Volume 2 1922~1926

Doc No.

No. 316 UCDA P4/424

Hugh Kennedy to William T. Cosgrave
(Strictly Confidential)

DUBLIN, 12 June 1925

A Uachtaráin, A Chara dhílis,

I saw in some paper the other day some reference to a claim by the Northerners that they are entitled to the whole of Lough Foyle. It occurred to me that I should drop you a line lest the question of territorial jurisdiction as regards water might be lost sight of. You will remember the point that was made that Northern Ireland consists of certain parliamentary counties and that the Free State consists of the rest of Ireland, so defined by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920; and you will remember that we have always contended that this definition gave us the whole sea shore surrounding the country, together with loughs upon which both Northern Ireland and ourselves abutted.

As far as I could make out - but I never could get anything definite upon it - this view was held in London in the early period of 1922, and was taken, I believe, by the first Law Officers who dealt with our business. Subsequently I was told, but only by hints, that later law officers had given a definite opinion the other way. I know that the Parliamentary Draftsmen were very shaky on the question and nervous about it until they got the later opinion.

Should it not be made clear at the Boundary Commission that we claim to have already in the Free State the whole of Ireland except the territory represented by the parliamentary areas of the Six Counties? The attempt to capture Lough Foyle would be very serious.

Mise do chara,
(HUGH KENNEDY) Chief Justice