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The History of the Republic of Ireland – Irish Independence

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Independence movement

IRB organizations originated in Ireland, Great Britain in the 1860s and 1870s, as well as among Irish immigrants to the USA Canada, Australia, etc. Their participants called themselves Fenian (from the ancient Irish fían – the legendary military squad of the ancient Irish). The main purpose of the Fenians was the creation of an independent Republic of Ireland by means of a secretly prepared armed uprising. But the scattered uprisings raised by the Fenian in March 1867 in various counties of Ireland suffered a defeat. In the 1870-1880s, the Fenians became more and more involved in terrorist activities. The American organization Fenian Brotherhood organized raids on Canada.


By the beginning of World War I, the struggle between the supporters and the unionists had reached its apogee, and the British Parliament adopted the law on the autonomy of Ireland, which was supposed to take effect after the end of the war due to fears of a civil war. The Irish Volunteers Split: Most led by the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) was ready to accept self-government and send 20,000 members to the front of world war, but 12,000 got the name “volunteers”, together with the leaders of the IRB, agreed only on complete independence. Their leader, Yoin MacNeil, announced a confrontation to call the Irish to the front and the admissibility of an armed uprising for the sake of independence. The “volunteers” were joined by a small but more militant “ Irish civilian army ”, whose leader, James Connolly, joined the leadership of the IRB.

In the spring of 1916, the IRB was preparing an uprising in Dublin, it agreed to supply 20,000 guns and 10 machine guns with the Germans. But 3 days before the uprising, the vessel “Aud” carrying weapons was discovered by the British fleet and flooded by the crew. Yoin McNeil learned about the upcoming uprising at the last minute and forbade the “volunteers” to participate in it, as a result, only 2,000 of the 12,000 fighters took to the streets. On April 24, the conspirators occupied the center of Dublin and for a week stood up to British troops. During the battle, more than 500 civilians were killed. The rebels hung their flag and declared independence for Ireland. However, at first, the majority of the Irish considered the rebels to be traitors; the Dubliners threw stones and pots of stool into the column of captured insurgents.

Nevertheless, the opinion of the Irish society about the rebels has changed dramatically over the next two years. Initially, this was caused by indignation over the execution of 16 leaders, some of whom were considered only accomplices in the insurgency. In 1918, the British Parliament passed a law on the military service of the Irish, which caused outrage and a new crisis. Radical Imon de Valera penetrated the nationalist party of Sinn Fein and became its leader, the party’s demands changed from dominion to full separation and independence of the country. Sinn Fein fought the IPP in elections to the British Parliament and won a landslide victory. Deputies withdrew from the British parliament and created a national Irish parliament ( Doyle Ehren ), which declared the independence of the new state – the Irish Republic. The 10,000-strong contingent of Irish volunteers was reorganized by parliament into a national army, which was called the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

In 1919, the Irish Republican Army launched active hostilities against the British troops and the police. April 15–27, 1919, in the territory of the county of the same name, there exists the Soviet Limerick Republic. The Irish Republic was created, which included the entire territory of the island.

In December 1921, a peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and Ireland. Ireland received the status of dominion (the so-called Irish Free State ). The exception was the six industrially most advanced northeastern counties ( Northern Ireland ), with a predominance of Protestants who remained within the United Kingdom. However, Great Britain retained military bases on the territory of Ireland, the right to receive “redemption” payments for the former possessions of English landlords.

After the conclusion of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and its ratification by the Irish Parliament, the IRA broke up – a significant part of it, including such prominent figures as Michael Collins, Richard Mulkahee, Owen O’Duffi, took the side of the newly formed Irish Free State, taking important posts in the “National Army”, The rest turned their weapons against their former comrades. However, the National Army, reinforced by British support, was stronger, and on May 24, 1923, Frank Aiken gave the order to lay down arms. Submitted in 1926, they created the party Fianna File, led by Imon de Valera, which is now the largest party in the Republic of Ireland. Those who did not submit went underground.

In 1937, the country adopted the official name “Air”.

Full independence

In 1949, Ireland was proclaimed an independent republic. It was announced the withdrawal of the republic from the British Commonwealth. Only in the 1960s did emigration from Ireland cease and population growth became positive.

Given that Northern Ireland is geographically part of Ireland, the majority of the population in it are Protestant Unionists, supporters of maintaining membership in the United Kingdom. Catholics now make up a third of the population.

Since the 1960s, Northern Ireland has become the scene of violent confrontation between the IRA, Protestant terrorists, and the security forces of the United Kingdom (the British Armed Forces, the Royal Ulster Police) (see the article Conflict in Northern Ireland). IRA militants commit terrorist acts outside of Ireland, including in London. Protestant terrorists commit separate actions on the territory of the Republic of Ireland.

In some cases, military clashes occur between British security forces and Protestant militants.

In 1973, Ireland became a member of the European Union. In the 1990s, Ireland entered a period of rapid economic growth.

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