Lough Foyle Integral To Ireland’s National Territory

Commentary from the 1916 Societies on Lough Foyle.

James Brokenshire

The 1916 Societies note renewed claims of ownership by the British government, in the words of six-county Secretary of State James Brokenshire in the British House of Commons, to the ‘whole of Lough Foyle’, a disputed Irish waterway bordering Derry and Donegal contested since the time of partition.

The claims of James Brokenshire and the state he represents, the so-called United Kingdom, are an outworking of the continued violation of Irish national sovereignty by that same state. They are wholly without foundation given Britain has no democratic title in Ireland. Lough Foyle, as all of Ireland and her territorial waters, belongs as of right to the Irish people and to them should be returned.

The 1916 Proclamation declared the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, holding that right as sovereign and indefeasible, a position endorsed by overwhelming majority through the historic 1918 Election. With that in mind and like all Britain’s claims to Irish territory, this latest grab for the Foyle and her resources represents the imposition of force in defiance of democracy for British imperial gain.

Britain, then, should abandon not only her claims to Lough Foyle but with it her claim to the Six Counties, which remains integral to the Irish Nation regardless those claims. Their sovereignty restored, the Irish people, through democratic engagement among and between their number, can then agree new constitutional arrangements for a modern all-Ireland republic.

The British government must end its involvement in the internal affairs of our nation, that our right to self-determination might proceed without impediment. An independent all-Ireland republic, as freely agreed by our people, can at that point go forward by national referendum, restoring the ownership of Ireland to the people of Ireland as remains their inalienable right.

As the great James Connolly once asserted, Britain ‘has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland’. It remains ever thus. Britain, then, should drop her undemocratic claims to our country and leave, allowing a peaceful tomorrow for the Irish people in a democratic republic for all.


  1. "Britain, then, should abandon not only her claims to Lough Foyle but with it her claim to the Six Counties, which remains integral to the Irish Nation regardless those claims"

    Hypothetically, say 'Britain' announced a complete withdrawal tomorrow and handed over administrative responsibilities to Dublin...what happens then? How do you deal with 500-1 million scared people in the North? Are their jobs secure? What about the infrastructure that supplies the main utilities, gas, electricity, water et cetera?

    Food in supermarkets? Are the trucks still moving goods from the ports? Who is in charge of policing? The Gardai? Are the PSNI stood down? What do you do with them if so?

    Just curious.

  2. Steve R

    I think withing the EU the border wasn't a big issue. There was effectively an unspoken federal type situation within the EU if people wanted to see it like that. Rather than moving things closer or erasing unnoticed the border issues, Brexit has the potential to exacerbate it all over. Just how much remains to be seen.

    There is no reason in the event of a British withdrawal the ports should cease running or essential services continue unhindered. It wont happen over night, we wont wake up and the Brits have vanished. I get the sense you are harping back to the 1974 Ulster Workers carry on when it was all YOUR jobs and YOUR police, fire-brigade, housing executive and civil service etc. Not sure how long you have been away, but that has largely changed. Why would the RUC stand down? We would need them to beat the bejaysus out of extreme loyalists in return for their pay from the EU funded Dail. Drumcree proved they are well up for the challenge. They took on both sides happily enough and did it rather well. Though we would make them wear new uniforms, get rid of the SS Gestapo psychology of the RUC.

    There could also be a big rise in construction jobs building a huge state of the art prison and lots of jobs for screws too. Both sets of extremists could be rounded up and slung in on little or no evidence and republicans can shit up the walls in their wing and prods watch porn and smoke hash in theirs. Other than that, everything would continue as if nothing had happened.

    On a serious note, my English friend here in Donegal is married to a COI girl, she's a primary school teacher who is fluent in Irish and has NEVER had any desire to be part of the north or the UK. It often impresses me the way the prods settled and got on with life here across the border in the south compared to how RCs reacted to the North. THAT has been an education in itself.

  3. Larry,

    Thanks for that, you always make me laugh. My questions were not intended to harp back to 1974 as it was just a touch before my time. I am genuinely curious as to how the mechanics of such a statement of intent by the British would work out. It always seems that the Societies et al bleat on about 'British withdrawal' but have bugger all idea what to do with it if it happened. A bit like Brexit Mark II then?

    If I was back home the first thing I'd be doing is learning Irish and insisting my children do as well, it's all of our heritage. I used to work in Letterkenny, Buncrana, Bundoran and other places were Gaelic was spoken, and I loved it!

    I think what we are finding now with the end of the Provisional's campaign more 'unionists' like me (admittedly I'm more left wing than most) have less fear of a UI and as such are prepared to talk about it happening one day. And why not? Dublin is one of my favourite places and anybody I've met from the South has been spot on.

  4. Stever R

    FFS keep that thawing of animosity quiet or they will be organising another love Ulster parade for Dublin. Perish the thought! Donegal is a great spot. I am delighted you enjoyed it. Personally I love Donegal and Derry. I see no prospect of me returning to Armagh and the 'moarder triangil'.