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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 28 Feb 1922

Vol. S2 No. 1


A Chinn Chomhairle, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty approved by the majority of the Dáil, a meeting of representatives elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland was convened to formally endorse the Treaty and set up the Provisional Government. That Government was duly established. Dublin Castle has been handed over to it, and the evacuation of the country by the British forces was begun and is still in progress. It was intended to ascertain the will of the Irish electorate at the earliest moment, and if this will sustained the Treaty to proceed with the drafting of an Irish Constitution. The leaders of the minority party in the Dáil, however, contended that more time was needed for the electorate to form a correct judgment, and that the Constitution should be published before the election. An agreement to this effect was signed, and in conformity with it I went to London with the Minister for Home Affairs and secured that no election will be held during the three months' period agreed upon. Since the last meeting the Cabinet decided it was advisable to discontinue the Belfast Boycott, with a view to instituting an era of good will with our dissident fellow-countrymen in the North-East. The object is not yet achieved, but we are hopeful that it will be. The Dáil Departments will function as hitherto until the election. The Provisional Government Departments have been actively functioning in harmony with them, and in the interests of peace and good order will continue to do so.