QUB Talks 100: The Partition of Ireland. Causes and Consequences

During 2021 Queen’s University Belfast is hosting a series of online talks to mark the 100th anniversary of the Partition of Ireland. In each online talk a leading academic will address a major theme. Subjects covered in the series will include the complex origins and legacies of partition, the experience of minorities, the Irish border in literature, and class-based and gender-based dimensions.


Dr Robert Lynch – Partition and the Anglo-Irish Treaty QUB Talks 100 – The Partition of Ireland: Causes and Consequences

Contributor: Dr Robert Lynch Talk Title Partition and the Anglo-Irish Treaty Talk Synopsis: This talk explores the background to the Anglo-Irish Treaty and its immediate (and lasting) effects. It suggests that ‘the most extreme paranoias of the Unionist psyche’ were reinforced by the events of the post-Treaty period, including as a result of growing unionist mistrust of the British government. And it explores how the Boundary Commission allowed ‘both sides to place radically different interpretations on the shape of any future settlement.’ It also looks at Sinn Féin’s attitude towards/understanding of unionist concerns and the extent to which these may have been predicated on a sense of unionism as ‘somehow inauthentic… and that conflict in Ireland was due fundamentally to the British presence’ rather than the ‘reality that there were almost one million people in Ulster who wanted nothing to do with their nationalist project.’ And it concludes by suggesting that ‘Ulster’s experience in 1922’ shaped the ‘rather draconian defensiveness’ of the Unionist government which emerged in its aftermath as well as creating disunity within the ‘northern Catholic minority’ and between northern and southern nationalists. Short biography: Dr Robert Lynch, University of Glasgow Further Reading: A State Under Siege. The Establishment of Northern Ireland 1920-1926 – Brian Follis Partition and the Limits of Irish Nationalism – Clare O'Halloran The Northern IRA and the early years of partition, 1920-22 – Robert Lynch The Partition of Ireland, 1912-1925 (Cambridge, 2019) – Robert Lynch Northern Nationalism. Nationalist Politics, Partition and the Catholic Minority in Northern Ireland 1890-1940 – Eamon Phoenix
  1. Dr Robert Lynch – Partition and the Anglo-Irish Treaty
  2. Professor Robert Savage – Broadcasting and the Border: How partition influenced broadcasting on the island of Ireland
  3. Professor Bill Kissane – The Partition of Ireland in a Global Context
  4. Professor Richard Bourke – Unionisms and Partition
  5. Professor Brendan O'Leary – Partition in Comparative Perspective
  6. Professor Fearghal McGarry – The Killing of Sir Henry Wilson: An Irish Tragedy
  7. Dr Tim Wilson – Violence: the Human Cost of Partition
  8. Professor Marianne Elliott – Partition's Casualties: religious minorities in the new states
  9. Professor Glenn Patterson – Writing and the Border
  10. Dr Margaret O'Callaghan – Acts of partition: from the Government of Ireland Act 1920 to the Boundary Commission, 1925