Free Stater (Ireland)

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Free Stater or pro-Treatyite[1] is a term often used by opponents to describe those in Ireland who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 that led to the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922.[2] The pro-Treaty side included members of the old IRA who had fought the British during the recent Irish War of Independence. Led by Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, it soon became the nucleus of the new (regular) Irish National Army that overcame their anti-Treaty IRA opponents during the often bitter Irish Civil War of 1922–23.

The term is sometimes heard anachronistically in Northern Ireland for anyone from the South of the country, occasionally as a pejorative term.[3]

The term is also used across Ireland to describe people from the Republic of Ireland who do not support a united Ireland.[citation needed]

Followers of Irish republican legitimatism use the term to describe those who defected from the Republican movement and accept the institutions of the 26-county state, as opposed to giving allegiance to the Irish Republic outlined in the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knirck, Jason K. (2006). Imagining Ireland's Independence: The Debates Over the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 151. ISBN 9780742541481. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  2. ^ Jackson, Alvin (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 649. ISBN 9780199549344. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. ^ Reid, Bryonie; Graham, Brian; Nash, Catherine (2013). Partitioned Lives: The Irish Borderlands. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 9781409466741. Retrieved 12 May 2016.