Civil War in Ireland

Civil War in Ireland

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03/07/1922 (of event)


02min 27sec




35mm, film, intertitles

black and white


National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

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This shows the National Army using field pieces borrowed from the British and firing from the corner of Winetavern Street and Wood Quay across the River Liffey. The guns opened up at first light on 28th June 1922 on the Irregulars in the Four Courts. This is famous footage and includes military vehicles, sandbags, sniper positions and destruction. The drawing of of Rory O'Connor, in command of the Irregulars in the Four Courts (later executed by the Free State). The final flames were caused more by the surrendering defenders than the National Army - cans of petrol were poured by Ernie O'Malley on public records and set ablaze.


There is considerable damage to this films - scratches and nitrate deterioration. The sequence with sandbags and broken windows has been reused from The Dublin Rebellion (Topical Budget 245-2, May 6 1916). Reuse and repackaging of footage was a common practice amongst the newsreel companies.

Shot List

'Topical Budget. Civil War in Ireland. Mr Michael Collins' desperate fight against Irregulars.' 'These remarkable pictures of the bombardment of the Rebels' stronghold in the Four Courts, Dublin, were taken by 'Topical's' operator lying on his back under fire'. Medium long shot of the Four Courts Building from the far side of the River Liffey. ' A Sniper's nest'. Long shot from position by a wall of the top of the Four Courts building. 'Free State guns in action'. Military vehicles in street. 'Shells bursting on the Four Courts'. Shell fire and smoke between two buildings ot the left of the Four Courts. Rear view of troops manning large gun in street. View of gunfire and smoke through window. Return to shot of clouds of smoke betwen two buildings. Sandbags in position beneath broken windows. View through window again. 'Snipers emptied the streets'. Man looking down empty street with arch. 'Homeless!' Adults and children seated on pavement. 'Rory O'Connor Commandant of the Rebels and defender of the Four Courts' (title accompanied by a drawing of O'Connor). 'Later. The Four Courts go up in flames' (title accompanied by a drawing of the building on fire). Crowd in street by bridge to the right of the Four Courts. Ruined frontage of building. Medium long shot of smoke rising between Four Courts and adjoining building (to the left) seen from over the river. Long shot of Dublin with the Four Courts on fire and considerable smoke over the area. Medium long shot of building to left of the Four Courts with smoke rising from behind it. Medium shot of great clouds of smoke pouring out between this building and the Four Courts. Source: SIFT - NFTVA database.


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