Anglo-Irish Treaty

The Anglo-Irish Treaty (Irish: An Conradh Angla-Éireannach), commonly known as The Treaty and officially the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was an agreement between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of Independence.[2] It provided for the establishment of the Irish Free State within a year as a self-governing dominion within the "community of nations known as the British Empire", a status "the same as that of the Dominion of Canada". It also provided Northern Ireland, which had been created by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, an option to opt out of the Irish Free State, which it exercised.

The agreement was signed in London on 6 December 1921, by representatives of the British government (which included Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who was head of the British delegates) and by representatives of the Irish Republic including Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. The Irish representatives had plenipotentiary status (negotiators empowered to sign a treaty without reference back to their superiors) acting on behalf of the Irish Republic, though the British government declined to recognise that status. As required by its terms, the agreement was ratified by "a meeting" of the members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and [separately] by the British Parliament. In reality, Dáil Éireann (the legislative assembly for the de facto Irish Republic) first debated then ratified the treaty; members then went ahead with the "meeting". Though the treaty was narrowly ratified, the split led to the Irish Civil War, which was won by the pro-treaty side.

The Irish Free State as contemplated by the treaty came into existence when its constitution became law on 6 December 1922 by a royal proclamation giving the force of law to the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922.

Anglo-Irish Treaty
Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland
Signature page
Signed6 December 1921
Location10 Downing Street, London
Effective31 March 1922,[1] fully implemented on 6 December 1922
ConditionCreation of the Irish Free State, later Ireland
Signatories Irish Republic
 United Kingdom
Text of the Treaty
Constitutional documents and events relevant to the status of the United Kingdom and its constituent countries
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Anglo-Irish Treaty Griffith annotated2
Page from a draft of the Treaty, as annotated by Arthur Griffith

Among the treaty's main clauses were that:[3]

  • Crown forces would withdraw from most of Ireland.
  • Ireland was to become a self-governing dominion of the British Empire, a status shared by Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa.
  • As with the other dominions, the King would be the Head of State of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) and would be represented by a Governor General (See Representative of the Crown).
  • Members of the new free state's parliament would be required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Irish Free State. A secondary part of the oath was to "be faithful to His Majesty King George V, His heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship".
  • Northern Ireland (which had been created earlier by the Government of Ireland Act) would have the option of withdrawing from the Irish Free State within one month of the Treaty coming into effect.
  • If Northern Ireland chose to withdraw, a Boundary Commission would be constituted to draw the boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland.
  • Britain, for its own security, would continue to control a limited number of ports, known as the Treaty Ports, for the Royal Navy.
  • The Irish Free State would assume responsibility for a proportionate part of the United Kingdom's debt, as it stood on the date of signature.
  • The treaty would have superior status in Irish law, i.e., in the event of a conflict between it and the new 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State, the treaty would take precedence.


The negotiators included:

British side
Portrait Name Portfolio
David Lloyd George David Lloyd George (delegation chairman)
MP for Caernarvon Boroughs
Prime Minister
1stEarlOfBirkenhead Lord Birkenhead Lord Chancellor
Austen Chamberlain nobel Austen Chamberlain
MP for Birmingham West
Lord Privy Seal
Leader of the House of Commons
Churchill HU 90973 Winston Churchill
MP for Dundee
Secretary of State for the Colonies
Laming Worthington Evans Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt
MP for Colchester
Secretary of State for War
Gordon Hewart, 1st Viscount Hewart Sir Gordon Hewart
MP for Leicester East
Attorney General
Hamar Greenwood Sir Hamar Greenwood
MP for Sunderland
Chief Secretary for Ireland
Irish side
Portrait Name Portfolio
Arthur Griffith Arthur Griffith (delegation chairman)
TD for Cavan and Fermanagh and Tyrone
(MP for East Cavan and North West Tyrone)
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Michael Collins himself Michael Collins
TD for Armagh and Cork Mid, North, South, South East and West
(MP for South Cork)
Secretary of State for Finance
RobertChildersBarton Robert Barton
TD for Kildare–Wicklow
(MP for West Wicklow)
Secretary of State for Economic Affairs
Eamonn duggan Eamonn Duggan
TD for Louth–Meath
(MP for South Meath)
George Gavan Duffy (cropped) George Gavan Duffy
TD for Dublin County
(MP for South County Dublin)
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister and head of the British delegation
Arthur Griffith (1871-1922)
Arthur Griffith, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and leader of the Irish delegation
Providing Secretarial Assistance
British side
Thomas Jones
Lionel George Curtis
Irish side
Erskine Childers
Fionán Lynch
Diarmuid O'Hegarty
John Smith Chartres

Robert Barton was the last surviving signatory. He died on 10 August 1975 at the age of 94.

Notably, the President of the Irish Republic Éamon de Valera did not attend.

Winston Churchill had a dual role in the British cabinet concerning the treaty: firstly as secretary of state for war hoping to end the Irish War of Independence in 1921; then in 1922, as secretary of state for the colonies (which included dominion affairs), he was charged with implementing it.

Erskine Childers, the author of the Riddle of the Sands and former Clerk of the British House of Commons, served as one of the secretaries of the Irish delegation. Tom Jones was one of Lloyd George's principal assistants, and described the negotiations in his book Whitehall Diary.

