Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2021), Letters, Volume 29

Sir,—Cormac Moore, in the opening sentence of his ‘The Government of Ireland Act 1920’ (HI 28.6, Nov./Dec. 2020), supposes that it was this act that ‘led to the partition of Ireland’. But the Government of Ireland (Amendment) Act of 1914, to which he also refers, contained a similar sort of provision, albeit temporary and, because of war breaking out, ineffectual. Another statutory precedent was the Irish Universities Act of 1908, which partitioned the Royal University in Ireland. The Queen’s College, Belfast, received full university status, while the queen’s colleges in Cork and Galway were placed, with a newly created Dublin college (UCD), under a new National University of Ireland. Earlier still, the line of partition could be seen in the results of the general election of 1885, the first in which constituencies were of equal electorates. The same delineation between the six Ulster counties in question and the rest of Ireland was repeated approximately at subsequent general elections until 1921.—Yours etc.,



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