The Ulster Chess Union recently decided to withdraw from the Irish Chess Union. The following letter was received from them, and futher updates can be found on ulsterchess.org.
"At the Annual General Meeting of the Ulster Chess Union held in June 2004, it was decided not to accept any increase in Irish Chess Union membership fees for the 2004-2005 season. Subsequently, the ICU Executive Committee decided to increase the standard ICU membership fee from £13.00 to £16.25 for the 2004-2005 season.
The Ulster Chess Union Committee then had to consider what to do about this situation. It decided that for the 2004-2005 season Ulster players would not be required to be members of the Irish Chess Union for all Ulster Chess Union organised events. If players wished to continue to be members of the Irish Chess Union, this would be a matter of individual choice. This relationship with the ICU would be fully reviewed in June 2005 by the UCU in General Meeting.
In advance of that meeting, the UCU Committee took the view that it was not tenable for the current "semi-detached" position of the UCU within the ICU to continue, particularly as this is the second occasion in recent years in which we have found ourselves in this situation. Either we had to be full members of the ICU accepting the membership fees levied on our players or move forward independently of the ICU. The UCU members were asked to make that choice at a General Meeting of the UCU on Wednesday 15th June 2005 and took the latter course. The UCU will now seek to affiliate to FIDE, the World Chess Federation, as the National Chess Federation for Northern Ireland.
The UCU wish to maintain harmonious relations with the ICU and to cooperate with it in areas of mutual interest. In particular, the UCU does not see any reason why the ICU should not continue to organise All-Ireland Championships both for adults and juniors, much in the way the British Chess Federation, although only the ruling body for England, organises the British Championships."
The ICU's reply can be found in the linked article.