Michael Collins ordered the execution of armed British forces operating in Ireland. Tomás MacCurtain — the unarmed Lord Mayor of Cork — was murdered, not executed.
Writing about the period, Collins said: “Ireland’s story from 1918 to 1922 may be summed up as the story of a struggle between our right to govern ourselves and to get rid of the British government and the British determination to prevent us from doing either.
“It was a struggle between two rival governments, the one an Irish government resting on the will of the people and the other an alien government depending for its existence upon military force — the one gathering more and more authority, the other steadily losing ground and growing ever more desperate and unscrupulous.”
Over to you, Ryle