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Irish republicanism ( ga, poblachtánachas Éireannach) is the political movement for the
unity Unity may refer to: Buildings * Unity Building The Unity Building, in Oregon, Illinois, is a historic building in that city's Oregon Commercial Historic District. As part of the district the Oregon Unity Building has been listed on the National R ...
and
independence upright=1.0, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822.">Independence of Brazil">Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822. Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state State may ref ...

independence
of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
under a
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
. Irish republicans view British rule in any part of Ireland as inherently illegitimate. The development of
nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...
and
democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...

democratic
sentiment throughout Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, distilled into the contemporary ideology known as republican radicalism, was reflected in Ireland in the emergence of republicanism, in opposition to
British rule The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, ...
. Discrimination against
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ri ...
and Protestant nonconformists, attempts by the British administration to suppress
Irish culture The culture of Ireland includes Irish language, language, Irish literature, literature, Music of Ireland, music, Irish art, art, Irish mythology, folklore, Irish cuisine, cuisine, and Sport in Ireland, sport associated with Ireland and the Irish ...
, and the belief that Ireland was economically disadvantaged as a result of the
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
were among the specific factors leading to such opposition. The
Society of United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen was a sworn association in the Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( Classical Irish: '; Irish language#An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish: ' ()) was a client state of Kingdom of England, England an ...

Society of United Irishmen
, formed in 1791 and led primarily by liberal Protestants, launched the 1798 Rebellion with the help of troops sent by
Revolutionary France The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...
, but the uprising failed. A second rising in 1803 led by Irish patriot
Robert Emmet Robert Emmet (4 March 177820 September 1803) was an Irish Republican, and Irish nationalist patriot, orator and rebel leader. After leading an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 he was captured then tried and executed for high tr ...
was quickly put down on 23 July 1803. The
Young Ireland Young Ireland ( ga, Éire Óg, ) was a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...
movement, formed in the 1830s, broke with
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell ( ga, Dónall Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), hailed in his time as The Liberator, was the acknowledged political leader of Ireland's Roman Catholic majority in the first half of the 19th century. His mobilisa ...

Daniel O'Connell
's
Repeal Association The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell in 1830 to campaign for a repeal of the Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland. The Association's aim was to revert Ireland to the ...
because it believed that armed struggle was legitimate. Some members of Young Ireland staged an abortive rising in 1848. Its leaders were
transported ''Transported'' is an Australian convict melodrama film directed by W. J. Lincoln. It is considered a lost film. Plot In England, Jessie Grey is about to marry Leonard Lincoln but the evil Harold Hawk tries to force her to marry him and she woun ...
to
Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land was the original name of the island of Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island States and territories of Australia, state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Mainl ...
. Some of these escaped to the United States, where they linked up with other Irish exiles to form the
Fenian Brotherhood The Fenian Brotherhood () was an Irish republican organisation founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony John Francis O'Mahony (1815 – 7 February 1877) was a Gaelic scholar and the founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in ...
. Together with the
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
, founded in Ireland by James Stephens and others in 1858, they made up a movement commonly known as "
Fenian The word ''Fenian'' () served as an umbrella term for the Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic re ...
s" which was dedicated to the overthrow of British imperial rule in Ireland. They staged another rising, the
Fenian Rising The Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its ...
, in 1867, and a dynamite campaign in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
in the 1880s. In the early 20th century IRB members, in particular Tom Clarke and
Seán MacDermott
Seán MacDermott
, began planning another rising. The
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of ...
took place from 24 to 30 April 1916, when members of the
Irish Volunteers The Irish Volunteers ( ga, Óglaigh na hÉireann), sometimes called the Irish Volunteer Force or Irish Volunteer Army, was a military organisation established in 1913 by Irish nationalists. It was ostensibly formed in response to the formatio ...
and
Irish Citizen Army The Irish Citizen Army (), or ICA, was a small paramilitary group of trained trade union volunteers from the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU) established in Dublin for the defence of workers' demonstrations from the Dublin Metro ...
seized the centre of
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
, proclaimed a republic and held off British forces for almost a week. The rebels were at first viewed as extremists and the Irish public generally favoured
Home Rule Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. It is thus the power of a part (administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative ...

Home Rule
, but the execution of the Rising's leaders (including Clarke, MacDermott,
Patrick Pearse Patrick Henry Pearse (also known as Pádraig or Pádraic Pearse; ga, Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais; 10 November 1879 – 3 May 1916) was an Irish teacher, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who pr ...

Patrick Pearse
and
James Connolly , image = James_Connolly2.jpg , alt = A side view black-and-white photo of Connelly in a suit , caption = Connolly in 1900 , nickname = , birth_date = , birth_place = Cowgate, Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edi ...

