Aftermath of Shooting of Sir Henry Wilson
Macready (still commander of remaining British Forces in Ireland) was in attendance. Letter sent to Collins saying that documents found on Wilson assassins connected them with the Anti-Treaty IRA and went on to say that the Four Courts occupation and 'the ambiguous position' of the IRA could no longer be tolerated. As Collins was in the South, a reply was sent from the Provisional Government (on the same day) by Diarmaid O’Hegarty asking for information which the British government had connecting the men in the Four Courts with the Wilson assassination to be placed at their disposal. O’Hegarty also said that internal dissension would destroy the Four Courts anti-Treatyities. (He was obviously aware of the break in the Anti-Treaty ranks on the 18th.) Churchill refused to release the information. (Curran says that this was because the documents found on Wilson’s assassins did not link them with the men in the Four Courts.) On the evening of the 23rd, the British cabinet decides to attack the Four Courts on either the 25th or 26th even though Macready (who was at the meeting) says he strongly opposed this decision. Macready is told to return to Dublin and prepare for the attack. He was told that, if it is finally decided to attack the Four Courts, then he would receive his orders by telephone.