Privy Council (Northern Ireland)

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Northern Ireland 1921–72

The Privy Council of Northern Ireland is a formal body of advisors to the sovereign and was a vehicle for the monarch's prerogative powers in Northern Ireland. It was modelled on the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

The Council was created in 1922 as a result of the division of Ireland into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. The latter remained part of the United Kingdom albeit with its own parliament. The previous Privy Council of Ireland, however, was never formally abolished, remaining theoretically in existence though devoid of members other than the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who continued to be styled Right Honourable as a result.[1]

The Privy Council of Northern Ireland consisted of senior members of the Northern Ireland government including the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland; its members were appointed for life. The Council rarely met and was largely a ceremonial body with its responsibilities exercised by the cabinet. It was effectively abolished when the office of Governor of Northern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland were formally abolished in 1973[2] and its powers were transferred to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a member of the British Cabinet.

Members are entitled to use the prefix The Rt. Hon., whilst peers who are members use the post-nominal letters PC (NI). Four members are still living as of May 2014.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Though the Privy Council of Ireland was de facto abolished in 1922, the Lord Mayor continued to be entitled to be addressed as the Right Honourable as a result of the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840, which granted the title in law. The Local Government Act 2001 finally removed the title (in the Republic of Ireland) as a consequence of the repeal of the 1840 act.
  2. ^ "Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973". 

See also[edit]