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100 Years ago....

Irish Parliament votes to accept treaty

Jan 21, 1922

After a debate of fiery words and high drama, the Dail Eireann, the provisional Irish Parliament, has approved the treaty with Britain which sets up the Irish Free State. The voting was 64 in favour, and 57 against, and afterwards, Eamon de Valera refused the Presidency of the Dail. So with the country's best-known politician not prepared to implement the treaty, Ireland's political future is still uncertain.

The debate on the treaty lasted nine days. Miss Mary MacSwiney, sister of the Lord Mayor of Cork, who died on hunger strike, spoke of "Ireland's grossest betrayal ever", and Cathal Brugha, the Defence Minister, savaged Michael Collins for accepting so much less than they had fought for together. De Valera made clear his opposition to the treaty, forecasting "internal strife".

Arthur Griffith, the leader of the delegation that signed the treaty last month, will replace Eamon de Valera as President, while the new head of the Government is Michael Collins, the former London bank official who became Finance Minister in the first Provisional Government in 1918.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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