Status of the Irish plenipotentiaries

Eamon de Valera c 1922-30
Éamon de Valera, who, as President of the Irish Republic, opposed the Treaty

Éamon de Valera sent the Irish plenipotentiaries to the 1921 negotiations in London with several draft treaties and secret instructions from his cabinet. Pointedly the British side never asked to see their formal accreditation with the full status of plenipotentiaries, but considered that it had invited them as elected MPs: " ascertain how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations". This invitation in August had been delayed for over a month by a correspondence in which de Valera argued that Britain was now negotiating with a sovereign state, a position Lloyd George continually denied.[2]

In the meantime, de Valera had been elevated to President of the Republic on 26 August, primarily to be able to accredit plenipotentiaries for the negotiations, as is usual between sovereign states.[4] On 14 September all the Dáil speakers unanimously commented that the plenipotentiaries were being sent to represent the sovereign Irish Republic, and accepted de Valera's nominations without dissent, although some argued that de Valera himself should attend the conference.[5]

On 18 September Lloyd George recalled that:[2]

From the very outset of our conversations [in June 1921] I told you that we looked to Ireland to own allegiance to the Throne, and to make her future as a member of the British Commonwealth. That was the basis of our proposals, and we cannot alter it. The status which you now claim in advance for your delegates is, in effect, a repudiation of that basis. I am prepared to meet your delegates as I met you in July, in the capacity of 'chosen spokesmen' for your people, to discuss the association of Ireland with the British Commonwealth.

On 29 September Lloyd George reiterated to de Valera that recognition of the Irish republic was "a recognition which no British Government can accord", and he repeated his invitation for talks on "ascertaining how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire may best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations", to start in London on 11 October, which was tacitly accepted by the Irish side.[6] On 7 October de Valera signed a letter of accreditation as "President" on behalf of the "Government of the Republic of Ireland" (see image), but the letter was never requested by the British side.[7] Both the Irish and British sides knew that, in the event of failure, the truce agreed in July 1921 would end and the war would inevitably resume, a war that neither side wanted. Three months had passed by with nothing agreed.

The ambiguous status of the plenipotentiaries was to have unforeseeable consequences within the Nationalist movement when it divided over the treaty's contents in 1921–22. Plenipotentiaries usually have full powers to handle negotiations as they see fit, but de Valera had given them instructions to refer back to his cabinet on any "main question" and with "the complete text of the draft treaty about to be signed", which created difficulties. Subsequently, the anti-treaty side felt that the plenipotentiaries from the existing sovereign republic had somehow been persuaded to agree to accept much less. The pro-treaty side was to argue that after 11 October the negotiations had been conducted on the understanding that, even though the British were not negotiating with a sovereign state, the agreement was a significant first step towards Irish sovereignty. One of the five decrees giving power to the plenipotentiaries which Éamon de Valera signed is on permanent display at The Little Museum of Dublin.


Days after the truce that ended the Anglo-Irish War, de Valera met Lloyd George in London four times in the week starting 14 July.[8] Lloyd George sent his initial proposals on 20 July that were very roughly in line with the treaty that was eventually signed.[9] This was followed by months of delay until October, when the Irish delegates set up headquarters in 22 Hans Place, Knightsbridge.

The first two weeks of the negotiations were spent in formal sessions. Upon the request of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, the two delegations began informal negotiations, in which only two members of each negotiating team were allowed to attend. On the Irish side, these members were always Collins and Griffith, while on the British side, Austen Chamberlain always attended, though the second British negotiator would vary from day to day. In late November, the Irish delegation returned to Dublin to consult the cabinet according to their instructions, and again on 3 December.[10] Many points still had to be resolved, mainly surrounding the form of an oath to the monarch, but it was clear to all the politicians involved by this stage that a unitary 32-county Irish Republic was not on offer.

Not an Irish Civil War Prayer Vigil after all! (7485579104)
Crowds holding a prayer vigil outside Whitehall during 1921, while negotiations were underway inside

When they returned, Collins and Griffith hammered out the final details of the treaty, which included British concessions on the wording of the oath and the defence and trade clauses, along with the addition of a boundary commission to the treaty and a clause upholding Irish unity. Collins and Griffith in turn convinced the other plenipotentiaries to sign the treaty. The final decisions to sign the treaty was made in private discussions at 22 Hans Place at 11:15am on 5 December 1921. Negotiations closed by signing on at 2:20am 6 December 1921.

Michael Collins later claimed that at the last minute Lloyd George threatened the Irish delegates with a renewal of "terrible and immediate war"[11] if the Treaty was not signed at once. This was not mentioned as a threat in the Irish memorandum about the close of negotiations, but as a personal remark made by Lloyd George to Robert Barton, and merely a reflection of the reality of any military truce.[12] Barton noted that:

At one time he [Lloyd George] particularly addressed himself to me and said very solemnly that those who were not for peace must take full responsibility for the war that would immediately follow refusal by any Delegate to sign the Articles of Agreement.

