1921 – Éamon de Valera and the 1921 Treaty Negotiations.

At a cabinet meeting Éamon de Valera advised ‘that whilst the utmost co-operation should exist between Dublin and London, the plenipotentiaries (negotiators) should have a perfectly free hand but should follow original instructions regarding important decisions.’ This statement by De Valera, in retrospect lacked clarity. The binding legality of the Treaty signing in December (providing independence for twenty-six counties of Ireland) generated massive conflict and ultimately a civil war.

Photo: (In happier times) Front Row L-R: Arthur Griffith, Éamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Harry Boland


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