No. 88 NAI DT S1801C
DUBLIN, 5 June 1923
NORTH EAST ULSTER.
1. Mr. Kevin O'Shiel submitted a statement1 with reference to the case to be made by the Free State before the Boundary Commission and illustrated his points by reference to maps, diagrams etc. prepared by the North East Boundary Bureau.
He indicated a suggested Boundary line, the effect of which, if established, would be to give to the Free State, all Ireland except Co. Antrim, the extreme north east corner of Co. Derry, portion of north and mid Armagh (excluding Armagh city) and north and mid Co. Down. This might be regarded as the maximum claim of the Free State.
He indicated also a second Boundary line, the establishment of which would give to the Free State, all Ireland except Co. Antrim, the extreme east portion of Co. Tyrone bordering on Lough Neagh, the eastern half of Co. Derry, the northern portion of Co. Armagh and the northern portion of Co. Down. This should be regarded as the minimum claim of the Free State beyond which they could not recede.
These suggested lines were approved for the purpose of aiding the Boundary Bureau in preparing a case for the Boundary Commission, but not necessarily as the actual basis for the ultimate presentation of the case.
2. It was decided further that a letter2 should be addressed by the President to the Prime Minister of Great Britain informing him that the Irish Government were now ready to present their case to the Boundary Commission and that it was their intention to send a formal communication on the subject to the British Government at an early date.
The Attorney General was instructed to prepare a draft letter for the President's signature and to submit it to the Executive Council at its next meeting.
3. Mr. O'Shiel mentioned also that the Boundary Bureau had in course of preparation a Hand-book on the Ulster question with special reference to the Boundary question.
He was authorised to include in the book, a map of Ulster and the surrounding areas indicating the population - ratios in the Six Counties for and against the inclusion of the Free State. It was emphasised that any reference to Ulster should clearly indicate that this title refers to the whole province of Nine Counties, and that 'Northern Ireland' consists of only six of these counties and has no title whatever to the name of Ulster.
The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
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