I always wondered whether St Stephen's Day is an authentic holiday or whether the newly-established Free State authorities simply re-branded 'Boxing Day'.
Here's the answer: St Stephen's day has been a public holiday since the 1871 Bank Holidays Act.
It was likely indeed celebrated before that as is in many countries on the Continent e.g. Catalonia, Alsace-Lorraine and others.
Good Friday has never been a legal public holiday, St Patrick's day was added sometime before independence (1903), then Halloween Bank Holiday (1977), and the most recent public holiday added was May Day (1994):The Act designated four Bank Holidays in England, Wales and Ireland (Easter Monday; Whit Monday; First Monday in August; Boxing Day in England and Wales and St Stephen's Day in Ireland), and five in Scotland (New Year's Day; Good Friday; First Monday in May; First Monday in August; Christmas Day).
In England, Wales and Ireland, Good Friday and Christmas Day were considered traditional days of rest (as were Sundays) and therefore it was felt unnecessary to include them in the Act.
New Year's Day (1 January)
St. Patrick's Day (17 March)
First Monday in May, June (Whit), August
Last Monday in October
Christmas Day (25 December)
St. Stephen's Day (26 December)
Now then, am I to assume that the North never observed 'Boxing Day' until sometime after 1922?? Is that correct?