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30 March 1922: The Craig-Collins Pact

Read Tim Wilson’s essay on ‘Conciliation Committees and the 1920s Troubles’ on Century Ireland.

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, features 50 essays from leading international scholars that explore a turning point in history, one whose legacy remains controversial a century on. Building on their own expertise, and on the wealth of recent scholarship provoked by the Decade of Centenaries, each contributor focuses on one event that illuminates a key aspect of revolutionary Ireland, demonstrating how the events of this year would shape the new states established in 1922. Together, these essays explore many of the key issues and debates of a year that transformed Ireland.

In collaboration with Century Ireland, we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today’s essay is by Tim Wilson and it covers Winston Churchill’s declaration of peace, which took place on 30 March 1922:

“‘Peace is today declared.’ Rising in the House of Commons late on the evening of 30 March 1922, Winston Churchill thus dramatically announced the reaching of an agreement between Sir James Craig (as prime minister of Northern Ireland) and Michael Collins (on behalf of the Irish Free State). Under the circumstances, his optimism was—to put it mildly—striking.An earlier, similar, deal (of 21 January) had sunk without trace. Killing rates in Belfast were at their twentieth-century peak. Yet Churchill’s ebullient showmanship distracted from these brutal realities to promise ‘a reformed, non-sectarian Northern Ireland so far as security and employment policy were concerned, in exchange for an end to IRA violence…and Dublin recognition’.” Continue reading (you will be redirected to the website of Century Ireland)

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, is published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.


Ireland 1922