Treaty Ports (Ireland)

Treaty Ports (Ireland)

Treaty Ports (Ireland)

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Following the establishment of the Irish Free State, three deep water Treaty Ports at Berehaven, Queenstown (modern Cobh) and Lough Swilly were retained by the United Kingdom as sovereign bases in accordance with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 6 December 1921. Formerly, when the Free State was a part of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Royal Navy had designated its Ireland Station as a long-standing separate command.Archives on the "Ireland Station" are held at the Public Record Office in Kew;

The main reason for the retention of the ports was the recent U-boat Campaign around Irish coasts in 1914-18, and a concern by the British government that it might re-occur. As a part of the overall Anglo-Irish settlement it was envisaged that all other Royal Navy, British Army and RAF personnel and equipment were to evacuate the Free State.

As part of the resolution of the Anglo-Irish Trade War in the 1930s, the ports were returned to Ireland (the Free State's successor) in 1938 following agreements reached between the British and Irish Governments.


Article 7 of the Anglo-Irish Treaty had provided as follows:

The Annex referred to in that Article read as follows:

The Annex included reference to Belfast Lough because Northern Ireland was included within the original territory of the Irish Free State although under the Treaty it had the right to opt out of the Free State and back into...
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