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The Royal College of Science for Ireland
The location for the first official meeting of both Houses. Now Irish Government Buildings
The Mansion House
The House of Commons met there in January 1922.

The Parliament of Southern Ireland (Irish: Pairlimint Deiscirt na hÉireann) was set up during the Irish War of Independence under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, evolving out of the Home Rule Act 1914, to legislate for "Southern Ireland", a political entity envisaged by the British Government which never became fully functioned as envisaged. The Parliament was bicameral, consisting of a House of Commons and a Senate. The parliament as two houses sat only once, in the Royal College of Science for Ireland in Merrion Street. As only a handful of members attended, the Houses were adjourned.

The Provisional Government of Southern Ireland was constituted on 14 January 1922 “at a meeting of members of the Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland”. That meeting was not a meeting of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland. Rather, it was a meeting of the members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland. Notably, the meeting was convened by Arthur Griffith as “Chairman of the Irish Delegation of Plenipotentiaries” (who had signed the Anglo Irish Treaty) under the terms of the Treaty.[1] Notably it was not convened by Lord Fitzalan, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland who under the Government of Ireland Act 1920 was the office-holder with the entitlement to convene a meeting of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland.

The meeting, on 14 January 1922 in the Mansion House, attended by six four pro-Treaty MPs and 4 MPs Trinity College, Dublin, duly ratified the Treaty and nominated Michael Collins for appointment as Chairman of the Provisional Government. Collins was installed in his post by the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin Castle on 16 January.[2]

Abolition in May 1922

On 27 May 1922 (some months before the establishment of the Irish Free State) Lord Fitzalan, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in accordance with the Irish Free State (Agreement) Act 1922 formally dissolved the Parliament of Southern Ireland and by proclamation called “a Parliament to be known as and styled the Provisional Parliament”.[3] From that date, the Parliament of Southern Ireland ceased to exist.

See also

Footnote

  1. ^ This followed discussions between the Irish Treaty delegation and the British Government over who had authority to convene the “meeting”.
  2. ^ Dorothy Macardle, The Irish Republic (Corgi, 1968) pp.592-193.
  3. ^ Source: Macardle (1999), pg 718 and DCU Website.
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