What is an example of a claim statement at the beginning of "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty?
By "claim statement" I believe that the question is asking for a declarative sentence that occurs near the beginning of the story. A declarative sentence makes a claim. Generally it is a statement of fact, but it could be an opinion as well. In either case, a declarative sentence makes a claim.
The opening paragraph of "The Sniper" has a couple of declarative sentences. The first sentence tells readers that twilight was fading into night. The sentence helps establish setting and mood.
The long June twilight faded into night.
The final sentence of the opening paragraph also tells readers a factual statement.
Republicans and Free Staters were waging civil war.
Readers are told the reason for all of the gunfire that was previously described. A civil war is happening.
It's also possible that the question's "claim statement" is referring to a possible "thesis statement" of this story. In that case, the statement is something that is debatable. Generally, it would be made up by a reader and supported with details from the story. Since the question specifically wrote "at the beginning," I will provide a possible thesis for this story based on the first paragraph.
"The Sniper" quickly alerts readers to the fact that the story will be tense, dark, and violent.
The above statement is focused on the mood and tone of the story and can be be supported from only the the first paragraph's highlighting of darkness.
The long June twilight faded into night. Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon that shone through fleecy clouds, casting a pale light as of approaching dawn over the streets and the dark waters of the Liffey.