A Political History of the Two Irelands: From Partition to by Brian M. Walker (auth.)

By Brian M. Walker (auth.)

This ground-breaking political background of the 2 Irish States offers certain new insights into the 'Troubles' and the peace method. It examines the effect of the fraught dynamics among the competing identities of the Nationalist-Catholic-Irish group at the one hand and the Unionist-Protestant-British group at the other.

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By 1930 there were 51 branch clubs, while by 1939 there were 93 branch clubs, not only from all parts of Northern Ireland, but also from Counties Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan, as well as Scotland and England, plus visitors from Canada. 163 Increased support for the Derry parades can be seen as evidence of a growth in popular Protestantism, uniting different denominations, as well as a spread in a heightened political identity based around the siege of Derry story. By the 1920s the August siege commemorations in Derry centered largely on a parade and a religious service held in the Church of Ireland cathedral.

When Craig returned on that same day in 1927 to the ‘field’ (a name used in reference to the field to which the Orangemen march on their parades every July), the main topic of his speech was not the south or northern nationalists, but the threat to unionism from independents and splits within unionist ranks, which necessitated the removal of proportional representation in elections to the Northern Ireland parliament. From this time onwards Craig and other cabinet colleagues began to develop strong public links between members of the government and the Orange Order.

A. Costello, head of the interparty coalition, announced the government’s intention to repeal the External Relations Act and to declare a republic. 187 This led to an added focus on partition as all parties sought to prove their republican credentials. 189 Lord Rugby, British ambassador to Dublin, observed in early December 1948: ‘each party must now outdo its rivals in a passionate crusade for Irish unity ... 191 It was agreed to establish a new anti-partition body to be known as the Mansion House Committee and to raise funds to help these candidates with a country-wide collection outside churches on the following Sunday.

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