Talk:Anglo-Irish Treaty

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I question the statement that Partition was not a factor. I find these on historical-debates of the Dáil

  • MR. S.T. O'CEALLAIGH: (Dáil Éireann - Volume 3 - 20 December, 1921), con "The two great principles for which so many have died, and for which they would still gladly die—no partition of Ireland and no subjugation of Ireland by any foreign power—have gone by the board in this Treaty, and some good men are thinking of voting for it."
  • MR. MILROY: (same) pro "Did they expect that the five men who went there would be able to bring back an arrangement that was at variance with the declaration of President de Valera that we were not going to coerce Ulster? The fact is that the provisions of the Treaty are not Partition provisions, but they ensure eventual unity in Ireland. But, as a matter of fact, whether there were Partition provisions or not, the economic position and the effects on the six counties' area is this, that sooner or later isolation from the rest of Ireland would have so much weight on the economic state of these six counties as to compel them to renew their association with the rest of Ireland. That trend of economic fact will be stimulated by the provisions of this Treaty, and the man who asserts that Partition is perpetuated in that Treaty is a man who has not read or understands what are the provisions in the Treaty. "
  • MR. SEAN MACENTEE: (Dáil Éireann - Volume 3 - 22 December, 1921) con "I am opposed to this Treaty because it gives away our allegiance and perpetuates partition. By that very fact that it perpetuates our slavery; by the fact that it perpetuates partition it must fail utterly to do what it is ostensibly intended to do—reconcile the aspirations of the Irish people to association with the British Empire. When did the achievement of our nation's unification cease to be one of our national aspirations?"

In fact their substantive objection was about continuing to be a Dominion of the British Empire, and not be a Republic. The Oath of Allegiance (or Fidelity) is merely a symbol of that. However, the debates do confirm the view of many (but not all) that the Unionists of Ulster could not and should not be coerced into a United Ireland. --Red King 17:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes. All you can say at this distance is that the supporters of Dev (for a 32-county Republic) failed to persuade a majority of TDs to change their minds, after very long debate. Partition was of most interest naturally to TDs from the north, such as McEntee. Most were not interested, or felt that Northern Ireland would collapse, or that the boundary would be altered. Pro-treaty TDs knew that it was not on the agenda.Red Hurley 09:00, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Edit by anonymous user:[edit]

Some useful stuff in a rather POV edit. If you wish to reiterate your changes, please use this talk page to achieve a consensus version. --Red King 09:46, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Material on 1937 Consitution and 1948 Republic of Ireland Act[edit]

I've deleted a large paragraph the 1937 and 1948 activities, because this article is about the treaty, not a potted history of Ireland 1921 to the present day. If a synopsis is really needed (consensus view again), this is the material:

Eamon de Valera, who, in 1932, became the second of only two Presidents of the Executive Council the Free State ever had, set about doing just that. Under the terms of the Constitution of the Free State, the Dáil was empowered to change it by simple majority (as is the case in the United Kingdom). These changes might be regarded as provisional measures while a new constitution was drafted and ratified, which took effect in 1937. Still in effect today, the new Bunreacht na hÉireann/Constitution of Ireland re-christened the country simply Éire or "Ireland" converted DeValera's post from "President of the Executive Counsel" to Taoiseach ("Leader," that is, Prime Minister), and replaced the appointed Governor General with an elected Uachtaran na hÉireann or "President of Ireland." The king remained nominally, if obtusely, head of the Irish state as a quasi-political gesture. According to some sources, DeValera did not wish to actually proclaim an Irish Republic until after the British Province of Northern Ireland were repatriated to Ireland. But DeValera and his party were out of power between 1948 and 1951. In 1949, and much to his and Fianna Fáil's chagrin, John Costello's Fine Gael party proclaimed the Irish Republic, which necessitated Ireland leaving the Commonwealth of Nations - because it no longer retained even the fiction of recognising the King as head of state. A year later, at the request of the Dominion of India, which wanted to become the Republic of India, the rules of the Commonwealth were changed to permit member states to opt out of having the British monarch as their head of state and be republics instead of constitutional monarchies. One can only wonder what both DeValera and Costello thought of that.

