Northern Ireland: When was it founded?

A policy proposal in the DUP manifesto has started a little of debate over just when Northern Ireland came into existence.

In today’s Irish News, John  Manley talks with Eamon Phoenix and whilst he dismisses the DUP date of 5th May as inaccurate, he still does not have a concrete date for the foundation of Northern Ireland.

Speaking to Manley he said;

There is no reason to mark May 3 – or May 5 for that matter,

He continued going through the various dates that could be used;

:: 20 December 1920 – enactment of the Government of Ireland Act which partitioned Ireland;

:: 22 June 1921 – George V convenes new Northern Ireland parliament in Belfast;

:: 6 December 1921 – Treaty gave north option to opt out of Irish Free State;

:: 7 December 1922 – Northern Ireland Parliament opted out of Irish Free State;

:: 3 December 1925 – Tripartite agreement between Belfast, Dublin and London whereby south recognises border.

However, Phoenix ended taking aim at the DUP date;

No matter what way you look at it that date in the DUP manifesto is not only wrong in terms of the century and millennium but it’s also wrong in terms of historical events

My question to the Sluggerverse is this, can any of you shed some light on this or is there no exact date?

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  • terence patrick hewett

    It became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, formalised by the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927.

  • Msiegnaro

    Whilst I will get slated for this I do think it’s a good idea that as a country we celebrate 100 years of existence, despite obvious problems as a nation we have much to be proud of.

  • Sam Thompson

    Where did 5th May come from?

  • Nevin

    “HC Deb 05 April 1921 vol 140 cc91-2 91

    §41. Mr. NEWBOULD asked the Chief Secretary whether he can now state when the Parliament and Government of Southern Ireland will be set up?

    §Mr. HENRY His Majesty’s Government have fixed the 3rd May next for bringing into operation the provisions of the Government of Ireland Act generally; but certain matters of a nature requiring consultation with the new Governments when established are excluded and will remain as at present until subsequent appointed days are fixed. On or about the 3rd of May the Lord Lieutenant will issue Proclamations summoning the Parliaments of Southern and Northern Ireland; the elections will be held, as stated by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, in May, and the establishment of the two Governments will follow in accordance with the provisions of the Act.” .. source

  • babyface finlayson

    I hadn’t even realised it was losted.

  • Jag

    Bloody well hope it was founded after 1916 and that the centenary hasn’t happened already without us realising, otherwise a significant portion of the DUP manifesto will be redundant.

  • Nevin

    “Whereas by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, it is enacted that on and after a certain day to be fixed in manner therein provided, there shall be established for Northern Ireland a Parliament to be called the Parliament of Northern Ireland, consisting of His Majesty, the Senate of Northern Ireland, and the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.

    And whereas it is further provided therein that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland shall in His Majesty’s name Summon, Prorogue and Dissolve the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

    And Whereas His Majesty did by Order in Council fix the 3rd day of May, 1921, as the day on and after which the Parliament of Northern Ireland should be established.

    And Whereas His Majesty is desirous and resolved to meet His People of Northern Ireland and to have their advice in Parliament.

    Now I, the Right Honourable Edmund Bernard Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent, Lieutenant General and General Governor of Ireland, do hereby make known to all His Majesty’s loving subjects His Royal Will and Pleasure to call a Parliament of Northern Ireland and do further declare that I have given order that the Chancellor of that part of the United Kingdom called Ireland do upon notice there of forthwith issue writs in His Majesty’s Name under the Great Seal of Ireland in due form and according to law for calling a Parliament of Northern Ireland to meet at the City of Belfast on Tuesday the 7th day of June next.

    And I do hereby also by this proclamation require writs forthwith to be issued under the Great Seal of Ireland accordingly to the said Chancellor for causing the Senators and Commons who are to serve in the said Parliament to be duly returned to and give their attendance in His Majesty’s said Parliament on Tuesday the 7th day of June next, which writs are to be returnable in due course of law.

    Given at His Majesty’s Castle of Dublin this 4th day of May, 1921.

    Fitzalan of Derwent GOD SAVE THE KING!” .. source

  • Barneyt

    Interesting that it took a year and a day to opt out of the Free State 🙂 They moved as quick in those days as they do now! I see this was dependent on events south of the border however. Thanks wikiland.