Éamon de Valera called a cabinet meeting to discuss the treaty on 8 December, where he came out against the treaty as signed. The cabinet decided by four votes to three to recommend the treaty to the Dáil on 14 December.[13]

The contents of the treaty divided the Irish Republic's leadership, with the President of the Republic, Éamon de Valera, leading the anti-treaty minority. The Treaty Debates were difficult but also comprised a wider and robust stock-taking of the position by the contending parties. Their differing views of the past and their hopes for the future were made public. The focus had to be on the constitutional options, but little mention was made of the economy, nor of how life would now be improved for the majority of the population. Though Sinn Féin had also campaigned to preserve the Irish language, very little use was made of it in the debates. Some of the female TDs were notably in favour of continuing the war until a 32-county state was established. Much mention was made of "700 years" of British occupation. Personal bitterness developed; Arthur Griffith said of Erskine Childers: "I will not reply to any damned Englishman in this Assembly", and Cathal Brugha reminded everyone that the position of Michael Collins in the IRA was technically inferior to his.

The main dispute was centred on the status as a dominion (as represented by the Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity) rather than as an independent republic, but partition was a significant matter for dissent. Ulstermen like Sean MacEntee spoke strongly against the partition clause.[14] The Dáil voted to approve the treaty but the objectors refused to accept it, leading eventually to the Irish Civil War. McEntee was among their leaders.


The peacemakers- George Gavan Duffy, Erskine Childers, Robert Barton and Arthur Griffith in a group (28455606301)
Members of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921

Under the terms of the treaty, it required ratification by:

  1. The Parliament of the United Kingdom, and
  2. A "meeting summoned for the purpose [of approving the Treaty] of the members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland". This referred to the 1921 Irish elections called under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. This "parliament" had never in fact come into operation;[15] of the 128 members elected, the 124 Sinn Féin candidates refused to sit in the House, instead forming (along with Northern representatives) an alternative all-Ireland parliamentary assembly, the Second Dáil.

The British House of Commons ratified the treaty on 16 December 1921 by a vote of 401 to 58.[16] On the same day the House of Lords voted in favour by 166 to 47.[17] The Dáil approved the new treaty after nine days of public debate on 7 January 1922, by a vote of 64 to 57, but it was not the assembly specified in the treaty.

The "meeting" called for ratification on 14 January 1922 was thus of somewhat ambiguous status, not being convened or conducted in accordance with the procedures established for the House of Commons, nor being declared a session of Dáil Éireann. Anti-treaty members of the Dáil stayed away, meaning only pro-treaty members and the four elected unionists (who had never sat in Dáil Éireann) attended the meeting. Those assembled overwhelmingly ratified the treaty, nominated Michael Collins for appointment as chairman of the provisional government and immediately dispersed with no parliamentary business taking place. This was the nearest that the House of Commons of Southern Ireland ever came to functioning; no other meeting ever took place, but the vote on 14 January, in strict compliance with the treaty wording, allowed the British authorities to maintain that the legal niceties had been observed.

On 11 July 1924, the treaty was registered at the League of Nations by the Irish Free State.[18]

Dáil debates

The Dáil debates lasted much longer and exposed the diversity of opinion in Ireland. Opening the debate on 14 December, President de Valera stated his view on procedure:

It would be ridiculous to think that we could send five men to complete a treaty without the right of ratification by this assembly. That is the only thing that matters. Therefore it is agreed that this treaty is simply an agreement and that it is not binding until the Dáil ratifies it. That is what we are concerned with.

However, when the treaty was ratified by the Dáil on 7 January, he refused to accept the vote as final.

Secret sessions were held on 14 to 17 December, and on the morning of 6 January, to keep the discord out of the press and the public arena. During the first of these, de Valera also produced his ideal redraft, which was not in most respects radically different from the signed agreement, but which was probably not acceptable to the British side as the differing points had already been explored.[19]

On 15 December, Robert Barton was questioned by Kevin O'Higgins about his notes on Lloyd George's statement about signing the agreement or facing a renewal of war: "Did Mr Lloyd George single Mr Barton out as the left wing of the delegation and did he say, 'The man who is against peace may bear now and forever the responsibility for terrible and immediate war?'" Barton replied: "What he did say was that the signature and the recommendation of every member of the delegation was necessary, or war would follow immediately and that the responsibility for that war must rest directly upon those who refused to sign the Treaty". This was seized upon by opponents of the treaty as a convenient proof that the Irish delegates had been subjected to duress at the last minute, and "terrible and immediate war" became a catch-phrase in the debates that followed.[20] The next day, de Valera took up this point: "... therefore what happened was that over there a threat of immediate force upon our people was made. I believe that that document was signed under duress and, though I have a moral feeling that any agreement entered into ought to be faithfully carried out, I have no hesitation in saying that I would not regard it as binding on the Irish nation."[21]

The crucial private Dáil session on 6 January was informed that it could not be told about a private conference of nine TDs that had reached a compromise agreement on almost all points the night before. Most TDs wanted at least to be told what matters were still not agreed on, and from this point onwards the pro-treaty members insisted that all sessions should be held in public.[22]

The public sessions lasted nine days from 19 December to 7 January. On 19 December Arthur Griffith moved: "That Dáil Éireann approves of the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed in London on 6 December 1921."

By 6 January, the day before the final vote, de Valera acknowledged the deep division within his cabinet: "When these Articles of Agreement were signed, the body in which the executive authority of this assembly, and of the State, is vested became as completely split as it was possible for it to become. Irrevocably, not on personalities or anything of that kind or matter, but on absolute fundamentals."

