90 years ago today in London Michael Collins put his signature to the Anglo Irish treaty.
It was the end of an amazing five years for the young man from Clonakilty in West Cork.
Collins had been in the GPO at Easter Week.
The Proclamation made reference to “our gallant allies in Europe”.
This was reference to the Germans. It was calculated to infuriate the British.
Interned in Frongoch camp in Wales he perfected a new form of warfare that would frustrate a numerically superior enemy.
Psychologically exhausted by the trauma of the Great War the IRA flying columns and Mick Collins’ squad in Dublin inflicted a defeat of sorts on the British.
Getting the British to the negotiating table was a victory in itself after 800 years.
The Anglo irish Treaty created an independent 26 county Irish Free State.
Although it was much more than Home Rule as promised before the outbreak of the First World War it divided those who had taken on the British Empire.
It led to Civil War and to Collins’ own death at Beal na Blath in 1922.
The entire Civil War dispute, which saw brother take up arms against brother, could be summed up in one word “sovereignty”.
What Collins and his fellow negotiators had signed up to was an Irish state which remained a Crown Dominion within the Empire.
It wasn’t a republic.
“External association” became the buzzwords of the Treaty debates.
In the end it was the Free State army, originally commanded by Collins that imposed the new dispensation on the 26 counties.
In the six counties of the north east the Orange State was established through Loyalist violence and catholic social exclusion.
For half a century it would incubate the nationalist anger that would erupt in the Bogside in ’69.
These are historic days for those of us who believe in the sovereignty of the Irish people.
A few days ago our Taoiseach gave a “state of the nation” address. Stilted and faltering he held his hands in front of him. He was Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address at Disneyland.
Robotically he stated the extent to which we are on the fiscal naughty step of Europe.
He didn’t sound like a leader because he isn’t one.
Behind him very prominently was the EU flag.
Last night on TV one of his ministers admitted that the leader of the Irish people was not in a level footing with Chancellor Merkel in Germany.
Next week end Enda Kenny will go to Europe’s top table, but not as an equal.
He will receive orders from his betters.
Over the last two days an EU/IMF austerity plan , masquerading as an Irish budget in Dáil Éireann , has been imposed on the Irish people
The Irish independence project, which caused blood to be spilled for generations, is now in reverse gear.
Established by the Anglo Irish Treaty this state now exists to serve the Anglo Irish Bank and our German masters.
We are a province once again.