    May 3rd 1921 was the day the 1920 act came into maybe the 5th represents events a few days later when the necessary office of government kicked in?

  • Ernekid

    Like what?

    Decades of a nasty sectarian one party state? Decades of nasty pointless civil conflict? Soda bread and Tayto crisps?

  • Nevin

    De Valera and Craig met on Thursday, May 5.

  • the rich get richer

    I am not sure if it was ; Too Soon..Too Soon..or Too Late Too Late .

  • proofing error apparently

  • Could also ask same question of Republic of Ireland:
    1920 Government of Ireland Act
    1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty
    1922 First Constitution
    1923 End of Civil War
    1937 Second constitution, after having been sent to the Vatican twice for comment and not rejected.
    1949 when an Act of the Oireachtas declared that the term ‘Republic of Ireland’ could be used to describe the State.


  • submariner

    Northern Ireland is neither a Nation nor a Country. There is nothing to be proud of as it is a sectarian cess pit.

  • the rich get richer

    We are certainly going to be busy with commemorations ; I mean both traditions here. You won’t be able to leave the house , but for a commemoration .

  • Jollyraj

    Ah yes, the perpetual state of arrested adolescence which is the cross to bear for many’s the Irish Republican. For goodness sake, man! If you hate it that much go and live somewhere else. If you aren’t happy with your life, change it – otherwise, stop blaming everyone and everything else for your unhappiness. You don’t want to end up an aging, bitter Republican troll like a few of the chaps I could name on here.

  • Jollyraj

    I’d refer you to my answer to Ernekid. Below. Or above, not sure 🙂

  • Kevin Breslin

    5th of May, that means those some of those centenarians have to survive 2 more days … but then again others will be eligible for having 100th birthdays on the 4th and 5th.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Do you mean pride or faux pride?

    We’re not allowed our own flag because too many people are more proud of being British than they are of being Northern Irish and same with an anthem e.g. the Scots are proud of being Scottish and sing (or bellow or hum) Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave or The Gael with pride.

    Not us though, we HAVE to be British first, fly the union flag and sing GSTQ. Anything else is too Lundyesque (apart from maybe the Ulster flag which is essentially a flag soiled by loyalist paramilitaries).

    So, while I would truly like to agree with you I just find it absurd that the sense of pride is dictated by British nationalists and excludes a large part of the population.

    Apply this logic to other regions of the planet (not under a one party state):
    “The people of Catalonia came out in their thousands today to express their pride in being Catalan by singing Castilian songs and flying the Spanish national flag…”

    “Montreal was awash with proud Quebecois who celebrated their regional identity and La fete national du Quebec by waving red maple leaf flags and singing ‘O Canada’ ”

    “Belfast celebrated Northern Ireland’s centenary by hosting a massive orange parade, flying union flags and singing GSTQ. Traffic to the airports was said to be heavy…”

    These people have no right to Northern Irish pride and should have the dignity to admit as such.

  • mac tire

    In fairness to Ernekid he essentially asked what was there to celebrate.
    The floor was yours, Jollyraj – your chance to tell us all what we had/have “to be proud of”. A chance to counter Ernekid’s analysis of nastiness, sectarianism, conflict and those God awful crisps. Sodies are great, I think we’ll all agree!
    But no, you let the ball sail right past you and instead decided to stick the boot into the poster.
    Msiegnaro made a point that people should celebrate. Ernekid disagreed and give some reasons.
    You? Well, you just started shouting Republicans, move elsewhere, bah humbug etc.
    You are not on Facebook now or any other such like.

  • mac tire

    Ah, c’mon. Can we not have a commemoration for those who won’t be able to leave the house?

  • terence patrick hewett

    What is there to celebrate except faith, hope and charity. The 18th, 19th and 20th centuries presided over the crucifixtion of ordinary people.

  • Ernekid

    Who said I’m not happy? I’m as jolly as you Raj. You’re the one who sounds bitter by insulting a stranger on the interwebz

  • Msiegnaro

    What defines a country, why does NI not constitute as one? Genuinely interested.

  • Redstar

    Although I doubt any of that will stop the career politicos of SF from joining in the celebs. Then again as they are happy to administer this statelet on behalf of their British paymasters it’s not that surprising

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “those God awful crisps”

    You. Outside. Now.

