Just as the Roman Catholic Church supports Adam's cover up of his brother's Child abuse today and all of the Bishops who resigned over child rapes recently, they also supported the fascist Blues shirts who went to fight for Franco and the Free State forces at the start of the Civil war in the south of Ireland. They declared it the lawful government of the country, denouncing Anti-Treaty IRA and excommunicating anti-treaty fighters. On 10 October 1922, the Catholic Bishops of Ireland issued a formal statement, which was crucial to Catholics in the south supporting the anti-treaty campaign,
"a system of murder and assassination of the National forces without any legitimate authority... the guerrilla warfare now being carried on by the Irregulars is without moral sanction and therefore the killing of National soldiers is murder before God, the seizing of public and private property is robbery, the breaking of roads, bridges and railways is criminal. All who in contravention of this teaching, participate in such crimes are guilty of grievous sins and may not be absolved in Confession nor admitted to the Holy Communion if they persist in such evil courses."
As a result of this and the support of the British Government, the Free State government were enabled to expand its forces dramatically after the start of the Civil war. Pro-treaty Collins, was able to build an army which was to overwhelm their republican opponents. British supplies of artillery, aircraft, armoured cars, machine guns, small arms and ammunition were freely given to pro-treaty forces. Their Army was 14,000 men by August 1922, it was 38,000 strong by the end of 1922, it had swollen to 55,000 men and 3,500 officers at the end of the war, far more than what the Irish state would ever need. The Roman Catholic Church as opposed to the older traditional Celtic Church has always been a powerful reactionary force of great cruelty in Ireland, just as in Europe with its Inquisition and Crusaders.
Collins' most ruthless officers and men were recruited from the Dublin "Active Service Unit" which Collins had commanded in the Irish War of Independence and in particular from his assassination unit, "The Squad". They were now known as the Dublin Guard. Towards the end of the war, they were implicated in notorious atrocities against anti-treaty guerrillas. Most of the National Army's officers were Pro-Treaty IRA men, as were a substantial number of their soldiers. Many of the new army's other recruits were unemployed veterans of the First World War, where they had served in the Irish Division of the British Army.
Former British Army officers were also recruited for their technical expertise. A number of the senior Free State commanders such as Emmet Dalton John T. Prout and W.R.E. Murphy had seen service as officers in World War One, Dalton and Murphy in the British Army and Prout in the US Army. The Republicans of that time claimed, that the Free State was only a proxy force for Britain.
The final phase of the Civil War degenerated into a series of atrocities that left a lasting legacy of bitterness in Irish politics. The Free Staters began executing Republican prisoners on 17 November 1922, when five IRA men were shot by firing squad. In all, the Free State conducted 77 official executions of anti-treaty prisoners during the Civil War.
On 7 December 1922, four prominent Republicans who had been held since the first week of the war, Rory O'Connor, Liam Mellows, Richard Barrett and Joe McKelvey were executed. Free State troops, particularly in County Kerry, where the guerrilla campaign was most bitter, conducted the summary execution of captured anti-treaty fighters. The most notorious example of this occurred at Ballyseedy, where nine Republican prisoners were tied to a landmine, which was detonated, killing eight and only leaving one, Stephen Fuller, who was blown clear by the blast, to escape.The number of "unauthorised" executions of Republican prisoners during the Irish Civil War war has been put as high as 153.