The Second Dáil ratified the treaty on 7 January 1922 by a vote of 64 to 57. De Valera resigned as president on 9 January and was replaced by Arthur Griffith, on a vote of 60 to 58. On 10 January, de Valera published his second redraft, known generally as Document No. 2.[23]

Griffith, as President of the Dáil, worked with Michael Collins, who chaired the new Provisional Government of the Irish Free State, theoretically answerable to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, as the treaty laid down. On 25 October 1922, a new Irish constitution was enacted by the Third Dáil, sitting as a constituent assembly; the British Parliament confirmed the enactment on 5 December 1922. This parallel enactment provided the legal basis for the Irish Free State.

The Treaty Debates were held in private, and not published until 1972, 'in all their aggression and rawness'. They comprise a vital resource on the psychology of the Irish War of Independence and show the varying ideals that sustained the Sinn Féin deputies. Definitions of their understanding of their mandate in 1918 and 1921, and of the Republic itself, are interspersed with the practicalities of devolving power from London to Dublin. The narrow division led to the outbreak of the Irish Civil War on 28 June 1922.


British cavalry regiment leaving Ireland 1922
British cavalry soldiers leaving Ireland, 1922

The split over the treaty led to the Irish Civil War (1922–23). In 1922, its two main Irish signatories, Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, both died. Birkenhead reportedly said on signing the treaty: "Mr Collins, in signing this Treaty I'm signing my political death warrant", to which Collins is said to have replied, "Lord Birkenhead, I'm signing my actual death warrant."[24] Collins was killed by anti-treaty republicans in an ambush at Béal na Bláth in August 1922, ten days after Griffith's death from heart failure which was ascribed to exhaustion. Both men were replaced in their posts by W. T. Cosgrave. Two of the other members of the delegation, Robert Barton and Erskine Childers, sided against the treaty in the civil war. Childers, head of anti-treaty propaganda in the conflict, was executed by the free state for possession of a pistol in November 1922.

The treaty's provisions relating to the monarch, the governor-general, and the treaty's own superiority in law were all deleted from the Constitution of the Irish Free State in 1932, following the enactment of the Statute of Westminster by the British Parliament. By this statute, the British Parliament had voluntarily relinquished its ability to legislate on behalf of dominions without their consent. Thus, the Government of the Irish Free State was free to change any laws previously passed by the British Parliament on their behalf.

Nearly 10 years earlier, Michael Collins had argued that the treaty would give "the freedom to achieve freedom". De Valera himself acknowledged the accuracy of this claim both in his actions in the 1930s but also in words he used to describe his opponents and their securing of independence during the 1920s. "They were magnificent", he told his son in 1932, just after he had entered government and read the files left by Cosgrave's Cumann na nGaedheal Executive Council.

Although the British Government of the day had, since 1914, desired home rule for the whole of Ireland, the British Parliament believed that it could not possibly grant complete independence to all of Ireland in 1921 without provoking huge sectarian violence between overwhelmingly Protestant Irish Unionists and overwhelmingly Catholic Irish Nationalists. At the time, although there were Unionists throughout the country, they were concentrated in the north-east and their parliament first sat on 7 June 1921. An uprising by them against home rule would have been an insurrection against the "mother county" as well as a civil war in Ireland. (See Ulster Volunteers). Dominion status for 26 counties, with partition for the six counties that the Unionists felt they could comfortably control, seemed the best compromise possible at the time.

In fact, what Ireland received in dominion status, on par with that enjoyed by Canada, New Zealand and Australia, was far more than the Home Rule Act 1914, and certainly a considerable advance on the home rule once offered to Charles Stewart Parnell in the nineteenth century albeit at the cost of the permanent exclusion of Northern Ireland. Even de Valera's proposals made in secret during the Treaty Debates differed very little in essential matters from the accepted text, and were far short of the autonomous 32-county republic that he publicly claimed to pursue.[25]

The solution that was agreed had also been on Lloyd George's mind for years. He met Tim Healy, a senior barrister and former nationalist MP, in late 1919 to consider his options. Healy wrote to his brother on 11 December 1919: "Lloyd George said that, if he could get support for a plan whereby the six counties would be left as they are, he would be ready to give the rest of the country Dominion Home Rule, free from Imperial taxation, and with control of the Customs and Excise."[26] Healy considered that the idea had foundered on de Valera's insistence on having an all-Ireland republic, months before the war of independence became seriously violent in mid-1920.

Lloyd George had supported the 1893 Home Rule Bill and the slow process of the 1914 Home Rule Act, and liaised with the Irish Convention members in 1917–18. By 1921 his coalition government depended on a large Conservative majority, and collapsed during the Chanak crisis in October 1922.

See also

Notes and references


  • Text of treaty:
    • Final text of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland as signed. from British & Irish Delegations. Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Vol.1. No.214. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
    • "Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed at London, 6 December 1921" (PDF). League of Nations Treaty Series. 26 (626): 9–19.
  • Alternative Proposal from de Valera
  • Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Royal Irish Academy:
  • Parliamentary debates:


