1922 – Michael Collins Defends Treaty as Debate Resumes.

Treaty debate resumes in Dáil. An emotional Michael Collins said: “Well, the suggestion is this: I have my own feelings about the Treaty. I have feelings about it perhaps very much keener than Deputies who are against it. Well, I believe that the Treaty was inevitable, and this is the suggestion: that the men and women in the Dáil who are against the Treaty may continue to be against the Treaty, but they need not cause a division in the Dáil, and they need not cause it by falling in with this suggestion. We cannot be weaker if we accept this Treaty, provided some of you—and I give you all the credit of standing on principle and standing on nothing else against ourselves—as I have said we cannot be weaker, and you cannot have compromised yourselves by allowing this Treaty to go through; and I want to insist that, in my opinion, rightly or wrongly, the Irish people have endorsed this Treaty.

Now, if the Treaty is rejected, what happens? The English are absolved from their bargain. You have all said strong things against the English, but they will be absolved from their bargain, and it is not a question of a Treaty or an alternative Treaty. There is neither a Treaty nor an alternative Treaty in the circumstances, and I say the opposition can redeem the country in that way, and they can take all the kudos. They may have all the honour and glory, and we can have all the shame and disgrace.”


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