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The Treaty Debates

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In December 1921 and January 1922, Dáil Éireann debated the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The Dáil voted to ratify the Treaty by a small margin.

A delegation from the Dáil had spent two months in London negotiating the Treaty, following the truce of July 1921. The Treaty established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion but fell short of the Republic that had been declared on the steps of the GPO in 1916.

The Dublin Castle Collection

Digital exhibition

The Dublin Castle Collection

The Oireachtas Library marked the centenary of the handover of Dublin Castle with an exhibition of some of the treasures from the Dublin Castle Collection.

Explore the Treaty Debates

The Illustrated London News coverage of the opening of the Treaty Debates in Dublin on 14 December 1921 | © Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Explore the Treaty Debates

The Dáil met to debate the Treaty in Earlsfort Terrace on 14 December 1921. The debate ran over Christmas and into the new year and ended on 7 January 1922, when the Dáil ratified the Treaty by a majority of seven votes.

Explore the debates with our brief commentary on each day's proceedings, including links to the Official Report of each debate.

Drama documentary

State of Flux | Part One

In part one of our two-part drama documentary, State of Flux, actors delve into the lives of three of the key figures from the period to create a dramatic re-enactment of the most important discussion in the history of Irish politics.

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Drama Documentary

State of Flux | Part Two

In part two of State of Flux the actors continue researching their roles as leading figures from the time – De Valera, Collins, MacSwiney – leading up to a dramatic re-enactment of key passages of the Debates at the Mansion House.

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Video

Conference

If you missed the conference on the Treaty Debates, you can watch the complete video of the discussions.

The conference was held jointly by the Houses of the Oireachtas and the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).

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Commemorative booklet

Booklet

Commemorative booklet

Download the commemorative booklet produced to mark the centenary of the Treaty Debates.

From Truce to Free State

Poster

From Truce to Free State

See the key facts and dates around the Treaty that brought Ireland from the Truce to the Free State in this infographic.

Facsimile of the Treaty

Facsimile of the Treaty

See a photographic facsimile of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland Signed in London on the 6th December 1921.

Video

Seachtain na Gaeilge lecture 2021

To celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021, the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Deputy Catherine Connolly, welcomed a special lecture by Dr Mary MacDiarmada on the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921. She discusses the founding of Dáil Éireann in 1919, the War of Independence and the signing of the Treaty.

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The Treaty in Context

TDs arriving at Earlsfort Terrace for the Treaty Debates | Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

The Treaty in Context

The Anglo-Irish Treaty signed on 6 December 1921 was a landmark agreement in the history of the two islands. The Irish Free State formally came into being exactly a year later. Learn more about this turning point in Ireland's story.

The View from Westminster

Front page of The Daily Mirror, 7 December 1921 | ©John Frost Newspapers/Mary Evans Picture Library

The View from Westminster

On the same day that Dáil Éireann commenced its debate on the Treaty the Parliament of the United Kingdom also convened. Find out how the Anglo-Irish Treaty was viewed in Westminster.

International newspaper coverage

The international media coverage of the Treaty Debates showed a positive view of the terms of the Treaty. Even where some of the terms were considered unfair many saw it as an acceptable means of bringing an end to the terrible violence of the previous few years.

Secondary schools educational resources

We have produced four resources to help post-primary history students engage with the text of the Treaty Debates. Each resource focuses on one TD who spoke during the debates and includes activities for Junior Cycle, Transition Year and Senior Cycle students.

Secondary schools history competition

Our Treaty Debates Research Project Competition invited post-primary history students to carry out a research project on one or more of the TDs who were involved in the Debates on the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The competition closed on 15 October and the winning entries will be announced on 14 December.

Free State or Republic? Pen pictures of the historic treaty session of Dáil Éireann

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to the following contributors
Thanks to the following for kindly providing images
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