The setting of the short story "The Sniper" is the Irish Civil War, a conflict between the Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and the British security forces in Ireland. This war for Irish independence lasted over two years. Certainly, civil wars such as this one have sometimes pitted families against families, and brother against brother, and this is the case in Liam O'Flaherty's stunning short story.
Here is how the plot is arranged in "The Sniper" (the words in bold are the key points):
There is very little exposition in this story. The reader simply reads that the city of Dublin, Ireland, "lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon," and in the early morning the reports of machine guns and rifles are heard. On the top of the roof of some building near O'Connell Bridge lies a young man who is a Republican sniper; he is quietly watching and listening.
This Irish Republican sniper is engaged...
(The entire section contains 564 words.)