Dev drops a bombshell as he quits as President ahead of crucial Treaty vote

In his weekly column Richard Forrest looks at what was in the news 100 years ago
Dev drops a bombshell as he quits as President ahead of crucial Treaty vote

EFFORTS at resolution over the Anglo-Irish Treaty failed during the private session of the Dáil yesterday, and Éamon de Valera sensationally tendered his resignation as President of the Republic when the public session opened, the Echo reported on Saturday, January 7, 1922.

He said when the Treaty was signed in London in December, the executive authority of Dáil Éireann became completely split. If he were to remain as President, he would be duty-bound to preserve the Republic and have full use of its resources to do so. The split had made this untenable. He added he was sick and tired of politics, and, no matter what happened, was returning to private life. 

A call was then made to suspend business of the day. Arthur Griffith opposed this, asking why it was “being flung out now” instead of a vote being taken. “If adverse to us,” he said, “well and good; if adverse to Mr de Valera, he could then do what he is doing now.”

After animated discussion, it was decided to proceed with the debate on the Treaty. At 7pm, proceedings adjourned till to-day when the momentous vote will, it is stated, be taken.

Divine Mission

Debate yesterday was interrupted when a gentleman in cerical attire unexpectedly entered the deputies’ chamber. Assuming a dramatic attitude in front of the Speaker’s chair, he declared: “I am Columba and I have come on a divine mission.” The Speaker, a touch exasperated, asked: “How did this gentleman come here, he has no right to be here.”

The attendants attempted to remove him, whereupon he exclaimed: “You refuse my message at your peril, I warn you, you will have to either ratify or reject it.” As he was being taken along the corridors, he shouted: “Joan of Arc was treated the same way”.

Commandant James Robinson (Tipperary) then continued his remarks, urging that Ireland should have no part in any British Empire and the Treaty should not be ratified.

Soon after, Patrick O’Keeffe, inset left (Cork County) drew attention to the fact it was 5.45pm and moved that the house adjourn for an hour and a half, resume till 11pm and commit to vote at 4pm the next day (January 7). 

It was their duty to finish proceedings as “the people of Ireland were sick of all their talk” (laughter and hear, hear). Some deputies might laugh, he added, but he knew the men and women of Ireland better than anyone else (laughter). 

The original plan was to finish at 7pm and resume the next day and with little support for Deputy O’Keeffe’s motion, it remained so.

Unionist Reaction

Mr de Valera’s statement is regarded in Ulster unionist circles as showing he is in a strong position. They believe the treaty will be rejected and a period of great difficulty, both for the british Government and Ireland, is at hand.

Castletownbere Shooting

A young civilian named McGee was brought from Castletownbere to Bantry in custody this morning. He was charged with firing and wounding a military sergeant stationed. The occurrence took place in the town. Mr Brady R.M. took the injured man’s deposition. Accused was remanded to Cork Jail for eight days.

Sudden Death in Youghal

Mr P.M. Twomey, draper, North Main Street, Youghal, died with tragic suddeness this morning. He attended his business all day yesterday, took his usual walk last night and was seen at his door apparently in his usual health at 11pm. In the small hours he was taken with a sudden internal pain and succumbed in a short time. 

Always courteous and obliging, he was only 43 years of age. Highly popular locally, the sad event has aroused the deepest regret and sympathy for his widow and young family.

Blackpool Cinema

An attractive programme has been arranged for this go-ahead little theatre for next week. The principal feature will be the appearance of Mr. R.C. Forbes, the popular Cork actor and comedian, in a thrilling playlet entitled The Spotter. Revolving around recent events, it shows how a spy’s love for an Irish girl moves him to a great sacrifice to save his successful rival.

Banking Hours Extended

The new rule of keeping Cork’s banks open on Saturdays until 1pm, instead of noon, comes into operation this weekend. The extension was very favourably commented upon as being a great convenience to the public.

Women’s Health Association

The Cork Women’s Health Association met at the St Vincent de Paul Hall, Queen Street. The report of L. Lydon, Tuberculosis Nurse, for December, was read.

A total of 65 cases were visited, of whom two died and three went to a sanatorium. The deaths were advanced cases, both young women. There are 68 cases on the books at present.

The surgical cases were dressed every second day. Samaritan works: milk and eggs were supplied to several cases who were unable to procure necessary nourishment. Air cushions and sputum flasks were given.

Two beds have been given to bad cases to enable them to sleep alone. One was to the mother of a large family who was sleeping with several of the children, including a baby.

Dolphin 4-0 Landsdowne

Dolphin gave a surprisingly good display, winning with a drop goal. Green fielded and kicked well. O’Sullivan and Corr were the best of the three-quarters.

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