This silent British Pathé newsreel film was taken after the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on December 6, 1921
In his novel “The 13th Apostle," author Dermot McEvoy writes about his own family's part in the fight for Irish freedom and their relationship with Michael Collins.
Here is how he introduces the fateful clip of Michael Collins the day he signed the Anglo-Irish treaty and proclaimed with a sad prescience that he had signed his own death warrant.
McEvoy writes: "Check out this video to find out why the ladies so loved Michael Collins! This silent British Pathé newsreel film was taken after the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on December 6, 1921.
“Sit through 1:14 before Collins shows up—yeah, that’s King George V and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George performing the overture—and it'll be worth the wait. With Collins are three of his fellow signatories: Robert Barton, Gavan Duffy, and Arthur Griffith.
“Right at the end of the clip, you can see Collins first smiling, then giving a great guffaw. He's wearing his famous—or infamous—facial hair, which his fiancée Kitty Kiernan referred to as his 'Charlie Chaplin mustache.'”
British Pathe's own description of the "Peace Council At The Palace (1921)" reads:
"Item title reads - Peace Council at the Palace. - "Splendid News" says the King - His smile reflects the Irish sunshine. King George V and Lloyd George emerge, delegates pose with them.
"M/S of the King making a speech. Intertitle - '"Number 10" where the Peace was signed.'
Love Irish history? Share your favorite stories with other history buffs in the IrishCentral History Facebook group.
"M/S of the door of Number 10 Downing Street. Intertitle - 'The welcome agreement.'
"M/S of the agreement, a hand turns the page and shows all the signatures. Intertitle - 'The Irish Delegates who signed the memorable Treaty. Exclusive pictures.'
"M/S of Michael Collins, the camera pans across R.C. Barton (?), Gavan Duffy and Arthur Griffith. M/S of Michael Collins laughing with another man."
* Originally published in January 2014. Updated in Dec 2022.