Possibly the saddest day in Irish history when a vote on the Treaty unfortunately set the scene for the Irish Civil War.
Thirty-two days after Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith sign the treaty in London granting Ireland legislative and financial independence for the first time since 1800, the divided Dáil votes on the Treaty: sixty-four for approval and fifty-seven against.
The debate took a huge emotional toll on the participants. The official Dáil record states that at the end of the debate, when de Valera knew he had lost the vote:
“PRESIDENT DE VALERA: I would like my last word here to be this: we have had a glorious record for four years; it has been four years of magnificent discipline in our nation. The world is looking at us now——
(The President here breaks down).”
Civil war was now just months away between men who fought side by side…
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