1st February 1924

Conference on the Boundary Commission

The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 established the Boundary Commission to investigate and recommend a suitable border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State "in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants, so far as may be compatible with economic and geographic conditions, the boundaries between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland".

The commission's work was delayed until the treaty was ratified, and further delayed by the civil war in the Irish Free State. It was not until 1924 that the British prime minister announced a conference on the Boundary Commission.

Sir James Craig, the prime minister of Northern Ireland, refused to send a representative to the commission. He was concerned that the Boundary Commission would cede so much land to the Irish Free State that Northern Ireland would no longer be economically viable. Some unionists threatened to fight any land concessions with force.

Partition, Unionism
The first Irish Boundary Commission's sitting attended by MacNeill, Fisher and Feetham.
National Library of Ireland [HOG181]