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Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution$
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Laura Cahillane, James Gallen, and Tom Hickey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526114556

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526114556.001.0001

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Ulster unionism and the Irish Constitution, 1970–85

Ulster unionism and the Irish Constitution, 1970–85

(p.199) 13 Ulster unionism and the Irish Constitution, 1970–85
Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution

Rory Milhench

Manchester University Press

Rory Milhench’s chapter seeks to analyse the nuances in the relationship between Ulster Unionists and successive Irish governments, with particular emphasis on how certain Articles of the Irish Constitution helped form the unionist image of the Irish Republic and how this conditioned the relationship between the two parties. Particular scrutiny is devoted to the question of constitutional reform and the ways in which Irish Governments considered amendments to improve relations with Unionists and secure their consent for a potential unity arrangement. The cause of unionist hostility towards the Republic, their concept of Irish unity and their forecasted social station within an arrangement of unification are explored. A selection of constitutional Articles, including those relating to extradition, the territorial claim over Northern Ireland and the special position of the Catholic Church in the Republic are examined for this purpose. The contention is made that what particularly distressed Unionists about the Irish Constitution was the apparent convictions the document made about the type of state Ireland was and how it seemed to predict the realities of its unified future.

Keywords:   Legal history, constitutional reform, unionism, extradition

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