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'Till Debt Do Us Part' : Financial Implications of the Divorce of the Irish Free State from the UK, 1922-6

FitzGerald, John and Kenny, Seán LU (2017) In Lund Papers in Economic History
Abstract
In this paper, we discuss the unresolved apportionment of national debt when Ireland exited the UK in 1922. Using archival sources and contemporary accounts, we estimate that the British claim on Ireland in 1925 amounted to between 80 and 100 per cent of GNP at a time when the political stability of Ireland was already fragile. We describe the process of how this contingent liability, arising from the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, was ultimately waived in a Financial Agreement in 1925 at the expense of an unchanged border with Northern Ireland. The Irish government also sought, but failed, to secure protection against discrimination for Catholics in Northern Ireland as part of the agreement. While for the Irish Government, this settlement... (More)
In this paper, we discuss the unresolved apportionment of national debt when Ireland exited the UK in 1922. Using archival sources and contemporary accounts, we estimate that the British claim on Ireland in 1925 amounted to between 80 and 100 per cent of GNP at a time when the political stability of Ireland was already fragile. We describe the process of how this contingent liability, arising from the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, was ultimately waived in a Financial Agreement in 1925 at the expense of an unchanged border with Northern Ireland. The Irish government also sought, but failed, to secure protection against discrimination for Catholics in Northern Ireland as part of the agreement. While for the Irish Government, this settlement may have represented a political failure, the economic outcome of the agreement transformed the economic position of the new Irish State from one of potential insolvency into one of viability. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Contingent liability, public debt, secession, independence, Ireland, United Kingdom, Financial Agreement, political economy, border, E62, F50, H60, H77, N00
in
Lund Papers in Economic History
issue
166
pages
37 pages
publisher
Department of Economic History, Lund University
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4318b036-7405-4e20-858c-9df55853f7ee
date added to LUP
2017-11-30 15:17:47
date last changed
2017-11-30 16:45:15
@misc{4318b036-7405-4e20-858c-9df55853f7ee,
  abstract     = {In this paper, we discuss the unresolved apportionment of national debt when Ireland exited the UK in 1922. Using archival sources and contemporary accounts, we estimate that the British claim on Ireland in 1925 amounted to between 80 and 100 per cent of GNP at a time when the political stability of Ireland was already fragile. We describe the process of how this contingent liability, arising from the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, was ultimately waived in a Financial Agreement in 1925 at the expense of an unchanged border with Northern Ireland. The Irish government also sought, but failed, to secure protection against discrimination for Catholics in Northern Ireland as part of the agreement. While for the Irish Government, this settlement may have represented a political failure, the economic outcome of the agreement transformed the economic position of the new Irish State from one of potential insolvency into one of viability.},
  author       = {FitzGerald, John  and Kenny, Seán},
  keyword      = {Contingent liability,public debt,secession,independence,Ireland,United Kingdom,Financial Agreement,political economy,border, E62,F50,H60,H77,N00},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {166},
  pages        = {37},
  publisher    = {Department of Economic History, Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Papers in Economic History},
  title        = {'Till Debt Do Us Part' : Financial Implications of the Divorce of the Irish Free State from the UK, 1922-6},
  year         = {2017},
}