Paul Murray was a postgraduate Fellow at NUI Galway and an Irish Research Scholar (2000-3). He has a doctorate in politics from NUI Galway. A contributor to History Ireland, he is currently completing a degree in Law at NUI Galway.
In this comprehensive history of the Irish Boundary Commission, Paul Murray looks at British attempts from 1886 on to satisfy the Irish Nationalist demand for Home Rule, Ulster and British Unionist resistance to this demand, the 1920 partition of Ireland and the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, where the roots of the establishment of the Commission are to be found. The evidence presented at the Commission and the principles on which it based its decisions are analysed against the background of evolving British views on the dangers posed for British and Unionist interests on both islands by a radical redrawing of the 1920 border. New documentary evidence is brought to bear on the motivation of its Chairman Justice Feetham, his susceptibility to external influences, and the significance of his political background as possible factors in his final decisions. The history of the Irish Boundary Commission is shown to also be part of a larger European narrative. This study is, thus, the first large-scale attempt to consider its significance in its wider international context.
- The Partition of Ireland
- The Forces at Play
TWO The Anglo-Irish Treaty & the Ulster Question
- Anticipating the Boundary Commission
- The Commission in Session
- Procedures and Findings
- The Boundary Commission's European Context
- The Division of Ireland
- Normative Issues
‘the study in depth of the Commission is original and makes this book a most valuable contribution to our understanding of the Partition’
‘Murray unravels the complex story of the Irish Boundary Commission. . . Highly recommended.’
'As we embark on a decennium of commemorations, Paul Murray has produced a book that is both timely and relevant … The author has written a constructive and authoritative analysis of events leading up to the establishment of the Commission. His examination of the evidence submitted to the Commission is detailed and comprehensive. He concludes by making comparisons between the Boundary Commission and similar organisations in Europe, thus raising the profile of the Commission from the backwaters of Irish history and placing it in an international context.’
2012 No. 64
'Taking the story down to its ignominious ending in 1925, Murray offers the fullest account to date of how the Irish Boundary Commission actually worked in practice. Here his examination of the inner-thought world and assumptions of the commission’s all-powerful chairman, Richard Feetham (‘Feetham-cheat’em!’), to the ever viper-tongued Tim Healy is particularly careful and convincing.
… as a contribution to the historiographies of the British state, Northern Ireland, and British-Irish relations Murray’s book remains valuable. Indeed, Paul Murray has succeeded in writing what will surely long remain the standard work on the Irish Boundary Commission. In closing a large gap in the literature on Irish partition, he deserves our gratitude.'
T. K. Wilson, St. Andrews University,
Journal of British Studies, Vol. 51, No. 2 (April 2012)