  • Giorria

    Recognised by the UN? By this logic of course Scotland and Wales are not really countries but devolved regions of the UK.

  • Adam Martin

    Nationalists should excuse themselves from any celebrations but also allow Unionists to get on with it in peace.
    I’m not trying to be a smart arse but I sincerely doubt there will be an opportunity to celebrate 200 years.

  • Msiegnaro

    I was going to use Scotland and Wales as examples. So NI is a devolved region only?

  • Saint Etienne

    I do think it’s a good idea that as a country we celebrate 100 years of existence, despite obvious problems as a nation we have much to be proud of.

    The above innocuous statement didnt give you the green light for such a long winded myopic rant.

    All union jacks and national anthems? Tell us AG, what do you think just happened in Dublin?

  • mac tire

    Right, as an unashamed Irish Republican, this is gonna sound a bit weird. I’m neither Tayto nor Free Stayto (the southern version).
    I’m a proud Golden Wonder man and of an age to miss Tudor. Not enough to fight over. 😉
    Now, that may be a different story if you don’t call Starburst Opal Fruits. (Opens a Marathon (who said Snickers?) and takes a big bite to show how manly I might be.)

  • They wanted it to coincide with the elections this year.

  • Giorria

    It’s not even a province 😆 as it does not include 3 Ulster counties. However I have found reference to the UK home countries in that important reference Animaniacs… does not include NI!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    It certainly did and i note that you didn’t disagree with the content of said rant rather than offer a false comparison.

    The republic celebrated republican stuff with republican flags and the flag of the republic etc.

    My point is that a DUP organised northern Ireland celebration is unlikely to be a ‘northern Irish’ celebration but rather a ‘little Britain’ based one primarily due to the influence of British nationalists.

    Northern Ireland is in the UK, but the thinking from the DUP is more akin to acting like the UK IS Northern Ireland.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Would you be opposed to a non-partisan northern Ireland flag and anthem?

  • Saint Etienne

    Who said he was a DUP supporter AP?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    A/ point dodging
    B/ irrelevant
    C/ no one said he was (see B)

  • the keep

    Many predicted that Northern Ireland wouldn’t exist for twenty years and yet it still exists.

  • WindowLean

    I’ll be your backings AG!!

  • Msiegnaro

    I didn’t refer to NI as a province.

  • the keep

    Nothing however can you see SF every signing up to such an arrangement?

    Judging by evidence it is unlikely to be the case so why would we bother?

  • Nevin

    “Do you mean pride or faux pride?”

    AG, your faux rant has led to, er, faux comparisons. There is a measure of anti-English sentiment amongst both Scottish nationalists and Northern Ireland nationalists [aka NI unionists] and a stronger measure of anti-Irish sentiment amongst Northern Ireland nationalists as a consequence of Irish nationalist irredentism, militant and non-militant. To coin a phrase, the siege hasn’t gone away , you know.

  • Big Yellow Crane

    I’d vote 7th June 1921. That’s the date of George V’s speech (in person) on the opening of the NI parliament. We could give a few bits of that speech an airing as the south has with the proclamation.

    “I could not have allowed myself to give Ireland by deputy alone My earnest prayers and good wishes in the new era which opens with this ceremony, and I have therefore come in person, as the Head of the Empire, to inaugurate this Parliament on Irish soil.

    I inaugurate it with deep-felt hope, and I feel assured that you will do your utmost to make it an instrument of happiness and good government for all parts of the community which you represent.”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    No, I can’t. But SF would have to at least publicly come out and oppose such a thing which would at least give unionism the potential for PR points.
    Also, TRUE republicans would be principally opposed to involvement with a Northern Ireland flag which would cause them further problems.
    So, you see a reason not to where I see an extra reason to do so.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Nevin, Scottish nationalists wouldn’t be seen flying union flags, least of all on a day to celebrate the founding of Scotland.
    Northern Irish unionists would.

    I don’t see unionists as Northern Irish nationalists in general rather I see them as ‘British nationalists’.

    e.g. Arlene wants GSTQ and the union flag for Northern Ireland, I in comparison want a Northern Ireland flag and anthem, so as aloof as I may sound I consider myself to be more of a Northern Irish nationalist than Arlene or the DUP.