  1. ^ Irish Free State (Agreement) Act 1922 whose full title is "An Act to give the force of Law to certain Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, and to enable effect to be given thereto, and for other purposes incidental thereto or consequential thereon." – and which was given Royal Assent on 31 March 1922
  2. ^ a b c "Official Correspondence relating to the Peace Negotiations, part 1: Preliminary Correspondence". CELT. University College, Cork. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) Act, 1922, Schedule 2". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  4. ^ Dáil Proposal of De Valera as President Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Ratification of the plenipotentiaries Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Item No. 156, Official correspondence relating to the peace negotiations June–September 1921 (Dublin, 1921) online version
  7. ^ Arthur Griffith; comment on the delegates' credentials Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Eamon de Valera to David Lloyd George from Eamon de Valera to David Lloyd George - 08 July 1921 - Documents on IRISH FOREIGN POLICY". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  9. ^ "David Lloyd George to Eamon de Valera from David Lloyd George to Eamon de Valera - 20 July 1921 - Documents on IRISH FOREIGN POLICY". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Copy of secretary's notes of meeting of the cabinet and delegation held 3 December 1921 from Cabinet minutes - 03 December 1921 - Documents on IRISH FOREIGN POLICY". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  11. ^ The phrase was also cited as "immediate and terrible war". See: Collins M., "The Path to Freedom Notes by General Michael Collins", August 1922; Collins did not state that the remark was made solely to Barton, implying that the whole Irish delegation had heard it: "The threat of 'immediate and terrible war' did not matter overmuch to me. The position appeared to be then exactly as it appears now. The British would not, I think, have declared terrible and immediate war upon us."
  12. ^ "Notes by Robert Barton of two sub-conferences held on December 5/6, 1921 at 10 Downing St". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Minutes of a Cabinet Meeting held on 8 December 1921". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  14. ^ Dáil Éireann – Volume 3 – 22 December 1921 Debate on Treaty Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ One formal meeting took place in June, followed by adjournment sine die: see Parliament of Southern Ireland#June 1921 meeting.
  16. ^ "IRISH FREE STATE". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed at London, 6 December 1921" (PDF). League of Nations Treaty Series. 26 (626): 9–19.
  19. ^ "Proposed Alternative Treaty of Association between Ireland and the British Commonwealth presented by Mr Eamon de Valera to a Secret Session of Dáil Éireann on 14 December 1921". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  20. ^ Barton's statement, 15 Dec 1921 Archived 7 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Secret debates, 16 Dec 1921; De Valera
  22. ^ Private session, 6 January 1922 Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Proposed Treaty of Association between Ireland and the British Commonwealth presented by Eamon de Valera to Dail Eireann from Eamon de Valera to Dail Eireann - Jan. 1921 - Documents on IRISH FOREIGN POLICY". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  24. ^ Furneaux Smith, Eleanor (1940). Life's a circus. Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. p. 142.
  25. ^ De Valera's 2 proposals publicised on 10 January 1922 Archived 18 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Chapter 43 of Healy's memoirs published in 1928

External links

1922 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 1922 took place in Southern Ireland on 16 June 1922, under the provisions of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty to elect a constituent assembly paving the way for the formal establishment of the Irish Free State. In Irish political history, this served as the election to the Third Dáil; under the provisions of the treaty it was a provisional parliament replacing the parliament of Southern Ireland. From 6 December 1922, it was the Dáil Éireann of the Irish Free State.

The election was under the electoral system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

Anglo-Irish Treaty Dáil vote

The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London on 6 December 1921 and Dáil Éireann voted to approve the treaty on 7 January 1922, following a debate through late December 1921 and into January 1922. The vote was 64 in favour, 57 against, with the Ceann Comhairle and 3 others not voting. The Sinn Féin party split into opposing sides in the aftermath of the Treaty vote, which led to the Irish Civil War from June 1922 to May 1923.

Comhairle na dTeachtaí

Comhairle na dTeachtaí was an Irish republican parliament established by opponents of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty and the resulting Irish Free State, and viewed by republican legitimatists as a successor to the Second Dáil. Members were abstentionist from the Third Dáil established by the pro-Treaty faction. Just as the First Dáil established a parallel Irish Republic in opposition to the British Dublin Castle administration, so Comhairle na dTeachtaí attempted to establish a legitimatist government in opposition to the Provisional Government and Government of the Irish Free State established by the Third Dáil. This legitimatist government, called the Council of State, had Éamon de Valera as President. In 1926 de Valera resigned as President, left the Sinn Féin party and founded Fianna Fáil, which in 1927 entered the Fourth Dáil. Comhairle na dTeachtaí, never more than a symbolic body, was thereby rendered defunct. In 1930 Cumann na nGaedheal TDs alleged in the Dáil that de Valera had addressed Comhairle na dTeachtaí in December 1926, after the foundation of Fianna Fáil; this was to cast aspersions on de Valera's commitment to the Constitution of the Irish Free State.

Cumann na Poblachta

Cumann na Poblachta (Irish pronunciation: [kˠumˠən̪ˠ n̪ˠə pˠɔbˠɫəxt̪ˠə]; League of the Republic in English) was an Irish republican political party.

The party was founded on 15 March 1922 by Éamon de Valera. It opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and was composed of the anti-Treaty wing of Sinn Féin. The party did contest the 1922 Irish general election but, in accordance with the Collins/De Valera Pact, under the Sinn Féin banner like their opponents.

The party commonly appended the title The Republican Party to its name. This subtitle was later adopted by the Fianna Fáil party at its foundation in 1926.

Its headquarters was at 23 Suffolk street. The party's offices served as a meeting place for the Anti-treaty IRA.In 1923, after the pro-Treaty wing of Sinn Féin renamed itself as Cumann na nGaedheal, Cumann na Poblachta continued to use the Sinn Féin name.

