Today is the shortest day in the year, but the 21st of December also marks the anniversary of the Republic of Ireland Act which repealed the External Relations Act and took Ireland out of the Commonwealth. Course it was just an Act, and Ireland wasn’t formally declared a republic until the following year (on the 18th April 1949).
The Treaty was signed in 1921, approved by Dáil Éireann in 1922, and the civil war ended in 1923. Ireland got a new constitution in 1937, but it wasn’t until 1948 that we took that last step and became a republic. That is 27 years between the treaty and the establishment of the republic. Quite a spell.
Why did it take so long? Well some people say that DeV didn’t want to declare a republic with just the 26 counties as that would mean partition was really real, as opposed to just real for a while.
And does did the declaration of an Irish Republic mean that Michael Collins was right in his interpretation that the Treaty, while not freedom, gave the country the freedom to achieve freedom that it was a stepping stone on the way?