Treaty records arrive at Donegal County Museum – Highland Radio

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An exhibition of treaty-related archives arrives in Donegal.

The exhibition ‘Treaty 1921: Documents from the Archives’ will open at the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny on Thursday May 5, where it will remain until May 31.

The exhibit uses clippings, documents and other media to place the Treaty negotiations in the political context of the time. Of Donegal’s six TDs at the time, four voted in favor of the treaty and two against.

Donegal County Council Archivist Niamh Brennan said a lot of work had been done to secure this exhibit for Donegal…..


Full release –

Donegal hosts the Treaty 1921 – Records of the Archives exhibition after a three-month stay at Dublin Castle

The exhibition marks the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty December 6, 1921

the Treaty1921: Records of the Archives The exhibition will open at the Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny on May 5, where it will remain until May 31. This follows a hugely successful three-month exhibition at Dublin Castle where the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921 was exhibited to the public for the first time. The exhibition marks the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty (December 6, 1921).

The exhibition is presented by the National Archives in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, the National Library of Ireland and the Office of Public Works, with archives from the Army Collections Archives and University College Dublin. A virtual exhibition is also available online at www.nationalarchives.ie.

The Anglo-Irish Treaty is one of the most important historical documents held by the National Archives. By using the Treaty as centerpiece, the National Archives present an exhibition that marks its role as the official repository of state archives, one hundred years after its formation. the Treaty1921: Records of the Archives opens for the first time important historical documents, official documents and private documents, including the first public presentation of the Irish and British copies of the Treaty document.

Using contemporary reports, images and footage, The Treaty1921: Records of the Archives locate the Treaty negotiations in the political context of the Irish Revolution and a world turned upside down by the First World War. Beginning with the exploratory talks between Éamon de Valera, President of Dáil Éireann, and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George during the summer of 1921, it details the work of the Irish Plenipotentiaries and their secretariat, presenting the documentary record that they left behind.

The exhibit also chronicles the daily life in London of the men and women who made up the Irish delegation, from the parties they attended, the dinner parties they hosted and theatrical appearances and gala performances, to the tense final days and hours leading up to the signing of the Treaty just after 2 a.m. on December 6, 1921. Finally, it documents the delegation’s return to Dublin and the Dáil Éireann cabinet meeting which highlighted the split in the independence movement that emerged during the terms of the Treatyand the divisions that would lead to civil war.

Speaking ahead of the Donegal opener, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD mentioned:

“As Minister responsible for the State Commemoration Programme, I am committed to ensuring that this complex period in our history is appropriately and meaningfully commemorated. I am therefore delighted that this important exhibition commemorating the Treaty negotiations and the final signing of the Anglo-Irish agreement Treaty in 1921, went on a regional tour offering people across the country the opportunity to deepen their understanding of this period of our history through original documents held in the collections of the National Archives. The exhibition offers everyone who visits it a chance to better reflect on and appreciate the difficult decisions that were made at the time.

John McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council, mentioned:

“We are delighted to collaborate with the National Archives on their major exhibition The Treaty 1921 – Records of the Archives which comes to the County Donegal Museum in May. Our archivist, Niamh Brennan, works with the National Archives to bring this unique exhibit to Donegal and we look forward to enabling communities here to explore the history of the Treaty Dáil negotiations and debates which led to its ratification on 7 January 1922. Donegal played its part in this momentous event with Donegal TDs voting four to two in favor of the Treaty and TDs Joseph O’Doherty, Peter Ward and Dr Joseph McGinley contributing to the proceedings. The exhibit will feature facsimiles of many of the Archives‘ documents relating to this period including the centerpiece, the Treaty himself as well as original documents from the county Archivesand will form an integral part of Donegal County Council’s ongoing commemorative program in 2022.”

Orlaith McBride, Director of the National Archives, mentioned:

“We are delighted to bring this exhibition to Donegal. The wide and vivid array of documents, images and text on display captures like never before the drama that has been the Treaty negotiations in London in 1921 and does so in a way that evokes personal stories and personalities with all the tensions, hopes and disagreements that come with it. This represents a truly significant contribution to our understanding of one of the most important weeks in the history of our country.

Admission to the exhibition is free.

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