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100 years ago: Breakthrough in Ireland

by
10 December 2021

December 9th, 1921.

AT MIDNIGHT on Monday, hope of a settlement was all but abandoned. With a dramatic suddenness that eclipsed romance the terms of agreement, which have since been acclaimed with joy throughout the world, were drafted and signed. If they are approved by Parliament and the Irish people, Ireland will henceforth enjoy that Dominion status for which we may be permitted to say we have, in the face of fierce opposition, long contended. To be sure, Northern Ireland is to have the option of remaining outside the Free State, but even if it should so elect it falls more nearly into its proper place in the nation. The provisions for defence and such-like are happily in the spirit of the ideals of Washington, and the only difficulties to be foreseen are those relating to religion and finance. We do not doubt, however, that the necessary tact will be available to meet them. Perhaps there could be no better testimony to the character of the settlement than the manner in which it has been received outside Great Britain. In all the comments we have read in the Continental and Colonial Press, there is no hint of malice, no suggestion that Britain has been humiliated, but everywhere a sincere expression of relief and thankfulness. Those who read only the English papers will not have realized how largely Ireland has of late bulked in the foreign Press, nor will they at first, perhaps, understand how far the beneficent effects of peace with Ireland will reach. It is not too much to say that the historic agreement in the small hours of Tuesday morning has removed one of the gravest menaces to the peaceful settlement of the whole world.


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