Daniel McCarthy (politician)

Daniel McCarthy (22 January 1883 – 2 March 1957) was an Irish politician. McCarthy was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) at the 1921 elections for the Dublin South constituency. He subsequently went on to support the Anglo-Irish Treaty, becoming a member of Cumann na nGaedheal when the party was founded.

McCarthy joined the government of W. T. Cosgrave as Parliamentary Secretary to the President (Chief Whip) in 1922, being the first person to hold that post. He served in that post until 1924. He resigned from the Dáil on 30 October 1924 and subsequently retired from politics. He was President of the Gaelic Athletic Association from 1921 to 1924.

Dáil Éireann (Irish Republic)

Dáil Éireann (English: Assembly of Ireland), also called the Revolutionary Dáil, was the revolutionary, unicameral parliament of the Irish Republic from 1919 to 1922. The Dáil was first formed by 73 Sinn Féin MPs elected in the 1918 United Kingdom general election. Their manifesto refused to recognise the British parliament at Westminster and chose instead to establish an independent legislature in Dublin. The convention of the First Dáil coincided with the beginning of the War of Independence.

The First Dáil was replaced by the Second Dáil in 1921. Both of these Dála existed under the proclaimed Irish Republic; it was the Second Dáil which narrowly ratified the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The status of the Third Dáil of 1922–1923 was different as it was also recognised by the British. It was elected under the terms of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty as a provisional parliament to pave the way for the creation of an independent Irish state. With the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, a new parliament called the Oireachtas was established, of which Dáil Éireann became the lower house.

Irish Republic

The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann) was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919. The Republic claimed jurisdiction over the whole island of Ireland, but by 1920 its functional control was limited to only 21 of Ireland's 32 counties, and British state forces maintained presence across much of the north-east, as well as Cork, Dublin and other major towns. The Republic was mostly strongest in rural areas and it was still able to influence the population in urban areas that it did not directly control through influence by the military forces of the new Republic.

Its origins date back to the Easter Rising of 1916, when Irish republicans seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic. The insurrection was crushed, but the survivors united under a reformed Sinn Féin party to campaign for a republic. The party won a clear majority of largely uncontested seats in the 1918 general election, and formed the first Dáil (legislature) of Ireland in Dublin on 21 January 1919. Republicans then established a government, a court system and a police force. At the same time, the Irish Volunteers, who came under the control of the Dáil and became known as the Irish Republican Army, fought against British state forces in the Irish War of Independence.

The War of Independence ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed on 6 December 1921 and narrowly approved by Dáil Éireann on 7 January 1922. A Provisional Government was set up under the terms of the treaty, but the Irish Republic nominally remained in existence until 6 December 1922, when 26 of the island's 32 counties became a self-governing British Dominion called the Irish Free State. The island had been partitioned by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, and the six counties of Northern Ireland exercised their right under the Treaty to opt out of the Free State, and remain in the United Kingdom.

Irish Republican Army

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) are paramilitary movements in Ireland in the 20th century dedicated to Irish republicanism, the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic from British rule and free to form their own government. The original Irish Republican Army formed in 1917 from those Irish Volunteers who did not enlist in the British Army during World War I, members of the Irish Citizen Army and others. Irishmen formerly in the British Army returned to Ireland and fought in the Irish War of Independence. During the Irish War of Independence it was the army of the Irish Republic, declared by Dáil Éireann in 1919. Some Irish people dispute the claims of more recently created organisations that insist that they are the only legitimate descendants of the original IRA, often referred to as the "Old IRA".

The playwright and former IRA member Brendan Behan once said that the first issue on any Irish organisation's agenda was "the split". For the IRA, that has often been the case. The first split came after the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, with supporters of the Treaty forming the nucleus of the National Army of the newly created Irish Free State, while the anti-treaty forces continued to use the name Irish Republican Army. After the end of the Irish Civil War (1922–23), the IRA was around in one form or another for forty years, when it split into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA in 1969. The latter then had its own breakaways, namely the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, each claiming to be the true successor of the Army of the Irish Republic.

The Irish Republican Army (1919–1922) (in later years, known as the "Old" IRA), recognised by the First Dáil as the legitimate army of the Irish Republic in April 1921 and fought the Irish War of Independence. On ratification by the Dáil of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, it split into pro-Treaty forces (the National Army, also known as the Government forces or the Regulars) and anti-Treaty forces (the Republicans, Irregulars or Executive forces) after the Treaty. These two went on to fight the Irish Civil War.

The Irish Republican Army (1922–1969), the anti-treaty IRA which fought and lost the civil war and which thereafter refused to recognise either the Irish Free State or Northern Ireland, deeming them both to be creations of British imperialism. It existed in one form or another for over 40 years before splitting in 1969.

The Official IRA (OIRA), the remainder of the IRA after the 1969 split with the Provisionals; was primarily Marxist in its political orientation. It is now inactive in the military sense, while its political wing, Official Sinn Féin, became the Workers' Party of Ireland.

The Provisional IRA (PIRA) broke from the OIRA in 1969 over abstentionism and how to deal with the increasing violence in Northern Ireland. Although opposed to the OIRA's Marxism, it came to develop a left-wing orientation and increasing political activity.

The Continuity IRA (CIRA) broke from the PIRA in 1986, because the latter ended its policy on abstentionism (thus recognising the authority of the Republic of Ireland).

