Government of Ireland Act 1920 (Parliamentary and Dáil constituencies)

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The Government of Ireland Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 67) was an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom which provided for parliamentary constituencies in the House of Commons of Northern Ireland and the House of Commons of Southern Ireland. Sinn Féin used these constituencies to elect the Second Dáil (1921–22) and the Southern Ireland ones to elect the Third Dáil (1922–23).

Irish Republic (1921–22)[edit]

Sinn Féin decided to use these constituencies (in both parts of Ireland), for the purposes of the revolutionary Dáil Éireann. The 1921 elections were used to elect the Second Dáil. These seats replaced the Parliament of the United Kingdom constituencies provided for by the Redistribution of Seats (Ireland) Act 1918 (7 & 8Geo. 5 c. 65). These had been used as Dáil constituencies for the First Dáil.

The number of seats was increased from 105 to 180 (52 in Northern Ireland and 128 in Southern Ireland, subsequently the Irish Free State).

Unsurprisingly only Sinn Féin Deputies took up the opportunity to sit in the Second Dáil. The Ulster Unionist and Irish Nationalist MPs from Northern Ireland and the four Independent Unionist MPs representing Dublin University stayed away.

Southern Ireland (1921–22)[edit]

Only the Dublin University MPs attended for the intended first meeting of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland. The institution was however used to give legal effect to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, before the devolved Parliament was dissolved to be replaced by the constituent assembly of the Irish Free State (better known as the Third Dáil).

Northern Ireland (1921–29)[edit]

The Northern Ireland constituencies were used for the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, from 1921 until 1929. The Parliament of Northern Ireland then established new constituencies under the House of Commons (Method of Voting and Redistribution of Seats) Act (Northern Ireland) 1929.

Irish Free State (1922–23)[edit]

The Third Dáil redistributed constituencies in the Irish Free State (formerly Southern Ireland) by enacting the Electoral Act 1923 (No. 12/1923). The new constituencies were used for the election of the 4th Dáil in 1923.

List of constituencies[edit]

The Government of Ireland Act 1920 provided that Southern Ireland would continue to return 33 members to the United Kingdom House of Commons at Westminster, while Northern Ireland would return 13. Each six, seven and eight member constituency for the Southern Ireland House of Commons would also constitute a two-member constituency for the Imperial Parliament (except for Donegal, which would return only one member), while every three, four and five member constituency would constitute a one-member constituency for Westminster (except for Dublin University, which was to retain two members).

The existing 101 Irish constituencies for the Imperial Parliament were abolished, although the new constituencies were based on them.

Northern Ireland[edit]

Belfast[edit]

Representation increased from 9 to 16 MPs

Boroughs
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Belfast, Pottinger Division (one MP) County borough divided into four four-member constituencies.

The East Belfast constituency consisted of the Pottinger and Victoria divisions (namely Dock, Pottinger and Victoria wards)
The North Belfast constituency consisted of the Duncairn and Shankill divisions (namely Clifton, Duncairn and Shankill wards)
The South Belfast constituency consisted of the Cromac and Ormeau divisions (namely Cromac, Ormeau and Windsor wards)
The West Belfast constituency consisted of the Falls, St Anne's and Woodvale divisions (namely Court, Falls, St Anne's, St George's, Smithfield and Woodvale wards)

Belfast East (four MPs)
Belfast, Victoria Division (one MP)
Belfast, Duncairn Division (one MP) Belfast North (four MPs)
Belfast, Shankill Division (one MP)
Belfast, Cromac Division (one MP) Belfast South (four MPs)
Belfast, Ormeau Division (one MP)
Belfast, Falls Division (one MP) Belfast West (four MPs)
Belfast, St Anne's Division (one MP)
Belfast, Woodvale Division (one MP)

Antrim[edit]

Representation increased from 4 to 7 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Antrim, East Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a seven-member constituency. Antrim (seven MPs)
Antrim, Mid Division (one MP)
Antrim, North Division (one MP)
Antrim, South Division (one MP)

Armagh[edit]

Representation increased from 3 to 4 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Armagh, Mid Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a four-member constituency. Armagh (four MPs)
Armagh, North Division (one MP)
Armagh, South Division (one MP)

Down[edit]

Representation increased from 5 to 8 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Down, East Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a eight-member constituency. Down (eight MPs)
Down, Mid Division (one MP)
Down, North Division (one MP)
Down, South Division (one MP)
Down, West Division (one MP)

Fermanagh and Tyrone[edit]

Representation increased from 5 to 8 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Fermanagh, North Division (one MP) Administrative counties formed a eight-member constituency. Fermanagh and Tyrone (eight MPs)
Fermanagh, South Division (one MP)
Tyrone, North East Division (one MP)
Tyrone, North West Division (one MP)
Tyrone, South Division (one MP)

Londonderry[edit]

Representation increased from 3 to 5 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Londonderry City (one MP) Administrative county of Londonderry and county borough of Londonderry formed a five-member constituency. Londonderry (five MPs)
Londonderry, North Division (one MP)
Londonderry, South Division (one MP)

Universities[edit]

Representation increased from 1 to 4 MPs

Before 1920 Change After 1920
Queen's University, Belfast (one MP) University formed a four-member constituency. Queen's University, Belfast (four MPs)

Southern Ireland[edit]

Ulster (part)[edit]

Representation increased from 8 to 12 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Cavan, East Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a three-member constituency. Cavan (three MPs)
Cavan, West Division (one MP)
Donegal, East Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a six-member constituency. Donegal (six MPs)
Donegal, North Division (one MP)
Donegal, South Division (one MP)
Donegal, West Division (one MP)
Monaghan, North Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a three-member constituency. Monaghan (three MPs)
Monaghan, North Division (one MP)

Leinster[edit]

Representation increased from 27 to 44 MPs

Boroughs
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Dublin, College Green Division (one MP) County borough divided into three four-member constituencies.

