(fwd from Brian Cahill) The placing of the Irish Border

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Dec 17 10:53:13 MST 2001

I don't think that Martin is accurate when he
describes the reasoning behind the placing of the
Irish Border. Rather than keeping Northern Ireland as
small as would be economically viable, its basic
design feature is that it took in as large an area as
possible with a secure Protestant majority. The other
three Ulster Counties had large Catholic majorities.
Two Counties with Catholic majorities were being
incorporated into Northern Ireland and it was feared
that the Catholic proportion of the statelet's
population would be threateningly high if more of
Ulster was absorbed. Economics did come into it too.
Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal were not significantly
industrialised, unlike many of the six counties which
were incorporated.

As for the Boudary Commission, it actually did sit.
Eoin MacNeill, the Free State representative resigned,
after it had become clear that the Commission was
unsurprisingly only going to recommend minor changes
to the Border. Those changes would even have included
some areas of the Free State being included in
Northern Ireland.

Is mise le meas,
Brian Cahill

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