The GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND ACT 1920 (10 it is also known as the FOURTH HOME RULE BILL or (less accurately) as the FOURTH HOME RULE ACT.
The Act was intended to establish separate
Home Rule institutions
within two new subdivisions of Ireland: the six north-eastern counties
were to form "
Home Rule never took effect in Southern Ireland, due to the Irish War
of Independence , which resulted instead in the
Anglo-Irish Treaty and
the establishment in 1922 of the
Irish Free State . However, the
institutions set up under this Act for
The remaining provisions of the Act still in force in Northern
* 1 Background
* 2 Long\'s committee
* 3 Developments in
* 7 Aftermath
* 8 See also * 9 References and footnotes * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
Home Rule Bill of 1886 was defeated in the House of Commons
because of a split in the Liberal Party over the principle of Home
Rule, while the Second
Home Rule Bill of 1893, having been passed by
the Commons was vetoed by the
House of Lords . The Third Home Rule
Bill introduced in 1912 by the
Irish Parliamentary Party could no
longer be vetoed after the passing of the
Parliament Act 1911
Because of the continuing threat of civil war in Ireland, King George
V called the
Buckingham Palace Conference in July 1914 where Irish
Nationalist and Unionist leaders failed to reach agreement.
Controversy continued over the rival demands of Irish Nationalists,
backed by the Liberals (for all-
Main article: Home Rule Crisis
A delay ensued because of the effective end of the First World War in
November 1918, the
Paris Peace Conference, 1919 , and the Treaty of
Versailles that was signed in June 1919. Starting in September 1919,
with the British Government, now led by
David Lloyd George
The Bill's second reading debates in late March 1920 revealed that already a large number of Irish members of parliament present felt that the proposals were unworkable.
After considerable delays in debating the financial aspects of the measure, the substantive third reading of the Bill was approved by a large majority on 11 November 1920. A considerable number of the Irish Members present voted against the Bill, including Southern Unionists such as Maurice Dockrell , and Nationalists like Joe Devlin . (The large majority of Irish MPs did not vote, having transferred their allegiance elsewhere ).
DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND
During the Great War Irish politics moved decisively in a different direction. Several events, including the Easter Rising of 1916, the subsequent reaction of the British Government, and the Conscription Crisis of 1918 , had utterly altered the state of Irish Politics, and made Sinn Féin the dominant voice of Irish nationalism . Sinn Féin, standing for 'an independent sovereign Ireland', won 73 of the 105 parliamentary seats on the island in the 1918 general election . Its elected members established their own parliament, Dáil Éireann , which declared the country\'s independence as the Irish Republic . Dáil Éireann, after a number of meetings, was declared illegal in September 1919 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland .
Also for a variety of reasons all the
Thus, when the Act became law on 23 December 1920 it was already out of touch with realities in Ireland. The long-standing demand for home rule had been replaced among Nationalists by a demand for complete independence. The Republic's army was waging the Irish War of Independence against British rule, which had reached a nadir in late 1920.
TWO \'HOME RULE\' IRELANDS
The Act divided
"Southern Ireland" was to be all of
STRUCTURES OF THE GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM
At the apex of the governmental system was to be the Lord Lieutenant
Such structures matched the theory in the
British dominions , such as
Canada and Australia, where in powers belonged to the governor-general
and there was no normal responsibility to parliament. In reality,
governments had long come to be chosen from parliament and to be
answerable to it. Prime ministerial offices had come into _de facto_
existence. Such developments were also expected to happen in Northern
POTENTIAL FOR IRISH UNITY
As well as sharing the same viceroy , a
Council of Ireland was
envisaged to co-ordinate matters of common concern to the two
parliaments, with each parliament possessing the ability, in identical
motions, to vote powers to the Council, which Britain intended should
evolve into a single Irish parliament. Both parts of
The Parliament of
Though it was superseded in large part, its repeal remained a matter of controversy until accomplished in the 1990s (under the provisions of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement ).
All 128 MPs elected to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland in the May 1921 elections were returned unopposed, and 124 of them, representing Sinn Féin , declared themselves TDs (Irish for Dáil Deputies) and assembled as the Second Dáil of the Irish Republic .
With only the four Unionist MPs (all representing graduates of the
Irish Universities) and 15 appointed senators turning up for the state
opening of the
Parliament of Southern Ireland at the Royal College of
Science in Dublin (now
Government Buildings ) in June 1921, the new
legislature was suspended. Southern
The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State was constituted on 14 January 1922 _“at a meeting of members of the Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland"_. That meeting was not convened as a meeting of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland nor as a meeting of the Dáil . Instead, it was convened by Arthur Griffith as _“Chairman of the Irish Delegation of Plenipotentiaries"_ (who had signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty ) under the terms of the Treaty.
Elections in June 1922 were followed by the meeting of the Third
Dáil , which worked as a
The Treaty provided for the ability of
In consequence of the establishment of the Irish Free State, the
British parliament passed the
Irish Free State (Consequential
Provisions) Act 1922 , which made a number of adjustments to Northern
Ireland's system of government as set up by the 1920 Act. Most
notably, the office of Lord Lieutenant was abolished, being replaced
by the new office of Governor of
The final provisions of the 1920 Act remaining in force were repealed
under the terms of the
* v * t * e
Irish revolutionary period (1912–1923)
Home Rule Crisis (1912–14)
Dublin Lock-out (1913)
Easter Rising (1916)
* Conscription Crisis (1918)
* Irish general election (1918)
* Declaration of Independence (1919)
* War of Independence (1919–22)
* Creation of
REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES
Hansard debate on the Bill, 29 Mar 1920
Hansard debate 31 Mar 1920
Hansard debate of 11 November 1920
* ^ A prime minister of Canada had come into existence within a
decade of colonial rule in Canada, while in Australia a prime minister
appeared in the system of government from the moment the Federal
Commonwealth of Australia came into being in 1901.
* ^ Thompson, Joseph E. (2001). _American Policy and Northern
Ireland: A Saga of Peacebuilding_. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 43.
ISBN 0275965171 . Retrieved 9 March 2016.
* ^ Peled, Yoav (2013). _The Challenge of Ethnic Democracy: The
State and Minority Groups in Israel, Poland and Northern Ireland_.
Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 1134448937 . Retrieved 9 March 2016.
Jan Smuts was one of the best Boer commanders of the Second
Boer War . His deep Commando raids into
Cape Province caused
considerable embarrassment and difficulties for the British Army.
After the war he decided that his future and that of South Africa lay
in reconciliation between
Afrikaner and the British. In 1914 at the
World War I