Friday, December 23, 2005

Southern Ireland is dead and gone

Today's Times of London notes an interesting anniversary:

in 1920 the Government of Ireland Act was passed, which, when it came into effect the following May, divided the country into the six counties of Northern Ireland and the 26 of Southern Ireland.

The parliament of Southern Ireland is mainly notable for only having met twice, and both times to hand power to another institution; once to the Provisional Government headed by Michael Collins, and then to endorse the Anglo-Irish treaty which created the Irish Free State, the present day Republic of Ireland. In its own way, the parliament of Northern Ireland also set about putting itself out of business, although this took 50 years to accomplish.

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