Posted by Murrisk on January 07, 2002 at 19:36:01:
I recently found a clipping of a column entitled Window on the Past from January 8, 1977. I think the Irish Press carried this column but it may have been thre Irish Independent. This column was entitled:-
Anglo Irish Treaty
Fifty-five years ago today the Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified by Dail Eireann. Standing in turn to answer to their names, 121 deputies answered in Irish "For" or "Against". To the end there were waverers but the Christmas recess had made up their minds for most of those who had hitherto been undecided and the result was 64 for the Treaty and 57 against. Four deputies changing their votes would have made the difference.
But the announcement of the result, though greeted outside by loud cheering brought forth a different reaction in the Chamber itself. The Irish Independent, no friend of the opponents of the Treaty, noted "The painful silence was soon broken in every part of the Chamber, and not only women, but stlwart men, sobbed and wept like children."
David Hogan, in his "Four Glorious Years," recalled the scene: "And then a remarkeable thing happened - and before that year was half gone it took on for me the substance of a dark prophecy. Deputy after Deputy broke down in that strained room, not on one side, but on both, and the passing of the Treaty was accompanied by the sound of brothers' weeping who till now had stood by one another in death's face. The men in that room, nearly all young soldiers, knew the vastness of the tragedy that had overwhelmed them. A British statesman had divided the men of Ireland who had held together so magnificently, had divided them irrevocably, uncontrollably. Those who for four years had fronted every danger, never yielding, never quailing, never parting, were now at each other's throats, despite every effort to turn this English victory aside. The passing of the Treaty which saw Irish unity melt away and the nation lie helpless at last before the will of her enemy, was greeted only by tears."