And by the way, Northern Ireland is not legally a Province. Ulster is, but Ulster is not Northern Ireland or vice versa. --Red King 09:46, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Neither is Ulster a "legal" province, it's a commerative or historical province with little if any meaning in legal or other terms. - Dalta

Inaccurate statement about the Treaty of Westminster[edit]

The statement: (The sole exception to this was Canada, at her own request, who remained nominally subject to the British Parliament until 1982, because the federal and provincial governments could not agree on an amending formula for the Canadian Constitution.) is both factually incorrect and irrelevant. It is factually incorrect in that Canada was not the only dominion for which the statute did not enter into force in its entirety on signature - at a minimum Australia and New Zealand had special provisions which resulted in the statute not applying for several years. More significantly, it doesn't add anything understanding of the application of the statute to the Irish Free State. This page already links to the Statute of Westminster page and that would be the appropriate place for details of its applicability in other dominions. Unless someone objects, I intend to remove the sentence about Canada from the page. DHam 16:42, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


The Anglo-Irish Treaty was never called such. The name on the papers was along the lines of "Articles of association between Ireland and the British Empire", this is it's proper name and the page should be called such, with reference to the various names given to it. Neither did the British ever accept it as a treaty, though the League of Nations did. This may be mentioned, I didn't really read the article. Also, in that box on the side, did Wales have the Red Dragon as their flag back in them days? I imagine it would've been a somewhat simplified version, if a singular flag existed at all. - Dalta

That would be quite a long title! History knows this agreement as the "Anglo-Irish Treaty", and that's what the article is called. --JW1805 21:44, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia under the MoS uses most common name. The most common name was the Anglo-Irish Treaty, not the Articles of Agreement. In any case the Articles of Agreement became a treaty when ratified by the three parliaments. FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 21:52, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Generally it is wikipedia policy that the common names of things are accepted[1] to be used, exceptions are granted but quite unlikely to such a long and relatively unknown title - irrespective of been official. Many things from this era used long names as standard. Whatever either side called the agreement it is well regarded as a treaty - not least that it ended the war of independence - the article can make reference to the official title if wanted. Djegan 21:57, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

I changed the "official name" in the first sentence of the article to "Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland" taking the title from Public Record Office Catalogue ref: HO 45/19974, and also Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) Act, 1922.garryq 09:10, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Chronic inaccuracy[edit]

Whoever changed the opening paragraph produced a version that would earn an F in any exam. It contained a monumental clanger, the suggestion that the Treaty created Northern Ireland. That is BS. Northern Ireland had been created by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. All the Treaty did was presume that Northern Ireland would continue as a home rule region within the Irish Free State unless Northern Ireland opted out and decided to remain in the UK, which it duly did. The claim that Northern Ireland was created by the AIT is elementary inaccuracy. FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 21:56, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Incorrect negotiators name[edit]

The name of one of the Irish negotiators is incorrectly given as Charles Gavan Duffy. It was actually his son, George Gavan Duffy. See the UCD archives for further details. Seoirse (the name signed to the treaty) translates as George, not Charles.

I will make the corresponding change to the main page barring any major objections here.

Eanair 09:22, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Military leadership of Dev?[edit]

"Opponents of the Treaty, primarily Éamon de Valera, mounted a military campaign of opposition which produced the Irish Civil War (1922–23)."

Sorry, but that just is'nt so. Dev was in America or jailed for much of the war; his only contribution as a military leader was insisting on the disasterious raid on the Customs House. So if nobody minds, I'll change the above to reflect that. Fergananim 01:00, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Right conclusion for wrong reason. The war that Dev was in America for is the War of Independence, not the Civil War. That said, the leaders were Rory O'Connor and Cathal Brugha - there is no evidence that Dev wass in control. --Red King 20:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Thank you Red, I realised the same thing the following day. Cheers. Fergananim 20:17, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Dev may not have been in direct control militarily, but his Republican Sinn Fein (not the current Ruari O' Bradaigh RSF) did instruct loyal IRA elements to sieze control of buildings of strategic importance. 13:18, 25 January 2006
Very dubious - you'll need to point to some evidence. Everything that I've read suggests that Rory O'Connor acted unilaterally and then Dev endorsed it. --Red King 21:59, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

added to 'ratification'[edit]

I've added some main quotes to ratification; hope all agree. Lifted from the Dáil reports. Someone should do a page on the debates - incredible insults etc.Red Hurley 09:38, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

inaccurate line[edit]

Opponents of the Treaty mounted a military campaign of opposition which produced the Irish Civil War (1922–23) Surely a military campaign did not begin until the Free State forces shelled the Four Courts? I think this line could be put better. Cliste 19:58, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

