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The Irish Boundary Commission and Its Origins 1886-1925

Paul Murray (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
28th April 2011

Author Biography

Paul Murray is an author, historian and Barrister. He was educated at NUI, Galway, Trinity College, Dublin and the King's Inns. His first Ph.D Contested Borders and Minority Rights: The Partition of Ireland in Comparative Perspective (National University of Ireland, Galway, 2004) analyses the Irish partition question, with particular reference to the post-World War One boundary settlements which emanated from the Treaty of Versailles.His second Ph.D The Data Privacy/National Security Balancing Paradigm as Applied In The U.S.A. and Europe: Achieving an Acceptable Balance (Trinity College, Dublin, 2017) examines the normative tension between state security and data retention obligations on the one had, and privacy rights and fears concerning mass surveillance on the other.He holds a Higher Diploma in Education, an LL.B, in addition to an LL.M in Law, Governance and Technology, all from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was an Irish Research Council Scholar from 2000 to 2003.


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.