Monday 6 December 2021

New exhibition: 'The Treaty 1921 - Records from the Archives' opens

Today at Dublin Castle, a new exhibition – 'The Treaty 1921 – Records from the Archives' – has opened. The great and the good have been there this afternoon, so the doors open to the public tomorrow.

The exhibition marks the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921. Its piece de resistance sees the first public presentation of both the Irish and British copies of the Treaty document.

Around this centrepiece, the National Archives presents an exhibition that marks its role as the official repository of the records of the State, one hundred years since its formation. Using contemporary reportage, images and footage, it places 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 delegation and their secretariat, by presenting the documentary record they left behind.

Additionally, the exhibition chronicles day-to-day life in London for the Irish emissaries, from the social whirl of parties, dinners, theatre and gala performances, to the tense final days and hours leading to the signing of the Treaty just after 2am on 6 December 1921. Finally, it documents the delegation’s return to Dublin, and the Dáil Éireann cabinet meeting that pointed to the split in the independence movement that emerged over the terms of the Treaty, and the divisions that would lead to Civil War.

'The Treaty 1921 – Records from the Archives' 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 records from the collections of the Military Archives and University College Dublin.

Admission is free, but tickets are needed. Booking can be made via

Opening on Tuesday 7 December 2021, the exhibition will run until 27 March 2022 at Coach House Gallery in Dublin Castle Gardens (Dame Street, Dublin 2). Monday to Sunday opening hours are 10am to 5pm. Closed 25 & 26 December only.