Irish Constitutional Change, 1920-1922

 

A video of the event can be watched here

 

Spring Discourse (via webinar) 2021

During the period 1920-1922, the Government of Northern Ireland was established, ‘’Articles of agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland’ were signed, and the constitution of the Irish Free State was adopted.

When the dust of the War of Independence had settled, the Irish constitutional landscape had changed dramatically. Under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 a devolved administration with a Home Rule Parliament had been established in Belfast for six of the Ulster counties. The act had been a failure in the remaining 26 counties where, following partition, a solution was found in dominion status, so that the Irish Free State bore a relationship to the United Kingdom similar to that of Canada.

In this Webinar, John Larkin, Bláthna Ruane and Thomas Mohr will examine the legal steps during that period by which Northern ireland and the Irish Free State were established and the constitution arrangements which then emerged and what irish people thought of their new consitutional arrangements.

John Larkin QC is a practising barrister at the Bar of Northern Ireland and a former Attorney General for that jurisdiction. He will speak to the topic:-

One Irish Constitution, two Irish Parliaments: the Government of Ireland Act, 1920

Dr Bláthna Ruane SC is a Senior Counsel, who has written widely on the constitution, law and government. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Sutherland School of Law at University College, Dublin and was a member of the Constitution Review Group 1995-6. She will speak to the topic:-

The ‘so-called Treaty’: the implications of legal form for achieving settlement

Dr Thomas Mohr is an associate professor in the Sutherland School of Law at UCD and the author of Guardian of the Treaty published by Four Courts Press in association with the Society in 2016. He will speak to the topic;-

What did Irish people think of the Free State Constitution in 1922.”

 

                                                        

© Parliamentary Archives

 

 

 

 

Researching and Writing Irish Legal History in the 21st Century

Instead of the usual format of an AGM followed by a distinguished lecture, this year the ILHS is holding a virtual AGM, followed by a zoom webinar. All members and non-members are welcome to attend the webinar, which takes place on Thursday 10 December at 7.30 pm.

Please click here to join our panel to discuss

‘Researching and Writing Irish Legal History in the 21st Century’

Dr. Lynsey Black (Maynooth University)
Dr. Sparky Booker (Queen’s University Belfast)
Dr. Coleman Dennehy (University College Dublin)
Dr. Niamh Howlin (University College Dublin)

 

A video of the event can be watched HERE.

 

Dr Lynsey Black is an assistant professor at Maynooth Unniversity. She researches in the areas of gender and punishment, the death penalty, historical criminology, and postcolonial criminology. Lynsey is currently PI on the IRC New Foundations project, ‘Living Borders: Cattle Smuggling on the Ireland/Northern Ireland Border’. This research is being done in collaboration with the National Museum of Ireland and explores border criminality through the 20th century. Lynsey was a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in 2019. She has published in Punishment and SocietyLaw and History Review, and the Social History of Medicine, and is co-editor of the collection, Law and Gender in Modern Ireland, with Hart Publishing. She is currently working on her first monograph, Women, Murder and the Death Penalty in Ireland, 1922-64, with Manchester University Press.

Dr Sparky Booker  is a lecturer in medieval Irish history at Queen’s University Belfast. Before she took this post in 2016, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Swansea University, on the AHRC-funded project ‘Women negotiating the boundaries of Justice, Britain and Ireland, c. 1100-1750’ (womenhistorylaw.org.uk). Her current research examines female plaintiffs in the secular and ecclesiastical courts of Ireland from c. 1350- c.1530, and focuses particularly on litigant strategies, overlapping jurisdictions, and the influence of wealth, status, ethnicity, and gender on women’s legal activities. Her doctoral research explored interactions between the English of Ireland and Irish in the later middle ages. She is the co-editor of Tales of Medieval Dublin Dublin, (Four Courts Press, 2014).

Dr Coleman Dennehy has previously taught at Maynooth, Limerick, UCD and University College London, and was a visiting scientific researcher at  the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt and a visiting professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Vienna. Coleman He received an IRC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow for his project, ‘Competing jurisdictions: appellate justice in the Dublin and Westminster parliaments, 1603 – c.1730’. He has published many articles and chapters, as well as Restoration Ireland: Always Settling and Never Settled (Routledge); The Irish Parliament, 1613-89 (Manchester University Press); Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, and his World: Restoration Court, Politics and Diplomacy (Routledge; with Robin Eagles). Coleman has also edited The Evolution of a Colonial Institution; Law and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century Ireland (Four Courts Press).

Dr Niamh Howlin  is an Associate Professor at UCD and her publications include Juries in Ireland: Laypersons and Law in the Long Nineteenth Century (Four Courts Press) as well as articles in the Journal of Legal History, the Law and History Review, Comparative Legal History, and the American Journal of Legal History. She has also edited, with Dr Kevin Costello, Law and the Family in Ireland 1800-1950 (Palgrave Macmillan) and Law and Religion in Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan; forthcoming 2021). Niamh also works on contemporary legal issues and in 2020 published an empirical study on judge-jury relations with colleagues from UCD and Sheffield Hallam. She is currently working on a history of the Irish Bar.

