Privy Council of Northern Ireland

The Privy Council of Northern Ireland is a formal body of advisors to the sovereign and was a vehicle for the monarch's prerogative powers in Northern Ireland. It was modeled on the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

The Council was created in 1922 as a result of the division of Ireland into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. The latter remained part of the United Kingdom albeit with its own parliament. The previous Privy Council of Ireland was obsolete although never formally abolished in British law.

The Privy Council of Northern Ireland consisted of senior members of the Northern Ireland government including the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland; its members were appointed for life. The Council rarely met and was largely a ceremonial body with its responsibilities exercised by the cabinet. The last appointments were made in 1971 after which it was effectively abolished when the office of Governor of Northern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland were formally abolished in 1973[1] and its powers were transferred to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a member of the British Cabinet.

Members are entitled to use the prefix The Right Honourable, whilst peers who are members use the post-nominal letters PC (NI). Two members are still living as of 2020: John Taylor (appointed 1970) and Robin Bailie (appointed 1971).

Notable membersEdit


  1. ^ "Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973".

See alsoEdit