Northern Ireland has “much to be proud of” on anniversary of Government of Ireland Act

  • UK Government plans Centenary programme of events throughout the year.

  • Today marks 100 years since the formation of the UK as we know it.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, has said that there is “so much for all of us to be proud of in modern day Northern Ireland” as the country marks the centenary of the Government of Ireland Act coming into effect.

The Act led to the formation of the United Kingdom as we know it today, and the UK Government is leading a programme of activity that has been designed in consultation with historians, cultural experts and the people of Northern Ireland to mark the Centenary year with respect and inclusivity.

Her Majesty The Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson both released statements marking the 100th anniversary of the Government of Ireland Act.

Reflecting on the significance of the 3 May 1921, the day when the Government of Ireland Act came into effect, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis said:

“Today marks an important milestone in Northern Ireland’s story. 100 years ago, the Government of Ireland Act came into force – creating Northern Ireland, and paving the way for the formation of the United Kingdom as we know it today.

“For me, and for the rest of the UK Government, it is a moment to reflect on Northern Ireland’s past – but more importantly it is also a chance to showcase everything that makes Northern Ireland the phenomenal place that it is today.

“There is so much for all of us to be proud of in modern day Northern Ireland – the people, the places and the products – the things that make Northern Ireland one of the greatest places to live, work and start a business in the entire world.

“And of course we are all so proud of those truly inspirational healthcare workers, the people who have been working tirelessly throughout the Covid pandemic across our emergency services, and particularly the health service, to keep us safe.

“As this year goes on, the Centenary programme will continue to mark this significant national anniversary. I hope that everyone in Northern Ireland can engage with our schemes. Whether you take part in a Shared History Fund project, or secure a place on the Cultural Initiative, or help to plant a Centenary tree – thinking of our future and the environment – at a local school, or that you simply receive a letter bearing the Centenary postmark.

“There are so many fantastic events happening to celebrate Northern Ireland’s people, culture, traditions and enterprise throughout this Centenary year, so please do get involved in these great opportunities.

“A hundred years on, and Northern Ireland’s Story is still in the making.”

For more details of the NIO’s Centenary programme of activity, visit, which will be regularly updated throughout the Centenary year.

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