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Thread: What happened to Southern Unionists after partition?

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    Politics.ie Member Drogheda445's Avatar
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    Default What happened to Southern Unionists after partition?

    Prior to the partition of Ireland in 1922 most unionists were concentrated in what would become Northern Ireland. There were however a small but vocal group of unionists in the remaining 26 counties that would become the Irish Free State, most notably Edward Carson but many others as well. They would have backed the Ulster Covenant and the Ulster Unionist movement but mainly because they believed that they would prevent any form of independence from being granted to Ireland. Upon hearing the news that Ireland would be partitioned, many of these unionists condemned it initially, but after this, there seems to have been very little activism towards reincorporating the new Irish Free State back into the UK, in starch contrast to the continued nationalist opposition to partition that continued in Northern Ireland. It is true that many unionists would have left for the UK or in some cases were expelled by force but many former unionists did stay. Did these unionists simply accept that the game was up and that the settlement was final? Or did they simply remain silent out of fear of persecution and quietly managed to blend into the new political set-up? Or were they simply to small in the new state to have much influence (numbering around 10% if we are to presume that most Protestants were unionists)? Today, unionism in the Republic has a negligible presence in Irish politics and quite possibly does not exist at all as a political movement.

    Unionism, at least in the North, had made it clear that they would take it upon themselves to oppose independence or Home Rule regardless of what Nationalism thought or Westminster agreed to. So why did Southern Unionists show little or no opposition to the new set-up, and what happened to them after partition?

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    Last few Drog your going for the big split.
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    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    It is a question with a long, and I don't know all of it.

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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    They kept all the top professional jobs and all the best land. Then 70 years later some self-hating twats claimed that they were 'oppressed'. The end.

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    Some Unionists in the south simply adapted and began to associate themselves with the new southern Irish regime of Cumann na nGaedheal.On 19 January 1922, leading Unionists held a meeting and unanimously decided to support the Free State government.
    Many gained appointment to the Free State's Senate, including the Earl of Dunraven and Thomas Westropp Bennett. Several generations of one Unionist political family, the Dockrells, won election as Teachta Dála (TDs).
    The Dublin borough of Rathmines had a unionist majority up to the late 1920s, when a local government re-organisation abolished all Dublin borough councils. Later, the Earl of Granard and the Provost of Trinity College Dublin gained appointment to the President of Ireland's advisory body, the Council of State. Most Irish Unionists, however, simply withdrew from public life, and since the late 1920s there have been no self-professed Unionists elected to the Irish parliament.
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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post
    They kept all the top professional jobs and all the best land. Then 70 years later some self-hating twats claimed that they were 'oppressed'. The end.
    Thus spake Bob the Barrister

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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Auldfella View Post
    Some Unionists in the south simply adapted and began to associate themselves with the new southern Irish regime of Cumann na nGaedheal.On 19 January 1922, leading Unionists held a meeting and unanimously decided to support the Free State government.
    Many gained appointment to the Free State's Senate, including the Earl of Dunraven and Thomas Westropp Bennett. Several generations of one Unionist political family, the Dockrells, won election as Teachta Dála (TDs).
    The Dublin borough of Rathmines had a unionist majority up to the late 1920s, when a local government re-organisation abolished all Dublin borough councils. Later, the Earl of Granard and the Provost of Trinity College Dublin gained appointment to the President of Ireland's advisory body, the Council of State. Most Irish Unionists, however, simply withdrew from public life, and since the late 1920s there have been no self-professed Unionists elected to the Irish parliament.
    The abolition of the senate, I have read, hit them hard.

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    Politics.ie Member gerhard dengler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drogheda445 View Post
    Prior to the partition of Ireland in 1922 most unionists were concentrated in what would become Northern Ireland. There were however a small but vocal group of unionists in the remaining 26 counties that would become the Irish Free State, most notably Edward Carson but many others as well. They would have backed the Ulster Covenant and the Ulster Unionist movement but mainly because they believed that they would prevent any form of independence from being granted to Ireland. Upon hearing the news that Ireland would be partitioned, many of these unionists condemned it initially, but after this, there seems to have been very little activism towards reincorporating the new Irish Free State back into the UK, in starch contrast to the continued nationalist opposition to partition that continued in Northern Ireland. It is true that many unionists would have left for the UK or in some cases were expelled by force but many former unionists did stay. Did these unionists simply accept that the game was up and that the settlement was final? Or did they simply remain silent out of fear of persecution and quietly managed to blend into the new political set-up? Or were they simply to small in the new state to have much influence (numbering around 10% if we are to presume that most Protestants were unionists)? Today, unionism in the Republic has a negligible presence in Irish politics and quite possibly does not exist at all as a political movement.

    Unionism, at least in the North, had made it clear that they would take it upon themselves to oppose independence or Home Rule regardless of what Nationalism thought or Westminster agreed to. So why did Southern Unionists show little or no opposition to the new set-up, and what happened to them after partition?
    I don't know why they showed little or no opposition to partition.
    Perhaps the number of southern people who advocated the maintenance of the union was/is overestimated?
    Politics.ie moderators should moderate instead.
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    Politics.ie Member james5001's Avatar
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    I would be interested to know the percentage of large farms which are owned by Protestants.
    The world is a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled, you just become a replica of someone else's mind.

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    Politics.ie Member linny55's Avatar
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    I thought they were all shot in some pogrom or other. Damn anyway.

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