  • Nevin

    AG, have you listened to Arlene’s party political broadcast? Have you counted the number of times ‘Northern Ireland’ gets a mention? Have you noticed the absence of ‘United Kingdom’ and ‘Ireland’?

    I’d agree that you’re more of an NINat than Arlene but she does sound very much like an NINat.

  • Msiegnaro

    Sure six of one and 26 of the other.

  • Jollyraj

    Perhaps you may contact the tourist board.

    Personally, I love living here.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I might be guilty of some sort of NI-nationalism-hierarchy/snobbishness but to my mind it’s a funny sort of nationalist who doesn’t want a flag or a national (or in our case ‘regional’) anthem and the DUP are opposed to dropping GSTQ and in general opposed to using any other flag other than the Union Flag though Arlene seems to be willing to compromise a bit (if pushed) by adopting St Patrick’s Cross as the flag.

    (Personally I’d be up for a green and white saltire as it matches the colour of the sports teams and also throws a nod to Scotland, though I imagine there’d be a lot of miffed Glasgow Celtic fans should this come to pass….)

  • Jollyraj

    Quebec is part of Canada. They waved the Canadian flag and sang the Canadian anthem. AG feels this is a good thing.

    NI is part of the UK. We celebrate by singing GSTQ and with the Union flag in evidence. AG thinks this is bad. Very bad.

    Sometimes, AG, one can try to hard to prove whatever point one is trying to make.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Quebec is part of Canada. They waved the Canadian flag and sang the Canadian anthem. AG feels this is a good thing.”

    AG invented a hypothetical situation where a region would celebrate its regional identity with national symbols. The Quebecois do not do this in general (hence it’s inclusion in the hypothetical situation), see the attached picture of La fete nationale du Quebec.

    My point (as it obviously has to be CLEARLY spelt out) is that other regions are capable of celebrating their region’s identity with regional flags and regional anthems.

    NI is part of the UK, it is not THE UK.

  • Adam Martin

    It was a very pessimistic outlook.Even Craig’s 50 year prediction was pessimistic,just as McGuinness was far too optimistic with a United Ireland in 2016.
    I think Unionism will be really struggling by the middle of this century.

  • tmitch57

    “It’s not even a province 😆 as it does not include 3 Ulster counties.”

    This assumes that provinces and countries cannot ever change their borders, which is a very unempirical and ahistorical assumption as a cursory glance at European, Asian, Middle Eastern, or African history would illustrate. It just demonstrates again the insularity of Irish nationalism

  • Giorria

    You did not but a lot of people in NI refer to it as a country and The Province as interchangeable terms. I guess I got carried away there with the Animaniacs total ignoring of our little devolved area. Sorry.

  • Eugene Doherty

    Mr Tayto would like to respond to your comment…

  • Croiteir

    Nope. Both have been recognised internationally.

  • Croiteir

    Yes. It is legally defined as a territory

  • Croiteir

    Nope. Just unionist ignorance. It is a territory of the UK as defined by the UK

  • Giorria

    you assume I am an Irish nationalist and that I do not know the history of Ulster. Louth for instance was considered part of Ulster until it was made part of Leinster in Elizabethan times. The dialect of Irish spoken in Omeath (until the 1930s) was an Ulster dialect. It’s all very interesting isn’t it I am with John Lennon on this one😀

  • sk

    You mean the event you opposed?

    Is that kind of thing suddenly acceptable when it’s unionists hosting the party?

  • Roger

    Short answer: 1 January 1801 or 3 May 1921.

    QUOTE from Austen Morgan’s ‘The Belfast Agreement: A Practical Legal Analysis’:

    “Northern Ireland has never been a state (pejoratively, a statelet). Its constitutional roots are the 1800 acts of union, and it too [was] 200 years old on 1 January 2001. It became a region of the United Kingdom, by devolution on the appointed day – 3 May 1921* – under the GOIA 1920, a normal act of the Westminster parliament
    *SR&O 1921, No. 533”

    While I don’t agree with everything Austen says in his book, I think that’s a fair synopsis. You could pick 1 January 1801 or 3 May 1921. Overall, to me 3 May 1921 seems the right birthday to go for in upcoming decade.

