THE Embassy of Ireland in London will host a programme of events marking the centenary of the negotiation and signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.
It was revealed this week that events will take place from October through to December honouring “a key moment in Irish and British history”.
Announcing the programme, Ireland’s Ambassador to Britain, Adrian O’Neill said: “The signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in London on December 6, 1921 was the culmination of months of negotiations – following the Truce in July - and a pivotal moment that shaped the subsequent century of history between Ireland and the UK.
“I am very pleased to announce a programme of events that explores the historical context of those Treaty negotiations and the lives of the individuals involved.
“This centenary programme forms part of the Irish Government’s overall commemorations programme marking the key events in the Decade of Centenaries from 2012 -2022.”
The Embassy programme will commence on October 7, with the opening of ‘The Art Of Negotiation: John Lavery’s Anglo Irish Treaty Portraits’ - an exhibition of portraits of leading British and Irish political figures involved in the Treaty negotiations.
On October 11, a new exhibition from the National Archives of Ireland - ‘The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives’ - will open in the British Academy for a two-week run.
A series of talks and tours will also run in parallel with the two exhibitions.
From December 1-6 the Embassy will host performances of a new play from Colin Murphy produced by renowned theatre company Fishamble.
The Treaty will dramatise the story of what happened inside the negotiations, as Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and fellow Irish negotiators engaged with one of the most formidable negotiating teams ever assembled, led by Prime Minister David Lloyd George, with Winston Churchill often at his side.
The Ambassador said of the events planned: “I am delighted that the Embassy has partnered with leading British and Irish institutions to deliver this exciting programme.
“Together with the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, the National Archives of Ireland, the British Academy, the Royal Irish Academy and Fishamble Theatre Company we hope to illuminate and deepen understanding of this period of our shared history.”
He added: “I hope that members of the Irish community, friends of Ireland and those interested in Irish and British history will join us in marking this centenary over the months ahead and I look forward to welcoming many of you to the Embassy during this time.”
The Art Of Negotiation: John Lavery’s Anglo Irish Treaty Portraits
An exhibition of paintings by the renowned portrait artist Sir John Lavery will open in the Embassy on October 7. The 14 pictures include major Irish and British political figures who were involved in the negotiations, including Michael Collins, Winston Churchill, Arthur Griffith, David Lloyd George, as well as other leading figures from the time such as Eamon De Valera and Lady Lavery.
The portraits will be on loan to the Embassy from Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, the National Gallery of Ireland and – courtesy of President Higgins - Áras an Uachtaráin. ‘
The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives
The Irish Embassy in London and the National Archives of Ireland in partnership with the British Academy and Royal Irish Academy presents The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives at the British Academy on Carlton House Terrace for two weeks this October.
Bringing together key records from both nations to be viewed side by side, the exhibition will provide new understandings about this important period in Anglo-Irish relations. The exhibition will draw on primary sources including records, photographs, documentation and correspondence held by the National Archives of Ireland with additional records from the National Archives UK, National Library of Ireland, Military Archives of Ireland and University College Dublin to give an insight into the recollections of the delegates around the negotiating table in London.
From December 1-6, the Irish Embassy in London will host a number of performances of new play The Treaty from playwright Colin Murphy and the Fishamble Theatre Company. At 70-minutes long the production tells the story of what happened inside the negotiations, as Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and fellow Irish negotiators engaged with one of the most formidable negotiating teams ever assembled, led by Prime Minister David Lloyd George, with Winston Churchill often at his side. A special performance will take place on December 6 to mark the centenary of the day on which the Treaty was signed.
Booking and further information
Details on how the public can join tours of the exhibitions and book tickets for the public performances of The Treaty’ will be available in the coming weeks on www.embassyofireland.co.uk and on the Embassy’s social media accounts.
The Embassy’s Centenary Programme is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and Culture Ireland.