24 September 2021
By Mary Bermingham
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Paul Johnston, British Ambassador to Ireland, among the speakers – Conference to host oral history of the families of members of the Treaty Delegation, featuring descendants of those who took part in the talks. – An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Paul Johnston, British Ambassador to Ireland are among the speakers set to address a University College Cork (UCC) conference marking 100 years since the talks that led to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
October 2021 marks the centenary of the Anglo-Irish Conference held in London which lasted from 11 October to 6 December 1921. The negotiations produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which created the Irish Free State following its approval by Dáil Éireann.
The UCC School of History’s two-day virtual conference will take place on Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2 to explore the complex issues and the processes surrounding the Anglo-Irish negotiations.
Acting in collaboration with the Steering Group of Descendants of the Irish Delegation sent by Dáil Éireann in 1921, and funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in association with Cork City Council, Cork County Council, and UCC, this conference will also seek to understand the involvement of the men and women who formed the Irish Delegation, and their counterparts on the British side. In doing so, it will hope to illuminate the challenges facing the Treaty negotiations and the ways in which the negotiators sought to resolve them.
Dr John Borgonovo of UCC’s School of History said;
“While this Treaty may be viewed through the prism of the Irish Civil War and the later Northern Ireland Troubles, the negotiations themselves produced their own dynamics. The talks reflected evolving positions on fundamental issues such as empire, citizenship, identity, free trade, the role of minorities, defence and democratic representation. Our conference, and the distinguished guest speakers, will explore the complexities of the talks and how the outcome has shaped the history of our island for the last 100 years.”
UCC President Prof John O’Halloran said:
“University College Cork has been committed to robust public engagement throughout the Decade of Centenaries. By hosting this conference we hope to help illuminate this critical episode in Anglo-Irish relations.”
Professor Richard Toye of the University of Exeter will be the plenary speaker on the conference’s opening day and will be speaking on David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, and the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
Other speakers will address topics such as the influence of women on the negotiations, the role of Irish-America, the representation of the Treaty in British political cartoons, the legal implications of the Treaty, and its ramifications for Ulster, and Southern Loyalists.
The second day of the conference will host an oral history of the families of members of the Treaty Delegation, featuring descendants of those who took part in the talks.
Online registration for the conference is available at https://conference.ucc.ie/negotiating-the-negotiations/conference/Site/Register