Dividing Ireland: The Origins, Impact and Legacy of Partition
The Boundary Commission in 1924. © National Library of Ireland.

On 17 and 19 February 2021, Nerve Centre and the Tower Museum brought together two panels of expert commentators, historians and academics to explore the road to and legacy of partition and the formation of Northern Ireland, one hundred years on from these seismic events.

The conference was part of a programme of events in conjunction with the Tower Museum's exhibition 'Dividing Ireland - The Origins, Impact and Legacy of Partition'. Speakers at the conference included Susan McKay, Dr. Margaret Ward, Dr. Robert Lynch, Dr. Myrtle Hill, Dr. Johanne Devlin-Trew, Prof. Brendan O’Leary, and Dr. John Regan.

Panel 1: The Road To Partition

From 1912 to 1920-21, Ireland experienced major political and social change, including the creation of two new political jurisdictions on either side of an uncertain border line.

This panel reflects on the political and social developments of the 1910s, culminating in the creation of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State, and the partition of the island reflecting these constitutional changes.


Panel 2: The Legacy of Partition

This panel explores the impact of the constitutional changes that took place in Ireland in the early 1920s, including discussion of life and politics in Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State.

It looks at the legacy of partition with a focus on how it impacted the newly created border communities and how the new governments north and south built two very different political jurisdictions and cultures. The panel also discusses how this impacted on people on both sides of the border.