Plans for Partition

1912 - 1920

It was clear that the Ulster Protestants would not accept Home Rule so in order to avoid violence, the British government came up with a new solution. Home Rule with Partition. Home Rule would be introduced in the South but six predominantly Protestant counties in the north would stay a part of the United Kingdom. This solution is largely the cause of the problems in Ireland that exist to this day. Nationalist remain committed to the idea of a united free Ireland, while Protestants are unwilling to accept anything less than partition.

Third Home Rule Bill

April 1912

The proposals for Home Rule in Ireland were approved by Parliament. Home Rule was to become law in 191

UVF formed

January 1913

The Protestants in Ulster made it known that they would resist any attempt to introduce Home Rule in Ireland.

Irish Volunteers formed

25 Nov 1913

To show their support from Home Rule, many Catholics joined the British army to fight Germany. However, as it emerged that the UVF would try to block Home Rule militant groups formed from these volunteers to counter the UVF. They became known as the Irish volunteers.

Easter Rising and IRA formation

24 April 1916 - 29 April 1916

About a thousand rebels from the Irish Volunteers decided to take advantage of the fact that Britain was losing the war against Germany and proclaim an Irish Republic. Led by Patrick Pearse and James Connoly they seized Dublin's General Post Office on Easter Monday. British forces poured into Dublin including gunboats that fired on the rebels from the river Liffey. The fighting lasted five days and caused more than 400 deaths and 2,500 injuries. The rebels were forced to surrender. Those who had taken part in the Easter Rising became known as the Irish Republican Army.

Easter Rising Rebels Executed

May 1916

Seventy rebels were sentenced to death by the British forces. Fifteen executions were carried out, the remainder, including Michael Collins, were imprisoned. The executions led to a rise in support for Sinn Féin

Partition (Government of Ireland Act) Passes

December 1920

The Government of Ireland Act introduced partition to Ireland. Two parliaments were introduced, one in Dublin to serve twenty-six counties and one in Belfast to serve six northern counties. The twenty-six counties were known as the Irish Free State and were given a measure of independence. The government of these counties was known as the Provisional Government. The six northern counties were to remain part of the United Kingdom but they would have their own parliament, the Stormont. A Council of Ireland was set up to oversee measures common to both parts. Unionists (those who want to remain a part of the United Kingdom) support Partition but Republicanists (those who want all of Ireland to be a separate independent republic) oppose partition.

Irish Free State Treaty signed

6 December 1921

This treaty between Britain and Ireland, legalised Partition. Violence, especially in the six northern counties escalated as Catholics showed their opposition to Partition.

Irish Civil War

28 June 1922 - 24 May 1923