Public Policy in an emerging state: The Irish Free State 1922-25


  • Donal Corcoran University College Cork, through the Department of History.



The first three years of the Irish Free State’s existence were among the most crucial in independent Ireland’s history. William T. Cosgrave and his Cumann na nGaedheal (Party of the Irish) governments suppressed an internal revolt, overcame an acute scarcity of money, enacted a constitution, and defined how the state would be governed. They established an Irish civil service, army, courts service, police force and diplomatic corps; passed legislation to purchase the remaining agricultural land held by landlords; commenced exploitation of the natural resources, extended the use of Irish in schools, and began the task of increasing the state’s sovereignty. The administration of the Irish Free State was quickly changed from the British system of loosely co-ordinated boards and departments to a centralised Irish system.


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