IN the six weeks following Michael Collins’s death there have been in Southern Ireland less of fighting and disturbance than in any such period since De Valera and his supporters defied the authority of the Free State.
One reason is found in the wide sweep of dismay and indignation at Collins’s death; another, in the previous defeat of the Republican forces at important points; another, in the serious, business-like way in which the Free State Government is proceeding with the work of organization. It has already made progress with framing the Constitution on the lines of the London agreement, has refused positively to negotiate peace with the insurgents, has demanded surrender rather than an armistice, and has organized a Civil Guard to protect life and property in localities from which the Republican forces have been driven out. The Government has a majority of 65 to 23 in the Provisional Parliament.
One welcome result of all this firm action by the Free State has been the report that Ulster is showing signs of conciliation with Southern Ireland. Its own Parliament is full of dissension; two counties are Catholic and four have a strong Labor representation, so that the old-time Carson Unionist and separatist fervor is no longer what it was.
Under the London “Treaty” Ulster has a month after the Free State is formally established in complete form to decide whether she will come in or stay out. Three months ago the Ulster leaders all but raved at a suggestion that little Ireland could get on as one Dominion; now there are signs that it may not be impossible, after all.
Source: The Outlook, 11 Oct 1922