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On this week's programme - The Anglo-Irish Treaty. We'll explore how this fateful document was finalised, and the highly-charged Dáil debates that followed.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty
The Treaty agreement was the product of months of negotiations between the British government and the Irish republic. In the end, the Irish delegation in London were faced with two options - sign the document as it stood - or refuse, and face 'immediate and terrible war'. This day, one hundred years ago, they were mere hours away from making their decision – a decision that would change the course of both our nations’ history.
The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives
We begin this evening at Dublin Castle – for so many years, the seat of the British administration here in Ireland. And it’s there - at the Coach House Gallery in the Dublin Castle complex - that the Anglo-Irish Treaty document will soon go on public display, for the first time ever.
Earlier, our producer Lorcan Clancy went along and got a sneak peek at the new exhibition – The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives. He talks to to three of the team members behind the exhibition. Zoe Reid is Senior Conservator in the National Archives; John Gibney is an Assistant Editor with the Royall Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series; and Dara Lynne Lenehan is an exhibition designer.
It's open to the public from this Tuesday, the 7th of December, and it runs all the way until the end of March.
Admission is free, and it’ll be open from 10AM to 5PM daily. You just have book tickets, for the time you want to visit, in advance. Click here to visit the booking page.
Downing Street Diary - Endgame
Throughout this series on the History Show we've been checking in on the Treaty negotiations as they played out in London a century ago. Darragh Gannon of University College Dublin joins Myles for his final 'Downing Street Diary' on what happened as the negotiations drew to a close.
The Treaty Debates
After the Treaty was signed, it was, of course, by no means guaranteed that it would be accepted by Dáil Eireann. The Treaty debates began on the 14th December 1921, and ended on the 7th of January 1922 – when the Dáil voted to accept the Treaty by the narrow margin of 64 votes to 57. To talk more about the Treaty debates and the personalities involved, Myles is joined in studio by two guests.
Dr Leanne Lane is lecturer in history at Dublin City University. She has written two books on women who opposed the Treaty – Doroth MacArdle and Rosamund Jacob. And she's also the author of a forthcoming volume on another anti-treaty woman, Mary MacSwiney.
Historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin, is the author of the recently published book Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War.