Talks to find a solution began in Downing Street in London and ended in December 1921 when representatives of the Dáil signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The Treaty said that:
- North and South Ireland would be partitioned.
- Ireland would be called the 'Irish Free State' and a dominion of the British Commonwealth.
- King George V would be Head of State.
- Dáil would take Oath of Allegiance (a promise taken, often holding a bible or sacred text, to be loyal to the authority, monarch, etc.)
- Royal Navy would keep three ports in Ireland.
Over the next months the British prepared to leave Ireland and hand over control to the Dáil Éireann.
Back in Ireland, a huge debate started over whether to accept or reject the Treaty.
- The Dáil voted; 64 voted in favour, 57 against.
- Eamon De Valera resigned as President and his supporters announced that they would not recognise the new Irish Free State.
- The IRA also split into supporters of the Treaty under Michael Collins, 'The Regulars' and those who rejected it, 'The Irregulars'.
- It was clear that a Civil War was near.
Public support for the Treaty was clear after pro-treaty candidates won an Irish general election in June 1922.