then controversial subjects could be written about?
Erskine Childers, both father and son, were far bigger men than those who perpetrated the bitterness. They were right not to do so. No stable society could be based on that.
Documentary called Basu on TG4 about him last night. Really informative! On tg4 player.
The same reason why the Free Staters killed other Irish revolutionaries. To secure their pathetic free state and secure their own interests at the expense of what so many fought and died for.
A military dictatorship? Rory O'Connor confirmed that to a Freemans Journal reporter and their presses were smashed by Republicans the next day.
Perhaps that was why Dev was nearly the last man standing?
Collins came closest to being a military dictator given the roles he had.
I often wonder if we would have ended up with a single party state if there was no split in 1922. When you look at some of the ruthless gents that were operating on both sides I couldnt see them being true democrats. Also the late 20s saw a big move towards dictatorsships. The Blueshirts under O Duffy had plenty of supporters who were anti union etc
It is possible that the 1930's might have thrown up a dictatorship here - it was the fashion at the time.
Possibly the Civil War was a blessing, altho to quote Churchill very thinly disguised at t he time
I figured he was executed as he was such a wordsmith - the pen is mightier than the sword - that he posed a greater threat through the press more than anything else. The fact that 4 other were executed just to make his execution seem more like war time justice make it even more of a war crime.
He was very much seen at the time as the real brains behind the anti-Treatyies, the Iago behind them, by many in the new FS like O'Higgins. Perhaps they hoped that with his death the opposition would collapse. Obviously they were wrong on that score.
Would anybody know where I could get these documentaries by TG4, Basú, Thanks