By Seán Hall
The first government internationally to recognise the revolutionary Irish Dáil in 1918 was none other than that of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR).
Both governments had a common foe in the form of global imperialism, and both of them faced British troops in their country over the next few years. Many historians have passed off this common alliance as a non-event, and largely a mutual respect by both parties of their precarious position on the world stage at that point in history.
Even E.H. Carr, a noted pro-Soviet historian of the mid-20th century, said that the negotiations for a ‘Draft Treaty’ between both nations was not taken seriously on either side.
Senator Patrick McCartan was to be sent to Moscow as Ambassador, but relations were thawed on both sides by this point.
However, the Bolsheviks held Michael Collins in great esteem for his capability as Minister for Finance, and in particular in procuring funds for the republican cause. The RSFSR petitioned Collins for a loan, and promised some jewels which comprised part of the Romanov Imperial Crown Jewels as collateral on said loan, which was at a sum of $25,000. The Imperial Crown itself was never given to the Irish Republic as collateral, and was kept in Moscow.