Winter Discourse 2019

Our 2019 Winter Discourse takes place this Friday 6 December. Professor Richard English will deliver a paper entitled Legacies of the Irish Revolution: Ernie O’Malley and the IRA.

The Discourse begins at 6 pm in the Upper Bar Library, Royal Courts of Justice. All welcome.

The Speaker

Richard English is Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, where he is also Distinguished Professorial Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Professor English’s research focuses on the politics and history of nationalism, political violence, and terrorism, with a particular focus on Ireland and Britain.  His books include Does Terrorism Work? A History (OUP, 2016), Modern War: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2013), Terrorism: How to Respond (OUP, 2009), Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (Pan Macmillan, 2006), Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (Pan Macmillan, 2003), Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual (OUP, 1998), and Radicals and the Republic: Socialist Republicanism in the Irish Free State 1925-1937 (OUP, 1994).    He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of Keble College Oxford, and an Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews.  Professor English has given invited Lectures on his research in more than twenty countries.  In 2018 he was awarded a CBE for services to the understanding of modern day terrorism and political history.

The Venue

Spring Discourse 2019

Judge Liz Goldthorpe delivered the 2019 Spring Discourse on the subject of Averil Deverell BL, the second woman called to the Bar of Ireland and the first to practice in the South. Deverell went down to the Law Library to practise in January 1922, and remained in practice until her retirement in 1969. She was among the first group of women graduates from Trinity College, University of Dublin, obtaining her law degree in 1915. She died in 1979 and in her will left a bequest setting up a lectureship in the Law School of Trinity College.

The Honourable Society of the King’s Inns holds an archive of Averil Deverill’s papers, details of which can be found here.

The Spring Discourse took place on Friday 22 February at the Law Society of Ireland, and was well-attended.

 

Autumn Discourse 2018

The 2018  Autumn Discourse was delivered by the Hon. Sir Donnell Deeny at the Graduates Memorial Building, Trinity College Dublin on Friday 23 November.

The title of the Presidential Address was:

“The Trials of Arthur Donnelly: A Cause Célèbre of the 1870s”

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Deeny is a Privy Councillor, as well as the Pro Chancellor of Dublin University. His paper was followed by lively discussion. Members of the Society were then invited to a reception hosted by the Provost, marking thirty years since the foundation of the Society in 1988.

 

Spring Discourse 2018

The  2018 Spring Discourse was delivered by Dr. Marion Röwekamp from the Freie Universität, Berlin. Marking 100 years since the right to vote was extended to women, Dr. Röwekamp’s lecture was entitled Women’s Suffrage in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Röwekamp’s publications include:

  • Lawyers. Encyclopedia on life and work, ed. German Lawyers’ Association, Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden 2005.
  • The first German lawyers: A history of their professionalization and emancipation 1900-1945 (Series Legal History and Gender Studies), Böhlau Verlag, Cologne, Weimar, Vienna 2011.
  • Marie Munk. Attorney at Law – Judge – Law Reformer (Series Jewish Miniatures), Berlin: Hentrich & Hentrich,, 2014.
  • A soldier’s home nurse on the eastern front. Correspondence from Annette Schücking with her family (1941-1943), ed. by Julia Paulus / Marion Röwekamp, ​​Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2015.
  • Sara Kimble / Marion Röwekamp (ed.), New Perspectives on European Women’s Legal History (Studies in Gender and History series), New York / London: Routledge, 2016. 

 

 

AGM and Winter Discourse 2017

The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Irish Legal History Society was held on Friday 1st December 2017 at 5pm in the Old Bar Library, Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast

The Winter Discourse was delivered by:

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer

PH.D, F.R.HIST.S., M.R.I.A., F.T.C.D., Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Modern History, Trinity College Dublin:

Lords, the Law and Litigation in Early Modern Ireland

Biographical Note:

Professor Ohlmeyer is an expert on the New British and Atlantic Histories and has published extensively on early modern Irish and British history. She has recently completed Making Ireland English: the formation of an aristocracy in the seventeenth century for Yale University Press and volume 2 of The Cambridge History of Ireland is currently in the press. She is currently working on an edition of Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, A shorte view of the State and condicon of the kingdome of Ireland/The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in Ireland (Dublin, 1719/20 and London, 1720 and 1721) and a study of ‘Colonial Ireland, Colonial India’. Professor Ohlmeyer is also an active proponent of ‘Digital Humanities’

Over the years Professor Ohlmeyer has attracted significant amounts of highly competitive funding for her own research projects and for her graduate students. She has considerable expertise in overseeing major editorial projects and helped to secure over €1M in funding from the IRCHSS, the AHRC (the UK funding council) and Trinity College for the digitization and online publication of the ‘1641 Depositions’. She is a founding member of the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity’s humanities research institute and serves its Internal and External Advisory Boards and in a related initiative – ‘Creativity, the City and the University’ – which is linked to the Dublin Creative Alliance. She was closely involved in setting up the ‘Humanities Serving Irish Society’ consortium which under PRTLI 4 secured funding for the Digital Humanities Observatory. She is also the Principal Investigator for the Trinity College Dublin element of ‘Humanities Serving Irish Society’ which was awarded €10.78M as part of PRTLI 4.

