“The Sniper” is Liam O’Flaherty’s short story about the Irish Civil war. The protagonist is the Republican sniper. The republican sniper is a skilled and clever sniper. The reader first sees the snipers skill when he is able to kill an enemy soldier in an armored car as well as an enemy informant. His true skill is represented toward the end of the story when he makes a difficult shot taking out an enemy sniper. O’Flaherty writes, “The distance was about fifty yards--a hard shot in the dim light, and his right arm was paining him like a thousand devils. He took a steady aim. His hand trembled with eagerness. Pressing his lips together, he took a deep breath through his nostrils and fired.” The sniper’s skill is shown in this quote by his ability to use a handgun to shoot over a large distance in imperfect lighting.
It is prior to the near impossible shot that the Republican sniper shows his cleverness. He is wounded by the enemy sniper and knows that he will not be able to use the rifle take out his foe. He tricks the enemy sniper into revealing himself by pretending to be fatally wounded and dropping his rifle over the side of the building.
Flaherty shows hid Sniper to be both skilled and clever through his ability to hit targets with his rifle as well as his hand gun and by tricking the other sniper into revealing himself.