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Remember that there are several types of irony (situational, dramatic, verbal, etc...). However, the major irony we are dealing with here is the situational irony: the idea that what we expect as readers is not the result we get at all (we don't expect a fire truck to be on fire, hence, situational irony).
So, in the case of O'Flaherty's "The Sniper", which takes place in the middle of Dublin along the Liffey River, during a time of civil war, the ironic twist at the end is what most turn to and what is most memorable. Clearly, the Republican sniper the narrator follows is supposed to eliminate enemies and threats. However, the threat he elminates is his own brother, and the reader does not expect that. We don't expect the protagonist to have such a close, personal connection to the figure he kills, a figure he regards as a "good shot", like himself. And from that we can infer that they grew up learning to shoot together.
Another instance of situational irony is the "old woman," the informant for the enemy which he kills. We don't expect an old person to take an active role in a civil war such as this. But her cover makes sense, since no one would suspect her of dealing with the enemy, and many would quickly and easily dismiss her. However, our sniper guns her down, something we might not necessarily expect as well.
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