It was obvious from De Valera's talks with Lloyd George that a Republic wasn't going to happen. Suddenly Dev declares that he isn't a doctrinaire republican.
De Valera will take whatever independence the Brits give him but the republican hardliners in the Dáil, like Brugha and Stack, aren't buying that. Dev, sets Collins up to fail to deliver the Republic in the subsequent Treaty negotiations knowing before the negotiations begin that there is no possibility the British will concede on the issue.
It's interesting how the events are the result of power struggles between the individuals involved for personal gain. De Valera came out on top, losing the war, but winning the peace. Basically he didn't care what form of government Ireland had as long as he was running it.
wasn’t aware of the internal politics in what became the anti-Treaty side but then of course he only sat it out until 1926.
so he helped cause the Civil War for something he didn’t believe in himself.
Like a lot of his life (especially early life), a paradox