The Mid Dublin constituency consisted of the College Green and Dublin Harbour divisions (namely Inn's Quay, North City, North Dock, Rotunda and South City wards and part of Mountjoy, South Dock and Trinity wards)
The North West Dublin constituency consisted of the Clontarf, St James's and St Michan's divisions (namely Arran Quay, Clontarf East, Clontarf West, Drumcondra, Glasnevin, New Kilmainham and Usher's Quay wards and part of Mountjoy ward)
The South City constituency consisted of the St Patrick's and St Stephen's Green divisions (namely Fitzwilliam, Mansion House, Merchant's Quay, Royal Exchange and Wood Quay wards and part of South Dock and Trinity wards)

Mid Dublin (four MPs)
Dublin, Dublin Harbour Division (one MP)
Dublin, Clontarf Division (one MP) North West Dublin (four MPs)
Dublin, St James's Division (one MP)
Dublin, St Michan's Division (one MP)
Dublin, St Patrick's Division (one MP) South City (four MPs)
Dublin St Stephen's Green Division (one MP)
Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
County Dublin, North Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a six-member constituency. Dublin County (six MPs)
County Dublin, Pembroke Division (one MP)
County Dublin, Rathmones Division (one MP)
County Dublin, South Division (one MP)
King's County (one MP) Administrative counties formed a four-member constituency. King's County-Queen's County (four MPs)
Queen's County (one MP)
Kildare, North Division (one MP) Administrative counties formed a five-member constituency. Kildare-Wicklow (five MPs)
Kildare, South Division (one MP)
Wicklow, East Division (one MP)
Wicklow, West Division (one MP)
Wexford, North Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a four-member constituency. Wexford (four MPs)
Wexford, South Division (one MP)
Carlow County (one MP) Administrative counties formed a four-member constituency. Carlow-Kilkenny (four MPs)
Kilkenny, North Division (one MP)
Kilkenny, South Division (one MP)
Longford County (one MP) Administrative counties formed a four-member constituency. Longford-Westmeath (four MPs)
Westmeath County Division (one MP)
Louth County (one MP) Administrative counties formed a five-member constituency. Louth-Meath (five MPs)
Meath, North Division (one MP)
Meath, South Division (one MP)

Munster[edit]

Representation increased from 24 to 40 MPs

Boroughs
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Cork City (two MPs) County borough formed a four-member constituency Cork City (four MPs)
Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Clare, East Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a three-member constituency. Clare (four MPs)
Clare, West Division (one MP)
Limerick City (one MP) Parliamentary borough of Limerick and parliamentary division of East Limerick formed a four-member constituency. Limerick City-Limerick East (four MPs)
Limerick, East Division (one MP)
Kerry, East Division (one MP) Administrative county of Kerry and parliamentary division of West Limerick formed an eight-member constituency. Kerry-Limerick West (eight MPs)
Kerry, North Division (one MP)
Kerry, South Division (one MP)
Kerry, West Division (one MP)
Limerick, West Division (one MP)
Cork, East Division (one MP) Parliamentary divisions of East and North East Cork formed a three-member constituency. Cork East and North East (three MPs)
Cork, North East Division (one MP)
Cork, Mid Division (one MP) Parliamentary divisions of Mid, North, South, South East and West Cork formed an eight-member constituency. Cork Mid, North, South, South East and West (eight MPs)
Cork, North Division (one MP)
Cork, South Division (one MP)
Cork, South East Division (one MP)
Cork, West Division (one MP)
Tipperary, East Division (one MP) Parliamentary borough of Waterford, parliamentary county of Waterford and parliamentary division of East Tipperary formed a five-member constituency. Waterford-Tipperary East (five MPs)
Waterford City (one MP)
Waterford County (one MP)
Tipperary, Mid Division (one MP) Parliamentary divisions of Mid, North and South Tipperary formed a four-member constituency. Tipperary Mid, North and South (four MPs)
Tipperary, North Division (one MP)
Tipperary, South Division (one MP)

Connacht[edit]

Representation increased from 13 to 24 MPs

Counties
Before 1920 Change After 1920
Galway, Connemara Division (one MP) Administrative county formed a seven-member constituency. Galway (seven MPs)
Galway, East Division (one MP)
Galway, North Division (one MP)
Galway, South Division (one MP)
Mayo, North Division (one MP) Parliamentary divisions of North and West Mayo formed a four-member constituency. Mayo North and West (four MPs)
Mayo, West Division (one MP)
Mayo, South Division (one MP) Parliamentary divisions of South Mayo and South Roscommon formed a four-member constituency. Mayo South-Roscommon South (four MPs)
Roscommon, South Division (one MP)
Mayo, East Division (one MP) Administrative county of Sligo and parliamentary division of East Mayo formed a five-member constituency. Sligo-Mayo East (five MPs)
Sligo, North Division (one MP)
Sligo, South Division (one MP)
Leitrim County (one MP) Administrative county of Leitrim and parliamentary division of North Roscommon formed a four-member constituency. Leitrim-Roscommon North (four MPs)
Roscommon, North Division (one MP)

Universities[edit]

Representation increased from 3 to 8 MPs

Before 1920 Change After 1920
University of Dublin (two MPs) University formed a four-member constituency. University of Dublin (four MPs)
National University of Ireland (two MPs) University formed a four-member constituency. National University of Ireland (four MPs)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]