Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majestys Government, commonly referred to as the UK government or British government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The government is led by the Prime Minister, who all the remaining ministers. The prime minister and the other most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, the government ministers all sit in Parliament, and are accountable to it. After an election, the monarch selects as prime minister the leader of the party most likely to command a majority of MPs in the House of Commons. Under the uncodified British constitution, executive authority lies with the monarch, although this authority is exercised only by, or on the advice of, the prime minister, the Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. They exercise power directly as leaders of the Government Departments, the current prime minister is Theresa May, who took office on 13 July 2016. She is the leader of the Conservative Party, which won a majority of seats in the House of Commons in the election on 7 May 2015.
Prior to this and the Conservatives led a government from 2010 to 2015 with the Liberal Democrats. A key principle of the British Constitution is that the government is responsible to Parliament, Britain is a constitutional monarchy in which the reigning monarch does not make any open political decisions. All political decisions are taken by the government and Parliament and this constitutional state of affairs is the result of a long history of constraining and reducing the political power of the monarch, beginning with the Magna Carta in 1215. Parliament is split into two houses, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the House of Commons is the lower house and is the more powerful. The House of Lords is the house and although it can vote to amend proposed laws. Parliamentary time is essential for bills to be passed into law, Ministers of the Crown are responsible to the House in which they sit, they make statements in that House and take questions from members of that House. For most senior ministers this is usually the elected House of Commons rather than the House of Lords, since the start of Edward VIIs reign, in 1901, the prime minister has always been an elected member of Parliament and therefore directly accountable to the House of Commons.
Under the British system the government is required by convention and for reasons to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons. It requires the support of the House of Commons for the maintenance of supply, by convention if a government loses the confidence of the House of Commons it must either resign or a General Election is held. The support of the Lords, while useful to the government in getting its legislation passed without delay, is not vital, a government is not required to resign even if it loses the confidence of the Lords and is defeated in key votes in that House. The House of Commons is thus the Responsible house, the prime minister is held to account during Prime Ministers Question Time which provides an opportunity for MPs from all parties to question the PM on any subject
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, in 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.4 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland, the islands geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild, thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages. As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, there are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is moderate and classified as oceanic.
As a result, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant, the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century CE, the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, with the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s and this subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.
Alongside mainstream Western culture, an indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music. The culture of the island shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, horse racing. The name Ireland derives from Old Irish Eriu and this in turn derives from Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, which is the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning fat, during the last glacial period, and up until about 9000 years ago, most of Ireland was covered with ice, most of the time
In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a different person from the head of government. Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders, eventually these councils have slowly evolved into the modern Parliamentary system. The first parliaments date back to Europe in the Middle Ages, for example in 1188 Alfonso IX, the modern concept of parliamentary government emerged in the Kingdom of Great Britain and its contemporary, the Parliamentary System in Sweden. In England, Simon de Montfort is remembered as one of the fathers of representative government for holding two famous parliaments, the first, in 1258, stripped the King of unlimited authority and the second, in 1265, included ordinary citizens from the towns. Later, in the 17th century, the Parliament of England pioneered some of the ideas and systems of liberal democracy culminating in the Glorious Revolution, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, the monarch, in theory, chaired cabinet and chose ministers.
In practice, King George Is inability to speak English led the responsibility for chairing cabinet to go to the minister, literally the prime or first minister. By the nineteenth century, the Great Reform Act of 1832 led to parliamentary dominance, with its choice invariably deciding who was prime minister, hence the use of phrases like Her Majestys government or His Excellencys government. Nineteenth century urbanisation, industrial revolution and, modernism had already fueled the political struggle for democracy. In the radicalised times at the end of World War I, a parliamentary system may be either bicameral, with two chambers of parliament or unicameral, with just one parliamentary chamber. Scholars of democracy such as Arend Lijphart distinguish two types of parliamentary democracies, the Westminster and Consensus systems, the Westminster system is usually found in the Commonwealth of Nations and countries which were influenced by the British political tradition. These parliaments tend to have a more style of debate.