You are right but military campaign means different things to different people. Have a look at the debates between the Treaty vote and the 1922 election [2], and you'll see that there was a lot of jockeying for position, and even a 'Truce' between the sides (leading to the electoral Pact), months before the Four Courts shelling. Well done for your tidying up.Red Hurley 14:31, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Or maybe you aren't right. The anti-treaty forces occupied the Four Courts under force of arms and refused to surrender to the (unarmed) Civic Guards or accept an ultimatum from the National Army. It was at that point, coming to the aid of the civil power, that the National Army opened fire. The military campaign began with the armed occupation. --Red King 23:53, 1 September 2007 (UTC) But I agree with the wording of your edit. --Red King 23:57, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Red King, thats not 100% true the Free State Government was under pressure by the british Government to curtail opposition to the Treaty, they had a choice of doing it themselves or having British troops do it for them, which the Free State Government knew would lead to a re-starting of the War of Independence and would have re-United the IRA against both the Free State and Britain.--padraig 00:02, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Or so the Provo mythology goes. But let's not re-open hostilities! --Red King 00:10, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand your reference to the provos, they didn't exist then. The British Government had halted British troop withdrawals and refused to hand over any more arms to the Free State when the Collins and De Valera pact was approved by the Sinn Féin Feis. The British Government drew up plans to attack the Four Courts themselves, Churchhill also made a speech, stating if the siege was not ended, we shall regard the Treaty as having been formally violated, that we shall take no steps to carry out or legalise its further stage, and we shall resume full liberty of action in any direction that may seem proper..... --padraig 00:52, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Not mythology at all Red King, provo or otherwise. Arguably of course the Four Courts people had deliberately provoked this crisis, but its a fact that Collins attacked them so that the British would not do it themselves. I think he had no choice and the anti-treatyites had put him in an impossible position, but still...

Jdorney 12:31, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I was using "Provos" as shorthand for Irregulars, Anti-treatyites, whatever-you-call people who think themselves above democracy. As for "the British would do it themselves", produce the citation. Must be in Cabinet Papers if genuine. I've put a citation request on the main article. --Red King 16:02, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Already done. Michael Hopkinson, Green against Green, p114-117. And he got it from the minutes of hte British Council of Ministers. Check his footnotes if you want. Jdorney 16:45, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


I edited this section slightly to remove POV, however, I think it can be deleted altogether it doesn't really sit well were it's placed and most of the information is incorporated into the main text anyway. Cliste 15:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

"Irish Republic" not a party[edit]

I have fixed the info column. Up to now it said the parties to the Treaty were the UK and the "Irish Republic". The latter was not a party and was not recognised by the UK. An Irish delegation did sign of course. They did not sign in any official sense as representatives of the "Irish Republic". For a source: Just read the Treaty itself. (talk) 11:17, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

The plenipotentiaries were sent by Dáil Éireann, and the treaty was ratified (narrowly) by that body. If it had not been there would not have been a treaty. If the delegates were not representing the Irish Republic, British Gov. sensitivities aside, then who or what exactly were they representing? RashersTierney (talk) 17:09, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
You're both right because there had to be some ambivalence in the transition. Recall that at the start of the Peace of Paris (1783) negotiations the British did not recognise the independence of the USA but were dealing with the reps of the USA. A "Treaty" is agreed between sovereign states, and once ratified by the Dail of the Irish Republic, and by the UK Parliament, everyone called this one a treaty. As soon as that group of treasonous 13-Colonies individuals had signed in 1783, the British recognised the USA. It's fair to say that the Irish Republic was a party to the treaty, not least because the northern loyalists who were already running Northern Ireland were not directly involved. As they say, there was no other game in town. The Irish republic was of course turned into a dominion a year later, but in December 1921 the Irish signatories were acting on behalf of the then Irish Republic.Red Hurley (talk) 09:55, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Inaccuracies in the lede[edit]

Quote from lede:

"The Anglo-Irish Treaty (Irish: An Conradh Angla-Éireannach), officially the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was a treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the secessionist Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of Independence. It established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations (the first use of this term, rather than "British Empire", in an imperial statute) and 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 following comments concern the words I have put in bold above:

  • (1) as to "treaty": I expect this has been discussed already - but it wasn't a treaty (though I have no problem with it being referred to by its common name);
  • (2) as to "scessionist Irish Republic" - The Irish representatives signed as the "Irish delegation" - I think the words "scessionist Irish Republic" here are plainly misleading;
  • (3) as to "It established" are not accurate. It established nothing. Subsequent legislation giving it the force of law and implementing it did - the wording ought in some way to reflect this;
  • (4) as to "imperial statute", it wasn't an imperial statute so how does this make sense ?

I don't want to edit and get sucked into a silly argument. Hope some one else is up for that. All the best: Lawrysalt (talk) 01:02, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

It was called a treaty by everyone once it was ratified. In itself it did not "establish the IFS" but allowed for it to be established a year later, as happened. During the transitional year see: Provisional Government of the Irish Free State. Red Hurley (talk) 10:08, 11 August 2012 (UTC)