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Eamon de Valera called the Treaty 'treason', and subsequently led his followers out of the Dail in protest - an act that precipitated the Civil War. Examining the characters and motivations of the two main Irish protagonists, de Valera and Collins, T. Ryle Dwyer also gives new insights into the views and ideas of the other people involved in the infamous Treaty negotiations - on both sides of the Irish sea.


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We will contact you if necessary. Though Collins was initially regarded as a vile thug by some members of the British negotiating team, Lord Birkenhead actually warmed to him. Birkenhead was a prized legal mind of his time and, according to Ulick O'Connor, "was one of the great jurists in history. The two became friends and Birkenhead reflected to Churchill in a letter how impressed he was with Collins.

After the tedious Treaty discussions, Lloyd George and his British team offered Ireland Free State status coupled with an oath of allegiance.

Michael Collins: A Man Against an Empire

Collins knew this was not what he was sent for, but on December 5, an ultimatum was issued. Lloyd George gave the Irish side until 10 p. Failure to do this would result in "an immediate and terrible war. Collins was both disappointed and exhausted. Later he was to challenge the notion that he signed the Treaty under duress:. The element of duress was present when we agreed to the Truce, because our simple right would have been to beat the English out of Ireland. There was an element of duress in going to London to negotiate.

But there was not, and could not have been, any personal duress. The threat of 'immediate and terrible war' did not matter overmuch to me. The position appeared to be then exactly as it appears now. The British would not, I think, have declared terrible and immediate war upon us.

Although Collins firmly denied that he signed the Treaty to avoid the threats hurled by Lloyd George, there are still questions to consider regarding his decision to go in the first place and his subsequent actions once he arrived in London:. Should he have gone to London at all, or like Cathal Brugha and Austin Stack, refused the poisoned chalice—or at least refused unless De Valera supped from it as well?

Was he a novice in the hands of these allegedly more astute operators?

I Signed My Death Warrant: Michael Collins & The Treaty

Was he right to sign the Treaty? Generally, however, the words that surround Collins' role in the Treaty negotiations are those contained in his self-fulfilling prophesy: "Think, what have I got for Ireland?

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Something she has wanted these past years. Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this, I have signed my death warrant.

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Autumn Smiddy economic advisor , Kathleen McKenna and others. Collection of Original Photographs 10 in total London , one showing Arthur Griffith with Kathleen McKenna on right and the Lyons sisters on board ship; another showing members of the Irish Treaty delegation and assistants in an elegant interior, Kathleen McKenna seated in front row on right wearing a white shirt; and a selection of others showing Kathleen and the Lyons sisters in London, McKenna wearing a pleated dress with embroidered device and a coat with fur cuffs.

The Illustrated London News Oct. Two full pages. A latter piece which was together with the above.