    I would give a (virtual) GOLD STAR prize to any one who could send me a copy of the above-mentioned UK statutory instrument. I’ve never been able to find it online.

  • Roger

    Re. the following dateline in the piece:

    “7 December 1922 – Northern Ireland Parliament opted out of Irish Free State.”

    That’s not correct. The opt out was only effective when the Address to the King concerning the determination of the two Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland were presented to the King. That only happened on 8 December 1922.

  • Roger

    Does he mention the term “Northern Ireland” in that speech?

  • Roger

    It didn’t take the a year and a day.

    A very contentious issue at the time was from when exactly should UKNI have the right to opt out of the Irish Free State. They had a one month window (dubbed the ‘Ulster Month’) within which to do so. The Ulster Unionists argued that the one month period should have started as soon as the Treaty had the force of law which was during the early months of 1922. However, the UK government felt it was right that the Unionists should have the opportunity (whether they liked it or not) to consider the new Constitution of the IFS before they made their choice. In the laws passed, they provided that Northern Ireland could only opt out after the IFS and its Constitution had come into force….That happened during 6 December 1922 and the Unionists made their choice the very next day, which was then presented to the King the day after…the opt out becoming effective on 8 December.

    There was no IFS in 1921…It was only born on 6 Dec. 1922.

  • Jollyraj

    “My point (as it obviously has to be CLEARLY spelt out) is that other regions are capable of celebrating their region’s identity with regional flags and regional anthems.
    NI is part of the UK, it is not THE UK.”

    You don’t need to spell your point out to me. I understand your point. What I don’t see is why you feel you have the right to be proscriptive in which flags people choose to wave. In short, if people in NI are fond of the UK flag, so what?

    I’m aware of your enthusiasm for a new regional flag. I myself quite like the idea of the Scottish flag with maybe two green triangles and two blue. But it doesn’t seem to have any real popular support, so that’s that.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “You don’t need to spell your point out to me. I understand your point.”

    Then why did you say:

    “Quebec is part of Canada. They waved the Canadian flag and sang the Canadian anthem. AG feels this is a good thing.

    NI is part of the UK. We celebrate by singing GSTQ and with the Union flag in evidence. AG thinks this is bad. Very bad.”

    That is not what I said nor meant yet you say that you understood my point.

    “What I don’t see is why you feel you have the right to be proscriptive in which flags people choose to wave.”
    I was kicking AGAINST those who are proscriptive with regards to which flags people choose to wave e.g. in this case Arlene won’t hear of people doing away with the Union flag (apart from her ‘compromise’ of St Patrick’s Cross) or doing away with GSTQ.
    So in summary I’M calling for more choice regarding what flag to wave and anthem to sing, the DUP are in this case being the ‘proscriptive’ one’s.

  • Reader

    Giorria: lot of people in NI refer to it as a country and The Province as interchangeable terms.
    Well, why not? From the OED:
    “Province: 1 A principal administrative division of a country or empire”
    In realistic terms, it makes more sense to refer to Northern Ireland as a province than to refer to Ulster as a province.
    Unless you think of the GAA and IRFU as empires, of course.

  • Giorria

    It’s not really down to any sense though is it but how your family and peers referred to the administrative unit as you grow up. I refer to it as Northern Ireland since province, north of Ireland or the 6 counties get a significant amount of people stirred up! Any way it’s a free country, province, devolved region so you have every right to use what terminology you think is right. But going back to the start of this discussion, this place we are supposed to be celebrating appears to have no flag, anthem or seat at the UN except as part of the UK. Is it really a success or a political anomaly? Are we proud of poor public transport (for instance) social conservatism and chronic bigotry on both sides. Do we like being run on ten billion pounds given to us by the UK- it won’t last that’s for sure. Perhaps it’s all a mass delusion and we live amongst the dust of Gods belly button or the twinkle of Arlenes eye.

  • Big Yellow Crane

    He uses “six counties”…like a shinner

    “This is a great and critical occasion in the history of the Six Counties, but not for the Six Counties alone, for everything which interests them touches Ireland, and everything which touches Ireland finds an echo in the remotest parts of the Empire”

    and “northern”

    “I am confident that the important matters entrusted to the control and guidance of the Northern Parliament will be managed with wisdom and with moderation, with fairness and due regard to every faith and interest, and with no abatement of that patriotic devotion to the Empire which you proved so gallantly in the Great War.”