The Australian House of Representatives is elected using instant-runoff voting, while the Senate is elected using proportional representation through single transferable vote, regardless of which system is used, the voting systems tend to allow the voter to vote for a named candidate rather than a closed list. The Western European parliamentary model tends to have a more consensual debating system, Consensus systems have more of a tendency to use proportional representation with open party lists than the Westminster Model legislatures. The committees of these Parliaments tend to be more important than the plenary chamber, some West European countries parliaments implement the principle of dualism as a form of separation of powers. In countries using this system, Members of Parliament have to resign their place in Parliament upon being appointed minister, ministers in those countries usually actively participate in parliamentary debates, but are not entitled to vote. Some countries such as India require the prime minister to be a member of the legislature, the head of state appoints a prime minister who will likely have majority support in parliament.
The head of state appoints a minister who must gain a vote of confidence within a set time. The head of state appoints the leader of the party holding a plurality of seats in parliament as prime minister
Unionism in Ireland
Unionism in Ireland is a political ideology that favours the continuation of some form of political union between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. Since the partition of Ireland, unionism in Ireland has focused on maintaining and preserving the place of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom, in this context, a distinction may be made between the unionism in the province of Ulster and unionism elsewhere in Ireland. Irish nationalism is opposed to the ideology of unionism, most unionists come from Protestant backgrounds, most nationalists come from a Roman Catholic background. Exceptions to these generalisations exist, there are Protestant nationalists and there are Catholic unionists, the political relationship between England and Ireland dates from the 12th century with the establishment of the Lordship of Ireland. In 1542, the Crown of Ireland Act was passed by both the English and Irish Parliaments, the Act established a sovereign Kingdom of Ireland with Henry VIII as King of Ireland.
Both parliaments passed the Act of Union 1800 by which a new state was created - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, twenty-six counties of Ireland gained autonomy from the U. K. as the Irish Free State, in 1949, the State was declared to be a Republic, the Republic of Ireland left the Commonwealth of Nations organisation. The remaining six counties of the island of Ireland constituted the territory of Northern Ireland, in 1927, the realm, consisting of combined territories of Northern Ireland and Great Britain, was renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Today, unionism is almost exclusively an issue for Northern Ireland and it is concerned with the governance of and relationship between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Unionism emerged as a force in opposition to William Ewart Gladstones Home Rule Bill of 1886. Irish nationalists believed in separation from Great Britain, whether through repeal of the 1800 Act of Union, home rule, Unionists believed in maintaining and deepening the relationship between the various nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
They expressed pride in symbols of Britishness, a key symbol for unionists is the Union Flag. Unionist areas of Northern Ireland often display this and other symbols to show the loyalty, Unionism is known for its allegiance to the person of the British monarch, both historically and today. Historically, most unionists in Ireland have been Protestants and most nationalists have been Catholics, however, a significant number of Protestants have adhered to the nationalist cause, and likewise with Catholics and unionism. These phenomena continue to exist in Northern Ireland, both unionism and nationalism have had sectarian and anti-sectarian elements. While nationalism has had a number of Protestant leaders, unionism was invariably always led by Protestant leaders, served in the Government of Northern Ireland. UUP leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner David Trimble suggested that Northern Ireland had been a house for Catholics in the past. People espousing unionist beliefs are sometimes referred to as loyalists, the two words are sometimes used interchangeably, but the latter is more often associated with particularly hardline forms of unionism
W. T. Cosgrave
William Thomas W. T. Cosgrave was an Irish politician who succeeded Michael Collins as Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State from August to December 1922. He served as the first President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State from 1922 to 1932. Cosgrave never technically held the office of Taoiseach, however, as the first elected head of government in an independent Ireland, William Thomas Cosgrave, W. T. or Liam as he was generally known, was born at 174 Jamess Street, Dublin in 1880. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School at Malahide Road, Cosgrave first became politically active when he attended the first Sinn Féin convention in 1905. Cosgrave played a role in the Easter Rising of 1916 serving under Eamonn Ceannt as a Captain at the South Dublin Union. Following the rebellion Cosgrave was sentenced to death, however this was commuted to penal servitude for life and he was interned in Frongoch. While in prison Cosgrave won a seat for Sinn Féin in the Kilkenny City by-election of August 1917, in September 1917 he and Michael Collins addressed a crowd in Dunboyne, County Meath urging people to join the Irish Volunteers.
