Above is gif from Wikipedia Commons showing the signatures on the Anglo Irish treaty which was signed on the December 5th/6th 1921. What can one say about the Anglo Irish treaty ? Absolute disaster is what I would say, the Irish delegation had under pressure signed up to the partition of Ireland, an oath of allegiance to the British King, British army to have garrisons in the 26 counties. Little or no real independence really. The Irish delegation signed the treaty without Dail or cabinet approval which they had told to get before they signed anything.
The result was two very nasty little states being established in Ireland, Both states were economic basket cases . What should be noted was the amount of people that left Ireland for foreign shores … emigration was a fact of life for all Irish people. The resulting civil war and the “troubles” could be laid at the door of those who signed the treaty. Maybe allocating the blame is more appropriate than the “hero” worship of the pro treaty Fine Gael/Fianna fail and Rte.
One fact that has to be made is that a 26 county dominion of the British empire could have be negotiated by a home rule parliament in Dublin . The Irish delegation had gone nothing in the way of concessions from the British. The British had given very little but it was enough to cause a split in the Irish. People who had jumped on the band wagon now jumped off. It was like a battle between the “have’s and the have-nots”.
The decisions made a hundred years ago touch us t0 this day.