A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Ireland


Ireland gained independence from the United Kingdom on December 6, 1921, when representatives of the two states signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty. This agreement provided independence for 26 counties, constituted as the Irish Free State, while six counties of northeast Ulster chose to remain a part of the United Kingdom with limited self-government. Strong U.S.-Irish connections date to the mid-19th century when a large number of Irish immigrants came to the United States.

Modern Flag of Ireland


U.S. Recognition of Ireland, 1924.

The United States recognized the Irish Free State as a state with autonomous control over its foreign relations on June 28, 1924, when U.S. Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes informed the British Ambassador in Washington that the President would be pleased to receive a duly accredited Minister Plenipotentiary of the Irish Free State. Hughes was responding to a letter the British Ambassador had sent on June 24, 1924, in which the ambassador requested U.S. approval of the British government’s plan to have an Irish minister handle “matter as Washington exclusively relating to the Irish Free State.”

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1924.

Diplomatic relations were established on October 7, 1924, when Timothy A. Smiddy presented his credentials as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Irish Free State in Washington.

Establishment of the American Legation in Dublin, 1927.

The American Legation in Dublin was established on July 27, 1927, when Frederick A. Sterling presented his credentials as American Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Ireland
  • Department of State Country Information: Ireland