Tuesday 20 February 2018

Diarmaid Ferriter: 90 years on, traumatic birth of State is forgotten

NINETY years ago, on December 6, 1922, the Irish Free State came formally into existence after the Free State Act, necessary to give effect to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, received the royal assent exactly one year after the signing of the treaty.

Former Irish Parliamentary Party MP Tim Healy, the first governor general, the king's representative in Ireland under the terms of the treaty, was sworn in at his home in Chapelizod. Healy then administered the oath of office to the speaker of the Dail, Michael Hayes.

In the Dail, amid tight security and with the public gallery empty, head of government William T Cosgrave took the oath of allegiance to the king and made a sombre speech.

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