Who Do You Think You Are?
The Census In Ireland
Successive conflicts delayed a census on the island for five years
At the time of the census in Britain in 1921,
Ireland was in tumult. In
January 1919, the Dublin parliament established by pro-independence party
Sinn Féin had declared
Irish independence and the establishment of the
Irish Republic. The Irish
War of Independence that followed pitted republican forces against the British
Army and loyalist supporters. A ceasefire began in July 1921, and British rule in Ireland ended in December. After a transitional period, the Irish Free State was created in 1922 as a dominion within the British Empire, and a loyalist-majority six-county area in the north-east was partitioned to create Northern Ireland, which remained part of the UK.
The conflict that made taking the 1921 census in Ireland impracticable was followed by the Irish Civil War of 1922–1923 – between nationalists who accepted the Anglo-Irish Treaty and others who rejected it – which further precluded any realistic possibility of a census.
When a census was finally taken in Ireland in 1926, the results recorded were: Northern Ireland 1,256,561, and Irish Free State 2,971,992, making a total for the island of 4,228,553. In 1937, the Irish Free State came to an end; the new state established was named Éire – Ireland in English.