Irish Free State

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The Irish Free State (1922 – 1937) was the state established as a Dominion on December 6, 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand.[1] On the day the Irish Free State was established, it comprised the entire island of Ireland, but Northern Ireland almost immediately exercised its right under the Treaty to opt out of the new state. The Irish Free State effectively replaced the self-proclaimed but in many respects de facto Irish Republic (itself established on January 21, 1919). Similarly, the new government of the Irish Free State replaced both the Provisional Government of Southern Ireland and the Government of the Irish Republic although W. T. Cosgrave, the first President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State had, in any event, led both governments since August 1922.

The Irish Free State came to an end in 1937, when the citizens voted by referendum to replace the 1922 constitution. It was succeeded by the entirely sovereign modern state of the Republic of Ireland.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. Anglo Irish Treaty (New York Times). The Irish signatories of the Treaty were described in the Treaty as the "Irish signatories" and the "Irish Delegation". There was no reference to the Government of the Irish Republic so it would be inaccurate to describe the Treaty as being between two Governments.