22nd June 1921

King George V opens new Parliament

The King opened the Northern Ireland Parliament in Belfast City Hall. In his speech he called for "... all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and forget, and to join in making for the land which they love a new era of peace, contentment and good will." The King addressed only Unionist MPs, as the Sinn Féin and Nationalist MPs refused to take their seats in the new Parliament.

The King and Queen were well-received in Belfast that day. However on the next day the Irish Republican Army blew up a train carrying the King's cavalry escort, killing four men and eighty horses.

Parliament, Unionism, Partition, Republicanism, War of Independence
Programme of the 'Opening of the Parliament of Northern Ireland'.
Deputy Keeper of Records, PRONI D2606/11