Thursday, 7 January 2016

7‭ ‬January‭ ‬1922:‭ ‬The Treaty was passed by members of‭ ‬Dáil Eireann‭ ‬assembled at Earlsfort Terrace,‭ ‬Dublin [above] on a vote of‭ ‬64‭ ‬in favour and‭ ‬57‭ ‬against.‭ ‬President De Valera,‭ ‬after the vote was taken,‭ ‬indicated his intention of resigning his position.‭ ‬He said that:

There is one thing I want to say---I want it to go to the country and to the world,‭ ‬and it is this:‭ ‬the Irish people established a Republic.‭ ‬This is simply approval of a certain resolution.‭ ‬The Republic can only be disestablished by the Irish people.‭ ‬Therefore,‭ ‬until such time as the Irish people in regular manner disestablish it,‭ ‬this Republic goes on.‭ ‬Whatever arrangements are made this is the supreme sovereign body in the nation‭; ‬this is the body to which the nation looks for its supreme Government,‭ ‬and it must remain that---no matter who is the Executive---it must remain that until the Irish people have disestablished it.

Michael Collins,‭ ‬who voted to accept the terms replied that:‭

I ask your permission to make a statement.‭ ‬I do not regard the passing of this thing as being any kind of triumph over the other side.‭ ‬I will do my best in the future,‭ ‬as I have done in the past,‭ ‬for the nation.‭ ‬What I have to say now is,‭ ‬whether there is something contentious about the Republic---about the Government in being---or not,‭ ‬that we should unite on this:‭ ‬that we will all do our best to preserve the public safety.

Soon after the meeting broke up but it was clear that after this things would never be the same again and an unbridgeable rift had opened between those who supported the Treaty and those who were against it.‭ The division of opinion that day was to have one outcome: Civil War.

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