On 31 March 1922, the Irish Free State (Agreement) Act was passed. 75 years later, 'Farrell' takes a look back at the event and what it has meant for Ireland.

Brian Farrell provides a general appraisal of the forces, circumstances and leaders who forged the cradle for the Ireland we know today.

After a brief but bloody war of independence, a truce and a treaty, Britain had agreed to withdraw from the greater part of Ireland. Here said Collins, is the stepping stone to achieve full freedom that we all desire. Not enough said de Valera, one  more push and Britain will, at last, recognise the republic we're pledged to uphold.

In 1922 Ireland was shaken by a split that triggered a civil war. Joining Brian Farrell to explore the birth pangs of the Irish state are Professor John A Murphy former Professor of History at University College Cork (UCC), Martin Mansergh historian and Fianna Fáil advisor on Northern Ireland, and Professor Tom Garvin, author and political scientist at University College Dublin (UCD).  Coming from differing perspectives, they set out their views on the Irish question.

Professor John A Murphy says,

The Ireland we have now is so totally different from that envisaged by the founding fathers.

This episode of 'Farrell' was broadcast on 16 March 1997. The presenter is Brian Farrell.