Reflecting on the narrow margin of the Dáil vote for the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922.

The vote led to the establishment of the Provisional Government led by Michael Collins and also set the stage for the Civil War which began just six months later.

The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London in December 1921 by an Irish delegation led by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. When they returned to Dublin, they were strongly criticised by of their fellow TDs including their then President Eamon de Valera. The Dáil debate on The Treaty began before Christmas and concluded on 7 January 1922 when the vital vote was taken.

Reflecting on the significance of The Treaty and vote in the Dáil Dr Michael Laffan, historian at University College Dublin said,

First of all, it brought an end to the war with Britain. Secondly, it led to the establishment of a government. First of all, a provisional government under Collins, then later on, a year later, a Free State government.

The Dáil vote was very close with 64 in favour of The Treaty and 57 against.

Those against the treaty refused to accept the Dáil's decision and by June 1922 violence erupted into full scale civil war. The Free State side began by shelling a republican garrison in the Four Courts. The civil war continued until May 1923.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 January 2002. The reporter is David McCullagh.