The Irish News 01/01/2019
With the centenary of the 1918 election just passed and the centenary of the first Dáil almost upon us, it is long overdue to explain that partition was not necessary and that we all would have been better off without it.
A basic examination of the arguments for the 1921 treaty shows that they do not stand up to scrutiny.
It was said an immediate terrible war and a civil war would occur without implementing the treaty.
The civil war happened immediately after as a direct result of the treaty.
When the Troubles are considered that is two terrible wars as opposed to the one that Lloyd George threatened plenipotentiaries with.
An argument for the treaty was that it would bring peace. That is ludicrous given the aforementioned wars yet people made the same inane assertions about Sunningdale and the Good Friday Agreement.
There are numerous commentators, who are given an excessively superfluous media volume, who make the same point advocating for the St Andrew’s Agreement while ignoring that there isn’t an absence of political violence at present, with state actors responsible for much of said violence.
All of this was unnecessary and avoidable.
As T Ryle Dwyer’s biography of Éamon De Valera noted, De Valera was negotiating with James Craig prior to the treaty.
This is significant as we all now know that James Craig became the first Ulster Unionist premier.
De Valera and Craig were negotiating a federal Ireland with an autonomous Ulster province.
If these negotiations had been persevered with, we would have something akin to Republican Sinn Féin’s policy of Éire Nua and such an outcome would have rendered the treaty negotiations moot and redundant.
Republicans have to be strong at emphatically articulating these facts, especially in the present times.