    But the proclamation of the new state from the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland uses Northern Ireland

    That gives us another day – the 3rd May.

    “And Whereas His Majesty did by Order in Council fix the 3rd day of May, 1921, as the day on and after which the Parliament of Northern Ireland should be established.”

    This is a good bit of forward planning as the May Bank Holiday in 2021 is 3rd May. So that’s my new vote.

    How about an assembly motion to rename the May Bank Holiday “Northern Ireland Day”?

  • John Collins

    An dith thu O’Donnells riamh?

  • tmitch57

    I agree that both of Northern Ireland’s nationalisms, Ulster and Irish, are parochial and insular–such is the nature of nationalism. Now it may be that most of the people you encountered do not deal with Irish nationalists, but with ordinary Irish as much of the Republic has moved beyond the classical nationalist arguments and preoccupations over the last two decades. But of the core arguments of Irish and Ulster nationalism (unionism), the former is much more insular. Irish nationalists start off by arguing that Northern Ireland is an artificial entity–as if states were natural constructions without the intervention of man. Next nationalists argue that unionists lack a right of self-determination because they are settlers, ignoring the many states around the world whose populations are descended from settlers. And republicans argue that unionists do not constitute a separate ethnic group, which contradicts the previous argument and the accepted definition of what constitutes an ethnic group. John Hume was an exception to this rule, but even he had to work within what was acceptable to nationalist public opinion.

    The basic core of republican arguments are not aimed at persuading unionists but at keeping unity within republicanism. Rather than imitate the African National Congress in its seven-year effort to persuade and seduce key white decision makers within Afrikanerdom and the white elites from 1987 to 1994, republicans rely on demographic destiny to accomplish the job for them, not realizing that cultural nationalists may have different priorities than those assigned by the republican leadership. I believe that most Irish in the Republic are unwilling to pay the real economic cost of unity–they have accommodated themselves to the border–and that economic mismanagement in the South will delay for decades any Irish unity.

  • eamoncorbett

    To my mind, what defines a country is the people who populate it , the government who lead it and it’s standing internationally . NI wouldn’t qualify under at least two of those headings.

  • Roger

    Well, that the Sovereign doesn’t use the name of the new jurisdiction but happily uses the name of the former, old jurisdiction of such long and historic pedigree. That would seem to take from it as a seminal document to use as the symbolic founding stone of UKNI.

    But that is entirely just my opinion.

    I am for 3 March and I think if you can dig out the statutory instrument I mention in one of my posts on this page, I think that’s your document. The legal one. The right one, in my mind. It’s the birth cert. of UKNI in its current guise.

    Northern Ireland Day or Partition Day….Well, I suppose Northern Ireland Day has a happier theme!

  • tmitch57

    “They start off by stating that the people of Ireland -all the people of
    Ireland have a right to self governance /political independence .”

    In a situation of divided ethnic and constitutional loyalties voting within the 32-county Ireland would make as much sense as having had the entire population of the UK in 1918 determine whether or not the Irish should have self-determination. Just ask the “mountain Turks” within eastern Turkey if they feel they have self-determination.

    “So what was the GFA about other than recognition of the people (all the
    people of NI ) deciding their constitutional future be it to remain
    within the UK or in a UI ?”

    It was a belated and unacknowledged recognition that a quarter-century terrorist campaign had failed to bring a united Ireland any closer.

    “Republicans prefer to call them just Irish regardless of their religious /denominational or ethnic backgrounds .”

    I have had many a republican on this site deny that there is any ethnic division on the island of Ireland. Paying lib service to historical figures from over two centuries ago does not give one the right to deny it to the many more people from the same background today.

    “You believe wrongly . Most will accept whatever decision the people
    (ALL the people ) of NI make if and whenever a decision is made by the
    NI electorate to vote it’s state out of existence or not .”

    Neither of us will truly know until a referendum results in a majority in NI voting for a united Ireland. Many will then have to decide if they want to pay the extra costs involved in accommodating a large part of the population who does not want to be part of the state.