The creation and consolidation of the Irish border
20T15:52:27Z July 2010
This paper helps explain how the Irish Border came to be delimited and why it was confirmed in position. It constitutes an empirical survey and analysis of the origins of partition proposals and a review of contemporaneous policies and philosophies of both individual and collective bodies within a geographical context. The core of the paper focuses on the 1911–26 period, and specifically examines the process and the initial results of dividing Ireland into two distinct political entities. Two broad phases are identified in what amounts to a unique example of boundary making. First, there is an evolutionary phase concerning the creation the Irish Border, charting the troubled passage of the third home rule bill until the final passage of the Government of Ireland Act in December 1920. The second phase concerns how the Irish Border was entrenched and consolidated, and charts the formative stages of the government of Northern Ireland referring to the 1921 elections and its devolved administration until the suppression of the Irish Boundary Commission in 1925, which left the boundary unaltered in position and entrenched in function. The paper concludes that regardless of the arguments for and against drawing a boundary in the first place, there remained a responsibility for drawing it fairly and democratically. However, of course, a fair and democratic boundary may be no more sustainable than one drawn on the basis of any other criteria.
Type of Material
University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
IBIS Working Papers
MFPP Working Papers
Copyright (Published Version)
The author, 2005
Subject – LCSH
Status of Item
Paper first presented at the Mapping frontiers, plotting path-ways (MFPP) workshop in Queen’s University Belfast on 1 October 2004.
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License