The Real IRA (RIRA), a 1997 breakaway from the PIRA consisting of members opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process.

In April 2011, former members of the Provisional IRA announced a resumption of hostilities, and that "they had now taken on the mantle of the mainstream IRA." They further claimed "We continue to do so under the name of the Irish Republican Army. We are the IRA." and insisted that they "were entirely separate from the Real IRA, Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), and the Continuity IRA." They claimed responsibility for the April assassination of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr as well as responsibility for other attacks that had previously been claimed by the Real IRA and ONH.

The New IRA, which was formed as a merger between the Real IRA and other republican groups in 2012. (see Real IRA)

Irish Republican Army and the Anglo-Irish Treaty

The Irish Republican Army was a guerrilla army that fought the Irish War of Independence against Britain from 1919–1921. It saw itself as the legitimate army of the Irish Republic declared in 1919. The Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended this conflict, was a compromise which abolished the Irish Republic, but created the self-governing Irish Free State, within the British Empire. The IRA was deeply split over whether to accept the Treaty. Some accepted, whereas some rejected not only the Treaty but also the civilian authorities who had accepted it. This attitude eventually led to the outbreak of the Irish Civil War in late June 1922 between pro- and anti-Treaty factions.

Irish independence

Irish independence may refer to:

Irish Home Rule movement, from 1870 to 1921

Proclamation of the Irish Republic

Irish War of Independence, a guerrilla war fought between the Irish Republican Army, under the Irish Republic, and the United Kingdom

Anglo-Irish Treaty, the treaty that brought the Irish War of Independence to a close

Irish Free State, the state that seceded from the United Kingdom following the Anglo-Irish Treaty

Republic of Ireland Act 1948

Ministry of Dáil Éireann

The Ministry of Dáil Éireann (Irish language: Aireacht Dáil Éireann) was the cabinet of the 1919–1922 Irish Republic. The Ministry was originally established by the Dáil Constitution adopted by the First Dáil in 1919, after it issued the Irish Declaration of Independence. This constitution provided for a cabinet consisting of a head of government, known as the Príomh Aire or President of Dáil Éireann, and four other ministers. The Irish Republic modelled itself on the parliamentary system of government and so its cabinet was theoretically appointed by and answerable to the Dáil. Under the constitution the President was elected by the Dáil, while the remaining ministers were nominated by the President and then ratified by the Dáil. The Dáil could dismiss both the cabinet as a whole and individual ministers by passing a resolution. Ministers could also be dismissed by the President.

A number of changes were made to the cabinet system after 1919. The number of ministers was increased and, while as established in 1919 the Irish Republic had no explicit head of state, in 1921 the head of the Ministry was renamed as President of the Republic. For a brief period the members of this president's cabinet became known as "secretaries of state" rather than ministers. When the Fourth Ministry assumed office in 1922 after the approval of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, with Arthur Griffith as its head, cabinet members were once again described as ministers and Griffith adopted the title of President of Dáil Éireann.

For much of 1922, the Ministry governed in parallel with the Provisional Government, an interim administration established under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and the membership of the two cabinets overlapped. In August 1922, after the respective deaths of Collins, who was Chairman of the Provisional Government, and Griffith, who was President of Dáil Éireann, Cosgrave succeeded to both positions, and the Ministry was effectively the same as the Second Provisional Government. In December 1922, when the Irish Free State came into being, both the Ministry and the Provisional Government were superseded by the Executive Council of the Irish Free State.

Munster Republic

The Munster Republic was an informal and affectionate term used by Irish republicans to refer to the territory they held in the province of Munster at the start of the Irish Civil War. The "republic" never claimed to be a state as such, but was a base for the republican civil war aim of creating an all-Ireland Irish Republic.

After the first week of fighting in the Civil War (28 June – 5 July 1922), Dublin was held by those in support of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the Irish Free State. The main stronghold of Anti-Treaty forces (the Irish Republicans) became the self-styled Munster Republic, consisting of the counties south of a line between Limerick and Waterford. Liam Lynch, the republican commander-in-chief, hoped to use the "Republic" as a means of re-negotiating the Treaty, and ideally reconstituting the Irish Republic of 1919–21. For this defensive attitude, Lynch was bitterly criticised by some other republicans, who felt that he should be acting offensively to bring the war to a quick end.

However, the Anti-Treaty side (who were supported by a large group of rebels from the Irish Republican Army), lacked artillery and armoured cars, both of which the Free State had to borrow from the British. The Free State launched an offensive against the Munster Republic in July 1922. Limerick and Waterford were taken easily, and Cork became the last county independent of the Free State. Michael Collins sent the Free State Army by sea to Union Hall in Co. Cork and to Fenit in Co. Kerry. Cork was retaken on 10 August. His opponents then moved into the countryside and continued small-scale guerrilla warfare until April 1923.

National Army (Ireland)

The National Army, sometimes unofficially referred to as the Free State army or the Regulars, was the army of the Irish Free State from January 1922 until October 1924. Its role in this period was defined by its service in the Irish Civil War, in defence of the institutions established by the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Michael Collins, was the army's first chief of staff from its establishment until his death in August 1922.

The army made its first public appearance on 31 January 1922, when command of Beggars Bush Barracks was handed over from the British Army. Its first troops were those volunteers of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the "Provisional Government of Ireland" formed thereunder. Conflict arose between the National Army and the anti-Treaty components of the IRA, which did not support the government of the Irish Free State. On 28 June 1922 the National Army commenced an artillery bombardment of anti-Treaty IRA forces who were occupying the Four Courts in Dublin, thus beginning the Irish Civil War.

The National Army was greatly expanded in size to fight the civil war against the anti-Treaty IRA, in a mostly counter-insurgency campaign that was brought to a successful conclusion in May 1923. From 1 October 1924, the Army was reorganised into a smaller, better regulated force; the term "National Army" was superseded by the legal establishment of the Defence Forces as the Irish Free State's military force.

Parliament of Southern Ireland

The Parliament of Southern Ireland was a Home Rule legislature set up by the British Government during the Irish War of Independence under the Fourth Home Rule Bill. It was designed to legislate for Southern Ireland, a political entity which was created by the British Government to solve the issue of rising Irish nationalism and the issue of partitionism, whilst retaining Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

The Parliament was bicameral, consisting of a House of Commons (the lower house) with 128 seats and a Senate (the upper house) with 64 seats. The Parliament as two houses sat only once, in the Royal College of Science for Ireland in Merrion Street. Due to the low turnout of members attending, the Parliament was adjourned sine die and was later officially disbanded by the Irish Free State (Agreement) Act 1922.

Partition of Ireland

The partition of Ireland (Irish: críochdheighilt na hÉireann) divided the island of Ireland into two distinct jurisdictions, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. It took place on 3 May 1921 under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Today the former is still known as Northern Ireland and forms part of the United Kingdom, while the latter is now a sovereign state also named Ireland and sometimes called the Republic of Ireland.

The Act of 1920 was intended to create two self-governing territories within Ireland, with both remaining within the United Kingdom. It also contained provisions for co-operation between the two territories and for the eventual reunification of Ireland. However, in 1922, following the War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the southern part became the Irish Free State, while Northern Ireland exercised its option to remain in the United Kingdom.

Since partition, a key aspiration of Irish nationalists has been to bring about a reunited Ireland, with the whole island forming one independent state. This goal conflicts with that of the unionists in Northern Ireland, who want the region to remain part of the United Kingdom. The Irish and British governments agreed, under the 1998 Belfast Agreement, that the status of Northern Ireland will not change without the consent of a majority of its population. In its white paper on Brexit, the United Kingdom government reiterated its commitment to the Belfast Agreement. With regard to Northern Ireland's status, it said that the UK Government's "clearly-stated preference is to retain Northern Ireland’s current constitutional position: as part of the UK, but with strong links to Ireland".

Peter Hughes (Irish politician)

Peter Hughes (died 24 June 1954) was an Irish politician. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1921 general election as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) for Louth–Meath.

As a supporter of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 he later went on to join Cumann na nGaedheal. He was appointed to the Cabinet in 1924, serving as Minister for Defence until 1927. Although he was a member of the government he lost his Dáil seat at the June 1927 general election, and failed to be elected in the two subsequent general elections.

Southern Ireland (1921–22)

Southern Ireland (Irish: Deisceart Éireann) was the larger of the two parts of Ireland that were created when Ireland was partitioned under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. It comprised 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland or about five-sixths of the area of the island, whilst the remaining six counties in the northeast of the island formed Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland included County Donegal, despite it being the largest county in Ulster and the most northerly county in all of Ireland.

The Act of 1920, which came into force on 3 May 1921, was intended to create two self-governing territories within Ireland, each with its own parliament and governmental institutions, and both remaining within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It also contained provisions for co-operation between the two territories and for the eventual reunification of Ireland. However, in the 1921 elections for Southern Ireland's House of Commons, Sinn Féin candidates were returned unopposed in 124 of the 128 seats, and ignored the parliament, assembling instead as the Second Dáil. The "Parliament of Southern Ireland"—consisting of the four unionist members—met only once. Continuing unrest led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the Provisional Government which administered Southern Ireland from 16 January 1922 to 5 December 1922: effectively a transitional administration for the period between the ratifying of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the establishment of the Irish Free State. Its legitimacy was disputed by the Anti-Treaty delegates to Dáil Éireann.

Southern Ireland, as a political entity, was superseded by the Irish Free State (which later became the independent state of Ireland) on 6 December 1922.

The Nationalist

The Nationalist is a newspaper based in Clonmel in County Tipperary, Ireland which was established in 1890.

It is a broadsheet newspaper that appears weekly, covering news, events, and sport in both Clonmel town and south Tipperary. It has a circulation of over fourteen thousand in 2010.

It was formed to represent the views of the Irish nationalist community in County Tipperary, which led to the first editor been jailed under a Coercion Act on charges that he had intimidated a cattle dealer for taking a farm from which tenants had been evicted. It supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which led to the paper being shut down by Séumas Robinson during the Irish Civil War.

The paper is currently owned by Iconic Newspapers, who acquired Johnston Press' titles in the Republic of Ireland in 2014.A more recent set of figures, for Jan-June 2011 can be found here.

Third Dáil

The Third Dáil was both the Provisional Parliament or the Constituent Assembly of Southern Ireland from 9 August to 6 December 1922; and the lower house (Dáil Éireann) of the Oireachtas of the Irish Free State from 6 December 1922 until 9 August 1923.

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