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Portrait of Irish delegate Michael Collins by Sir John Lavery - by courtesy of Felix Rosenstiel’s Widow & Son Ltd., London on behalf of the Estate of Sir John Lavery.

The Treaty

 10 Downing Street, London, c.2.10am, 6 December 1921.


‘Lloyd George then asked whether we as a Delegation were prepared to accept those Articles of Agreement and to stand by them in our Parliament as they as a Delegation would stand by them in theirs. Arthur Griffith replied, “We do.”…The final draft was read over, agreed to and signed; also the Annex. The British Delegation lined up to shake hands and say goodbye, and the Conference ended at 2. 20 a.m. on December 6th’.


(Copy notes by Robert Barton of two sub conferences held between the Irish and British delegations on 5 and 6 December at 10 Downing Street, DE/2/304/1/9)


The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, signed by the British and Irish delegations in London in such dramatic circumstances, established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion with independence in virtually all matters of practical government, together with complete control of its resources. Acquired by the National Archives from the Department of the Taoiseach in 2002, the Treaty has never before been made available for public consultation, either in its original form or online.


Until now.


A high-quality digital reproduction of this seminal document in Irish history is now available in our Document gallery and for an analysis of its physical format and diplomatic characteristics, please consult our ‘Treating the Treaty’ video.


Its British counterpart differs in its typesetting and in the reversal of signatures on the signatories page as can be seen in the Document gallery while a high-quality .pdf version of the Treaty is available to download in the Downloads section.


We hope you enjoy consulting this document which has played such a pivotal role in the foundation of our State.