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Sinn Fein was all at sea on unity when the door was still open in 1921

Cormac Moore


Party seemed more concerned with sovereignty than partition

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Eamon de Valera did not seem overly committed to the north

Eamon de Valera did not seem overly committed to the north

Eamon de Valera did not seem overly committed to the north

Sinn Fein publicly opposed partition and sought a united Ireland when Ireland was divided in 1921. It fought the first election to the Northern Ireland parliament on an anti-partitionist stance and was successful in reopening the issue of Ulster during the Treaty negotiations from October to December 1921, much to the dismay of Ulster unionists.

Its policy on partition, however, when one existed, was generally incoherent and its public commitment to a united Ireland was not matched by much of its actions in 1921.

From its rise in popularity after the 1916 Easter Rising through to 1921, other than the counter-productive Belfast Boycott, Sinn Fein had no clear policy on how to deal with the unionist minority in the north-east of Ireland. Sinn Fein leaders stuck steadfastly and naively to the view that Ulster would readily come into an all-Ireland parliament once Britain was removed from the island.


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