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Episode 15 - Acts of partition: from the Government of Ireland act 1920 to the Boundary Commission1925. M O'Callaghan

The Partition of Ireland talks programme in partnership with BBC Logo
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Dr Margaret O’Callaghan
Queen's University Belfast
Date: 02/08/2021
Talk 15

Acts of partition: from the Government of Ireland act 1920 to the Boundary Commission 1925.

The theme of this talk takes the position that partition was not a single act but a process of high imperial decision- making over time. Here the term ‘acts’ plays on two meanings - key legislation and high political decisions.


About Dr Margaret O’Callaghan

Dr Margaret O’ Callaghan is an historian and political analyst at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University, Belfast. Her early work was on language and religion and the quest for identity in the Irish Free State. Amongst her publications are British High Politics and a Nationalist Ireland; Criminality, Land and the Law under Forster and Balfour and ‘Women and Politics in Independent Ireland, 1921-58’ in Vol 5 of The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing. She has published on Belfast in 1966, republicanism, policing and the state in nineteenth-century Ireland, the political thought of Roger Casement and his analysis of empire and international relations in his time. Her most recent publication is ‘Women’s Political autobiography in Independent Ireland’ in Liam Harte (ed), A history of Irish autobiography (CUP, 2018). She is working on a book on Alice Stopford Green and her national and global networks.

Further Reading
  • Margaret O’ Callaghan, ‘'Old Parchment and Water; the Boundary Commission of 1925 and the Copperfastening of the Irish Border’, Bullan ; an Irish Studies Journal , Volume IV, Number 2, 2000, pp 27-55. Cork University Press and University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 1353 
  • Margaret O'Callaghan (2006) Genealogies of Partition; History, History‐Writing and ‘the Troubles’ in Ireland, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 9:4, 619-634 
  • Kieran Rankin, The evolution and entrenchment of the Irish border,1911-1926, A political geography   (School of Geography University College Dublin Ph.D 2005)
  • Ronan Fanning, Fatal Path; British Government and the Irish Revolution,1910-1922. (London,2013)
  • Nicholas Mansergh, The unresolved question; the Anglo-Irish settlement and its undoing, 1912-72  (London and New Haven, 1991)
  • Kevin Matthews, Fatal influence; the impact of Ireland on British politics (Dublin 2004)