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NI centenary: Bordering on the absurd... how partition took place against a backdrop of complete unreality

Government of Ireland Act was a wildly optimistic reading of 1920 environment, writes Cormac Moore

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New era: soldiers at the boundary of Ulster and The Free State

New era: soldiers at the boundary of Ulster and The Free State

New era: soldiers at the boundary of Ulster and The Free State

The Government of Ireland Act 1920 received the royal assent from King George V a century ago last month. This most consequential of acts resulted in the partition of Ireland. The genesis of the Government of Ireland Act 1920 came in 1919.

Home Rule had been on the statute book since 1914 and could no longer be postponed. It was scheduled to come into operation automatically when hostilities were formally concluded with the signature of the last of the peace treaties after the First World War.

To prevent this, the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, set up a committee, chaired by Cabinet member Walter Long, to draft the Government of Ireland Bill.


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