He again won an Irish seat in the 1918 general election, on 24 June 1919 Cosgrave married Louisa Flanagan in Dublin. During his years he was cared for by his son Liam, though one of the most politically experienced of Sinn Féins TDs, Cosgrave was not among the major leadership of the party. Another reason was his experience on Dublin Corporation, most recently as Chairman of its Finance Committee. His chief task as minister was the job of organising the non-cooperation of the people with the British authorities, Cosgrave was very successful in his role at the Department of Local Government. In 1920 he oversaw elections to local councils in which the new system of representation was used. Sinn Féin gained control of 28 of the 33 local councils and these councils cut their links to the British, and pledged loyalty to the Sinn Féin Department of Local Government, under Cosgrave. Cosgrave broke with Éamon de Valera over the issue of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, to a majority, republican status remained for the moment an unattainable goal, with the republic unrecognised internationally.
Dominion status offered, in the words of Michael Collins, the freedom to achieve freedom, after the Dáil voted by 64 to 57 to approve the Treaty, in January 1922, De Valera resigned the presidency. De Valera was replaced as president by Griffith, Collins, in accordance with the Treaty, formed a Provisional Government, this included Cosgrave amongst its membership. The months following the acceptance of the Treaty saw a progression to civil war. The split in Sinn Féin gradually deepened and the majority of the IRA hardened against accepting anything less than a full republic
Irish nationalism asserts that the Irish people are a nation. Since the partition of Ireland, the term refers to support for a united Ireland. Irish nationalists assert that rule from London has been to the detriment of Irish interests and this vision sought to overcome the old ethnic divide between Gaeil and Gaill which had been a feature of Irish life since the 12th century. Protestantism in England introduced an element to the 16th century Tudor conquest of Ireland, as many of the native Gaels. The Plantations of Ireland dispossessed many native Catholic landowners in favour of Protestant settlers from England and Scotland, in addition, the Plantation of Ulster, begun in 1609, planted a sizeable colony of English and Scottish Protestant settlers into the north of Ireland. Irish aristocrats waged many campaigns against the English presence, a prime example is the rebellion of Hugh ONeill which became known as the Nine Years War of 1594–1603, which aimed to expel the English and make Ireland a Spanish protectorate.
The Confederate Catholics of Ireland, known as the Confederation of Kilkenny, emphasised the idea of Ireland as a Kingdom independent from England and they demanded autonomy for the Irish Parliament, full rights for Catholics and an end to the confiscation of Catholic-owned land. The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland destroyed the Confederate cause and resulted in the permanent dispossession of the old Catholic landowning class. A similar Irish Catholic monarchist movement emerged in the 1680s and 1690s, the Jacobites demanded that Irish Catholics have a majority in an autonomous Irish Parliament, the restoration of confiscated Catholic land, and an Irish-born Lord Deputy of Ireland. Like the Confederates, they suffered defeat, in the Williamite War in Ireland. Thereafter, the largely English Protestant Ascendancy dominated Irish government and landholding, the Penal Laws discriminated against non-Anglicans. However, the Irish Catholic movements of the 16th century were led by a small landed.
Professor Kevin Whelan has traced the emergence of the modern Catholic-nationalist identity that formed in 1760–1830, parliamentarians who wanted more self-government formed the Irish Patriot Party, led by Henry Grattan, who achieved substantial legislative independence in 1782–83. Grattan and radical elements of the Irish Whig party campaigned in the 1790s for Catholic political equality and he wanted useful links with Britain to remain, best understood by his comment, The channel forbids union, the ocean forbids separation. Grattans movement was notable for being both inclusive and nationalist as many of its members were descended from the Anglo/Irish minority, many other nationalists such as Samuel Neilson, Theobald Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet were descended from plantation families which had arrived in Ireland since 1600. From Grattan in the 1770s to Parnell up to 1890, nearly all the leaders of Irish separatism were Protestant nationalists, modern Irish nationalism with democratic aspirations began in the 1790s with the founding of the Society of the United Irishmen.
