General Sir Cecil Frederick Nevil Macready, Chief of the Metropolitan Police of London, appointed as military commander in Ireland
Photograph, 1920 (c).
General Sir Cecil Frederick Nevil Macready was the last officer to hold the post of Commander-in-Chief, Ireland. He was appointed to this position in April 1920, at a time when insurgents of the Irish Republican Army were waging a guerilla war against British rule.
Macready harboured a deep dislike of the Irish people. This was revealed in a letter he wrote to Ian MacPherson on his appointment as Chief Secretary for Ireland in January 1919, in which he declared 'I cannot say I envy you for I loathe the country you are going to and its people with a depth deeper than the sea and more violent than that which I feel against the Boche'.
However, this hostility did not manifest itself in a desire to crush the Irish rebels at all costs. In fact, Macready was sceptical about the prospects of winning an outright victory and instead took a more pragmatic approach, believing that a settlement with the rebels was the only way to bring about a lasting peace.
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