The Great Cork Treaty

The Irish Independence Film Collection
Directed by:
British Pathé
Produced by:
British Pathé


2 mins 38 sec
Silent with English Intertitles

This newsreel records Michael Collins addressing an audience gathered at the Grand Parade in Cork City. He praises the Anglo-Irish Treaty and receives an enthusiastic reception. It’s not too long before the crowd is seen surging backwards as several men begin to fire their guns in the crowd.

Michael Collins described the Treaty as ‘the freedom to achieve freedom’. In practice, the Treaty offered most of the symbols and powers of independence. These included a functioning, if disputed, parliamentary democracy with its own executive, judiciary and written constitution which could be changed by the Oireachtas. Although a Republic was not an option at the time, the Treaty still afforded Ireland more internal independence than it had possessed in over 400 years, and far exceeded the most optimistic goals of the Home Rule movement.