Is It Peace?

Is It Peace?

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13/10/1921 (of event)


01min 05sec




35mm, film, intertitles

black and white


National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

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Newsreel item showing Sinn Fein delegates arriving in England for a conference on peace in Ireland. This conference, in October 1921, would lead to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6th December. They are greeted at a makeshift embassy of the ´Irish Republic´ in London. Members of the delegation go to Downing Street - Arthur Griffith (head of the delegation), Michael Collins, Gavan Duffy and Erskine Childers (secretary to the delegation).


After extensive debate in the Dáil it was decided that a five man delegation, led by Arthur Griffith and including Michael Collins would be sent to engage in negotiations in London. Collins did not relish the prospect, commenting ‘to me the task is a loathsome one. If I go, I go in the spirit of a soldier who acts against his better judgement at the orders of a superior officer. Collins said that he wasn’t sure if the treaty delegation was ‘being instructed or confused’ during its discussions with Lloyd George, adding ‘the latter I would say’. In a personal letter to Kitty Kiernan on the matter of signing the Treaty, Michael Collins reveals an optimistic hope for the settlement. Writing on the morning of 6 December (the agreement had been reached in the middle of the night) he poignantly states ‘I don’t know how things will go now but with God’s help we have brought peace to this land of ours – a peace which will end this old strife of ours forever’. Collins was not so optimistic about his own future, realising he 'just signed his own death warrant'. Eight months later, Collins was shot in an ambush in Co. Cork.

Shot List

'Is It Peace? Sinn Fein delegates arrive in England for Conference'. Pan along a group of people standing beside a train. 00:17 'Mr Arthur Griffith' [but no image], 'Scenes outside the 'Embassy' of the 'Irish Republic' in London'. Group of men and women kneeling on the road. Two people are waving Irish flags. 00:31 'Sinn Fein delegates leaving the Embassy.' Unidentified man, Arthur Griffiths, Michael Collins, Eoin O'Duffy, RC Barton. 00:45 'At No 10' Men walking through the gates of No 10 Downing Street. Crowd waving as car drives by.


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