Select Publications
Books
  • Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the seventeenth century, London and New Haven, Yale University Press, 2012, 1 – 680pp
  • Civil War and Restoration in the Three Stuart Kingdoms: the Political Career of Randal MacDonnell First Marquis of Antrim (1609-83) (Cambridge University Press, 1993; paperback reprint in Four Courts Press’s ‘Classics in Irish History’ Series, Dublin, 2001), xxiii + 357 pages.
  • The Irish Statute Staple Books, 1596-1687 (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1998), with Éamonn Ó Ciardha, xvii + 380 pages.
  • The 1641 Depositions – The online version is now available. Between 2011 and 2015 the Irish Manuscripts Commission will publish the 1641 Depositions in 12 volumes. Aidan Clarke is the principal editor and I am one of the co-editors, along with Tom Bartlett, John Morrill and Micheál Ó Siochrú.
  • British Interventions in Early Modern Ireland editor with Ciaran Brady (Cambridge University Press, 2004; paperback 2010), xx + 371 pages.
  • Kingdom or Colony?: Political Thought in seventeenth-century Ireland (Cambridge University Press, 2000; paper back 2010), xvii + 290 pages.
  • The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1638-1660 (Oxford University Press, 1998; reprinted as part of the Oxford Illustrated History series, 2002), with John Kenyon, xl + 300 pages, 51 illustrations and 10 maps.
  • Ireland from Independence to Occupation, 1641-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback, 2002), li + 309 pages.
Articles
  • ‘Making Ireland English: the seventeenth-century Irish peerage’ in Brian MacCuarta (ed.), Reshaping Ireland 1590-1700: Colonization and its consequences: Essays presented to Nicholas Canny (Dublin, 2011).
  • ‘Society: the changing role of print – Ireland (to 1660)’ in Joad Raymond (ed.), The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, volume I (Oxford, 2011).
  • ‘The baronial context of the Civil War in Ireland’ in John Adamson (ed.), The Civil Wars (London, 2008), pp. 106-24.
  • ‘Patronage and Restoration Politics: John Dryden and the House of Ormond’ (with Steven Zwicker) in Historical Journal (2006), pp. 677-706.
  • ‘A Laboratory for Empire?: Early Modern Ireland and English Imperialism’ in Kevin Kenny (ed.), Ireland and the British Empire (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 26-60.
  • ‘Literature, Identity, and the New British Histories’ in David Barker and Willy Maley, eds., British Identities and English Renaissance Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 245-55.
  • ‘Seventeenth-century Ireland and the New British and Atlantic Histories’ in American Historical Review 104:2 (April, 1999), pp. 446-462
  • ‘”Civilizinge of those rude partes”. The colonization of Ireland and Scotland, 1580s-1640s’ in The Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. 1, ed. N. Canny (Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), pp. 124-47.
  • ‘The Wars of Religion, 1603-60’ in A Military History of Ireland, ed. Thomas Bartlett and Keith Jeffery (Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 160-187.
  • ‘The “Antrim Plot” of 1641 – a myth?’, The Historical Journal, 35 (1992), pp. 905-19.

Spring Discourse 2017

Our 2017 Spring Discourse took place on Friday 17 February at 5.30, at Regent House, Trinity College Dublin. John F. Larkin, QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland  delivered an insightful address on: ‘The Irish Convention, 1917-18: Centenary Reflections’

About the Speaker

  • John F Larkin QC  was educated at St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School and at Queen’s University Belfast.
  • He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in Michaelmas Term 1986 and later to the Bar of Ireland.
  • Between 1989 and 1991 he was Reid Professor of Criminal Law in Trinity College Dublin.
  • He took silk in Michaelmas term 2001. In the last ten years his practice has been mainly in Constitutional and Administrative Law and Human Rights.

Following the transfer of policing and criminal justice powers to Northern Ireland he was appointed Attorney General for Northern Ireland on 24 May 2010. He is the first person to hold the office separately since its functions were assumed by the Attorney General for England and Wales in 1972.

 

Podcasts: Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland

The Irish Legal History Society marked the 800th anniversary of the transmission of Magna Carta to Ireland with a two-day conference in Christ Church Cathedral in November 2016. The conference explored the legal-historical background to Magna Carta in Ireland, the reception of the charter into English law in Ireland, the political and polemical uses to which the charter was put, and its twentieth and twentieth-first century invocations as a living presence in contemporary Irish law. Professor Paul Brand (All Souls, Oxford) delivered a keynote address on the impact of Magna Carta on the development of English law in medieval Ireland.

Speakers included: Claire Breay, Sean Duffy, Ian Campbell, Coleman Dennehy, Sparky Booker, Colum Kenny, Adrian Empey, James Kelly, Patrick Geoghegan, John Larkin, Bláthna Ruane.

The conference was recorded for podcasting by Real Smart Media, and is available here: