O’Sheil’s Memo on the North-East
O’Sheil was concerned that the Hibernians (under Devlin) would go into the Northern Ireland Parliament and he wanted to block this ‘until the decision of the Boundary Commission has been promulgated’. But it was decided to wind the two Pro-Treaty Northern IRA divisions (see 31st March 1923) and wind up (from 31st October 1922) Collins’ policy of paying the salaries of Catholic primary teachers in Northern Ireland. The decision of the Free State government was to set up the North-Eastern Boundary Bureau under O’Sheil and tasked with not only compiling information for the Boundary Commission but also dealing with the northern problem. The Bureau also had a North-Eastern Local Division with local agents each responsible for particular border areas. One of their tasks was to draw up a case for inclusion of their local area in the Free State. Six local agents were appointed – all were supporters of Sinn Fein (except the Mayor of Derry, H C O’Doherty). Despite the setting up of the Bureau, the Free State government did not want the Boundary Commission set up until the Civil War was over.