Irish Congressional Briefing – Ireland dismembered – by Fr Sean McManus


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

“ Thursday, February 27, 1920, the other day that will ‘live in infamy’: the day England issued The Government of Ireland Bill—leading to the Partition of Ireland, for the first time in the thousands of years of Irish history. I say ‘England,’ instead of the British government because one can hardly blame Wales and Scotland. (See below article by Belfast historian Eamon Phoenix).

The Bill was passed by the London Parliament and given His Majesty’s Royal Assent  in December 1920. The new artificial, gerrymandered State of ‘Northern Ireland’ actually came into existence in 1921.

 The totally new Six County State would be, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, about one-sixth of the country and island of Ireland. Furthermore, the gerrymandered State would be only two-thirds of the historic province of Ulster. The other three Ulster counties, Donegal, Cavan, and Monaghan, would be excluded because — as the Founder of ‘Northern Ireland,’ Edward Carson,  would explain in the London Parliament (May 28, 1920)— those three counties had too many Catholics. Their inclusion would have negated the newly created, artificial, and gerrymandered Protestant majority. … Just like, for example,  drawing  Congressional boundaries in the U.S. to exclude Black Americans.

And  that is how ‘Northern Ireland’ came to be—the sole creation of Imperial England, and not of the people of Ireland, who in December 1918 had overwhelmingly and massively voted for national independence and national self-determination.”—Fr. Sean McManus.

 On This Day [in Irish history]

Friday: Irish News. Belfast. February 28, 1920
Ireland Dismembered
Eamon Phoenix. Irish News. Belfast. Friday, February 28, 2020


The Government of Ireland Bill was issued last evening [Thursday, February 27]. It is described as a Bill ‘to provide for the better government of Ireland’ and was presented by the Prime Minister [Mr Lloyd George], supported by Mr. Bonar Law, Mr Walter Long and Mr Ian Macpherson [Chief Secretary].

The measure provides for the establishment of a Parliament for Southern Ireland and one for Northern Ireland. For the purposes of the Act, Northern Ireland shall consist of the parliamentary counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone and the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry. Southern Ireland shall consist of ‘so much of Ireland as is not comprised within the “Northern Ireland” area’.

 With a view to bringing about harmonious action between the two parliaments in Ireland and for the promotion and mutual intercourse of matters affecting the whole of Ireland, there is to be constituted a Council of Ireland.

The Irish News commented :  ‘The Fourth Government of Ireland Bill is now before the public. It is, beyond all comparison, the worst of the series which began with the Gladstone Bill in 1886. It is a proposal for the dismemberment of Ireland, a plan to secure the destruction of Irish nationality. … Ireland rejects the Bill with contempt. …’

 [“The terms of the 1920 Partition Bill revealed, above all, its ‘Ulstercentricity’. While the Northern Ireland area was  defined in legal detail, the reference to  the rest of Ireland was terse. Clearly this was not a serious attempt to solve the Irish Question but rather to secure what Churchill called ‘the safeguarding of Ulster’. Only when partition was achieved in June 1921 would the British contemplate negotiations with Sinn Fein.”—Eamon Phoenix ]
***

Home Rule Farce


Letter to the Editor: Irish News. February 28,1920

 Sir – It would appear that Messrs Lloyd George, Bonar Law and Co. (instructed by Sir E Carson) now propose to grant a separate form of government, not to Ulster, but to the six ‘Protestant’ counties.

 The humbug of the whole ‘Ulster’ question is clearly shown by this proposal. For years we have heard that Ulster will fight, Ulster must not be coerced, Ulster will do this and Ulster will not do that – the various speakers and writers endeavoring to make the world believe that Ulster was like a solid block of Unionist granite – every man, woman and child in the province willing and eager to die if necessary for the ‘cause’.

 The British government and the Carsonites have at last apparently learned that the majority of the inhabitants of Ulster are Irish Nationalists, for they are afraid to grant a form of government to all Ulster…Yours, etc, Charles L McLorinan [solicitor], Belfast
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