The lost tribe
: Case studies of Southern Unionist experiences in post partition Ireland

  • Samuel Beckton

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMaster of Philosophy


The thesis will conduct a serious investigation, and raise awareness, of contemporary Southern Unionism. As whilst Southern Unionism has declined post partition, this thesis argues that Unionism in the Republic of Ireland continues in the contemporary era and has evolved to different branches. These are primarily:

• Cultural Unionism-those that think there is a social union amongst the peoples within the British Isles, and/or recognising their British/Northern Irish heritage.

• Neo-Unionism-that their county, or the entire Republic of Ireland, should re-unify with the United Kingdom.

The thesis will look at Southern Unionism’s development over time through certain case stories, from the 1934 East Donegal Unionist petition for the Laggan to be part of Northern Ireland to the Reform Movement in 1998 that continues to campaign for the Republic of Ireland’s membership of the Commonwealth. Using feedback gathered by interviews from contemporary Southern Unionists and previously unstudied documentation, such as the County Monaghan Grand Orange Lodge minute books from 1932-1961, the thesis seeks to better understand this understudied community.
Date of AwardJul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorMargaret O'Callaghan (Supervisor)


  • Unionism
  • Identity
  • Culture
  • Ireland

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