It sought to end discrimination against Catholics and Presbyterians and to found an independent Irish republic and they were sponsored by the French Republic, which was the enemy of the Holy See. The United Irishmen led the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which was repressed with great bloodshed, as a result, the Irish Parliament voted to abolish itself in the Act of Union of 1800–01 and thereafter Irish MPs sat in London
Government of Ireland Act 1920
The Government of Ireland Act 1920 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Acts long title was An Act to provide for the government of Ireland. Both areas of Ireland were to continue as a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and provision was made for their future reunification under common Home Rule institutions. Home Rule never took effect in Southern Ireland, due to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted instead in the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the establishment in 1922 of the Irish Free State. However, the set up under this Act for Northern Ireland continued to function until they were suspended by the British parliament in 1972 as a consequence of the Troubles. The remaining provisions of the Act still in force in Northern Ireland were repealed under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, various attempts had been made to give Ireland limited regional self-government, known as Home rule, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Third Home Rule Bill introduced in 1912 by the Irish Parliamentary Party could no longer be vetoed after the passing of the Parliament Act 1911 which removed the power of the Lords to veto bills and they could merely be delayed for two years.
Because of the threat of civil war in Ireland, King George V called the Buckingham Palace Conference in July 1914 where Irish Nationalist and Unionist leaders failed to reach agreement. A few weeks after the British entry into the war, the Act received Royal Assent, the Suspensory Act 1914 meant that implementation would be suspended for the duration of what was expected to be only a short European war. A delay ensued because of the end of the First World War in November 1918, the Paris Peace Conference,1919. Long proposed the creation of two Irish home rule entities, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, each with unicameral parliaments, the Bills second reading debates in late March 1920 revealed that already a large number of Irish members of parliament present felt that the proposals were unworkable. After considerable delays in debating the financial aspects of the measure, a considerable number of the Irish Members present voted against the Bill, including Southern Unionists such as Maurice Dockrell, and Nationalists like Joe Devlin.
During the Great War Irish politics moved decisively in a different direction, sinn Féin, standing for an independent sovereign Ireland, won 73 of the 105 parliamentary seats on the island in the 1918 general election. Its elected members established their own parliament, Dáil Éireann, which declared the independence as the Irish Republic. Dáil Éireann, after a number of meetings, was declared illegal in September 1919 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for a variety of reasons all the Ulster Unionist MPs at Westminster voted against the Act. They preferred that all or most of Ulster would remain fully within the United Kingdom, when the Act became law on 23 December 1920 it was already out of touch with realities in Ireland. The long-standing demand for home rule had been replaced among Nationalists by a demand for complete independence, the Republics army was waging the Irish War of Independence against British rule, which had reached a nadir in late 1920. Northern Ireland as defined by the Act, amounting to six of the nine counties of Ulster, was seen as the area within which Unionists could be expected to have a safe majority
County Donegal is a county of Ireland. It is part of the Border Region of the Republic of Ireland and is in the province of Ulster and it is named after the town of Donegal in the south of the county. Donegal County Council is the council for the county and Lifford serves as the county town. The population of the county is 158,755 according to the 2016 census and it has been known as Tyrconnell, after the historic territory of the same name. In terms of size and area, it is the largest county in Ulster, County Donegal shares a small border with only one other county in the Republic of Ireland – County Leitrim. The greater part of its border is shared with three counties of Northern Ireland, County Londonderry, County Tyrone and County Fermanagh. While Lifford is the county town, Letterkenny is by far the largest town in the county with a population of 19,588, Letterkenny and the nearby city of Derry form the main economic axis of the northwest of Ireland. Indeed, what became the City of Derry was officially part of County Donegal up until 1610, there are two Gaeltacht districts in the west, The Rosses, centred on the town of Dungloe, and Gweedore.
