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No. 336 NAI DT S1801O

Extract from minutes of a meeting of the Executive Council (C.2/224)

DUBLIN, 10 November 1925

BOUNDARY COMMISSION.

The President reported on interviews which he, the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Finance1 had with certain members of the Party and also with a deputation from East Donegal regarding the forecasts of the Boundary report which had been published in the Press.2

Consideration was given to a letter received from the Secretary of the Boundary Commission inviting a representative of the Government to a Conference on the 19th instant,3 to discuss certain matters arising out of the imminence of the publication of the Commission's report, as well as to a letter from Mr. Cahir Healy, M.P., asking to be informed whether the Executive Council and representatives of the areas concerned would be consulted before the report was signed.

It was decided:-

(a) that so far as signature of the report is concerned it is a matter for Dr. MacNeill's sole discretion,
and

(b) that, accordingly, the Council does not require to be kept informed of the proposed line beforehand.

A letter is to be sent to Mr. Healy on the basis of these decisions.4

It was agreed that the Attorney General should represent the Government at the proposed Conference with the Boundary Commission on 19th instant, and that he should press for a copy of the full records of the Commission to be given to this Government. He was authorised to state that this Govt. favours the immediate publication of all evidence given before the Commission.

1 Kevin O'Higgins, Ernest Blythe.

2 On 7 November 1925 the pro-Tory Morning Post newspaper published a leaked map of the proposed revisions to the Irish border that would be recommended by the Boundary Commission. The map indicated that there would be no major changes to the border and that the Irish Free State would in fact cede land to Northern Ireland. The Irish Free State authorities had never envisaged such an outcome. They had expected that the Commission would only recommend large transfers of land to the Irish Free State. Though the source of the leak was never revealed, evidence pointed towards J.R. Fisher, the British nominee as Northern Ireland representative on the Commission, who was known to have Ulster Unionist connections. The leaked map effectively sealed the fate of the Boundary Commission. It led to a political crisis in the Irish Free State and the resignation of Eoin MacNeill as Irish Free State Boundary Commissioner.

3 Not printed.

4 Not printed.



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