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The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 6/12/1921



Griffith, Barton, Collins, Gavin Duffy, Childers and Duggan Hans Place, London, December 1921


The Irish delegates signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty 2.20 am, December 6, 1921, according to Robert Barton on threat of war by David Lloyd George the British prime minister. Is this Treaty a diplomatic error or the culmination of complicated political negotiations that resulted in the best deal possible in the circumstances?


Collins infiltrated British intelligence, removing the RIC as local informers and eliminating British spies based in Dublin Castle and assassinating the Cairo gang November 20, 1920.


Lloyd George planned to place all Irish civilians in concentration camps just as they placed Boer women and children in squalid vermin ridden concentration camps thereby killing 28,000 of them, Britain became a pariah nation as a result. Germany expanded the British initiated concentration camp system - Konzentrations Laager. Lloyd George threatened immediate all out war, de Valera responded 'and you will keep your soldiers there!' Collins secured the withdrawal of 35,000 police, RIC and British Army from Ireland and the creation of an Irish National Army, this gave the 3,000 Irish volunteers freedom of movement to create the National Army.


Griffith and Collins were the plenipontentiaries tasked with getting the best deal in other words freedom to secure further freedoms. de Valera was incommunicado both prior to and after signing. Collins said he signed his own death warrant. Collins was shot dead at an ambush August 22, Griffith died August 15, 1922.


King George V Saxe Coburg Gotha sought peace and the July 11 cesse de feu ended the war. October 11, talks begin in Downing Street. Dominion status, oath of allegiance and a boundary commission on Ulster on offer. December 6, Irish delegation sign without contacting Dublin. Dáil votes 64/57 for Treaty, January 7, 1922. June 28 the Irish Civil War commences, by May 1923 the anti-Treaty forces were defeated. The Boundary Commission which would remove Armagh and Fermanagh from the Northern Ireland sectarian statelet is shelved, in return, the Irish share of debt is written off. de Valera in power 1936, his refusal to pay annuities to Britain starts an economic war. In 1938, the oath of allegiance is abolished, the British monarch is excised from Irish affairs.


An Taoiseach John A Costello declares Ireland a Republic, in Canada, 1948, all formal ties with the Treaty are finished.


Sources; legion, this is a compilation of books and newspaper articles.

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