The Mick Clifford Podcast: 100 years on, what is the legacy of the Anglo-Irish Treaty?

Did the Treaty really represent, as Michael Collins claimed at the time, the freedom to achieve freedom?
The Mick Clifford Podcast: 100 years on, what is the legacy of the Anglo-Irish Treaty?

Arthur Griffith, EJ Duggan, Erskine Childers (standing) and Michael Collins at the signing of the Irish Free State Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, London, England, December 6, 1921. File Picture: Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Exactly a century ago on 6 December, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London. 

The document for the first time recognised Ireland’s right to independence, albeit under particular conditions. 

The occasion was marked by initial euphoria which quickly gave way to some confusion and anger, in turn leading all the way to the outbreak of civil war within six months. 

By August 1922, the two leading Irish signatories, Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, were dead.

But how significant was the occasion? Did the signatories on the Irish side get the best deal possible? And did it really represent, as Collins claimed at the time, the freedom to achieve freedom?

UCC history lecturer Gabriel Doherty joins Mick to discuss the Treaty on this week’s podcast.

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