Another Gaeltacht district is located in the north-west, centred on the town of Falcarragh, the most northerly part of the island of Ireland is the location for three peninsulas of outstanding natural beauty, Inishowen and Rosguill. The main population centre of Inishowen, Irelands largest peninsula, is Buncrana, in the east of the county lies the Finn Valley. The Laggan district is centred on the town of Raphoe, according to the 1841 Census, County Donegal had a population of 296,000 people. As a result of famine and emigration, the population had reduced by 41,000 by 1851, by the time of the 1951 Census the population was only 44% of what it had been in 1841. The 2006 Census, undertaken by the States Central Statistics Office, had County Donegals population standing at 147,264, according to the 2011 Census, the countys population had grown to 161,137. It has an indented coastline forming natural sea loughs, of which both Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle are the most notable. The Slieve League cliffs are the sixth-highest sea cliffs in Europe, the climate is temperate and dominated by the Gulf Stream, with warm, damp summers and mild wet winters.
Two permanently inhabited islands and Tory Island, lie off the coast, Irelands second longest river, the Erne, enters Donegal Bay near the town of Ballyshannon. The River Erne, along with other Donegal waterways, has been dammed to produce hydroelectric power, the River Foyle separates part of County Donegal from parts of both counties Londonderry and Tyrone. A survey of the marine algae of County Donegal was published in 2003
Parliament of Southern Ireland
The Parliament of Southern Ireland was a Home Rule legislature set up by the British Government during the Irish War of Independence under the Fourth Home Rule Bill. The Parliament was bicameral, consisting of a House of Commons with 128 seats, the Parliament as two houses sat only once, in the Royal College of Science for Ireland in Merrion Street. Due to the low turnout of members attending, the Parliament was adjourned sine die and was officially disbanded by the Irish Free State Act 1922. Under the Act of Union 1800 the separate Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain were merged on 1 January 1801, to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain, throughout the 19th century Irish opposition to the Union was strong, occasionally erupting in violent insurrection. In the 1870s the Home Rule League under Isaac Butt sought to achieve a modest form of self-government and this was considered far more acceptable as Ireland would still remain part of the United Kingdom but would have limited self-government.
The First Home Rule Bill was defeated in the Commons by 30 votes, the second Second Home Rule Bill was passed, but defeated in the Lords. On 11 April 1912, the Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, initially the suspension was not considered an issue by Nationalists, who believed independent self-government had finally been granted and that the war was to be a short one. It consisted of Nationalist and Unionist representatives who, by April 1918, long proposed the creation of two Irish home rule entities, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, each with unicameral parliaments. The government opposed this on the grounds that it would weaken the function of the inter-parliament Council of Ireland and it consisted of 128 members who were styled as being members of parliament and whose presiding officer was to be known as the Speaker of the House of Commons. The basic features of the House were constructed from those of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom which was structured in a similar manner, the borough and county constituencies replaced those used for Westminster elections with new multi-member ones.
The University seats were broken down into 4 for the University of Dublin and 4 for the National University of Ireland. On 24 May 1921, elections were held for the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, simultaneously with elections for Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic chose to regard that election as elections to the Second Dáil. The 124 Sinn Féin candidates elected, plus the six Sinn Féin members elected to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland elected at the same time, in reality only four Unionist MPs attended. Having elected Gerald Fitzgibbon to be Speaker, the House adjourned sine die and this was the only formal meeting of the House. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London on 6 December 1921 by representatives of the British Government, the Dáil Éireann for the de facto Irish Republic ratified the Treaty. The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State was constituted on 14 January 1922 at a meeting of members of the Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland in the Mansion House.
Notably, the meeting was convened by Arthur Griffith as Chairman of the Irish Delegation of Plenipotentiaries under the terms of the Treaty, collins was installed in his post by the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin Castle on 16 January 1922. The MPs in the Commons were required to take the British Oath of Allegiance however, the Senate of Southern Ireland was the upper house of the Parliament of Southern Ireland established by the 1920 Fourth Home Rule Bill