James Connolly
) led to a surge of support for republicanism in Ireland. In 1917 the
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
party stated as its aim the "securing the international recognition of Ireland as an independent Irish Republic", and in the general election of 1918 Sinn Féin won 73 of the 105 Irish seats in the
British House of Commons The House of Commons (domestically known as the Commons) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizon ...

British House of Commons
. The elected members did not take their seats but instead set up the
First Dáil The First Dáil ( ga, An Chéad Dáil) was Dáil Éireann (Irish Republic), Dáil Éireann as it convened from 1919 to 1921. It was the first meeting of the Unicameralism, unicameral Legislature, parliament of the revolutionary republic, revolut ...
, in line with the still continued practice today of
abstentionism Abstentionism is standing for election to a deliberative assembly while refusing to take up any seats won or otherwise participate in the assembly's business. Abstentionism differs from an election boycott in that abstentionists participate in ...
. Between 1919 and 1921 the
Irish Republican Army The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary organisations in Ireland throughout the 20th and the 21st centuries. Organisations going by this name have been dedicated to irredentism through Irish republicanism, the be ...
(IRA), who were loyal to the Dáil, fought the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
and
Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, ga, Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann; simply called the Irish Constabulary 1836–67) was the police force in Ireland from 1822 until 1922, when the country was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain an ...
(RIC), a predominantly Roman Catholic force, in the
Irish War of Independence The Irish War of Independence ( ga, Cogadh na Saoirse) or Anglo-Irish War was a guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary or ...
. Talks between the British and Irish in late 1921 led to a treaty by which the British conceded, not a 32-county Irish Republic, but a 26-county
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of St ...
with
Dominion The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other D ...

Dominion
status. This led to the
Irish Civil War The Irish Civil War ( ga, Cogadh Cathartha na hÉireann; 28 June 1922 – 24 May 1923) was a conflict that followed the Irish War of Independence and accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State, an entity independent from the United ...
, in which the republicans were defeated by their former comrades. The Free State became an independent
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
following the
Balfour Declaration of 1926 300px, King George V (front, centre) with his prime ministers at the 1926 Imperial Conference.Standing (left to right): Walter Stanley Monroe, Monroe (Newfoundland), Gordon Coates, Coates (New Zealand), Stanley Bruce, Bruce (Australia), J. B. M. ...
and the
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
; changed its name to /Ireland and arguably became a Republic with the passage of the
Constitution of Ireland The Constitution of Ireland ( ga, Bunreacht na hÉireann, ) is the constitution, fundamental law of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It asserts the national sovereignty of the Irish people. The constitution is broadly within the tradition of libera ...
in 1937. In 1939-40, the IRA carried out a sabotage/bombing campaign in England (the
S-Plan The S-Plan or Sabotage Campaign or England Campaign was a campaign of bombing and sabotage against the civil, economic and military infrastructure of the United Kingdom from 1939 to 1940, conducted by members of the Irish Republican Army (1922- ...
) to try to force British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. The final figures resulting from the S-Plan are cited as 300 explosions, ten deaths and 96 injuries. Ireland formally described itself as a republic with the passage of the
Republic of Ireland Act 1948 The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 (No. 22 of 1948) is an Act of the Oireachtas The Oireachtas ( , ), sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the ...
. That same year (1948), the republican movement took the decision to focus on
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
thereafter. The Border Campaign, which lasted from 1956 to 1962, involved bombings and attacks on
Royal Ulster Constabulary The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was the police The police are a constituted body of persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of conscio ...

Royal Ulster Constabulary
barracks and border infrastructure. The failure of this campaign led the republican leadership to concentrate on political action and to move to the left. The "border campaign" cost the lives of eight IRA men, four republican supporters and six RUC members. In addition, 32 RUC members were wounded. Following the outbreak of
The Troubles The Troubles ( ga, Na Trioblóidí) were an ethno-nationalist Ethnic nationalism, also known as ethnonationalism, is a form of nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation A na ...
in 1968–9, the movement split between
Officials An official is someone who holds an office (function or Mandate (politics), mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual Office, working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority, (either the ...
(leftists) and Provisionals (traditionalists) at the beginning of 1970. Both sides were initially involved in an armed campaign against the British state, but the Officials gradually moved into mainstream politics after the Official IRA ceasefire of 1972; the associated "Official Sinn Féin" eventually renamed itself the
Workers' Party Workers' Party is a name used by several political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about poli ...
. The Provisional IRA, except during brief ceasefires in 1972 and 1975, kept up a campaign of violence for nearly thirty years, directed against security forces and civilian targets (especially businesses). While the
Social Democratic and Labour Party The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) ( ga, Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre) is a social democracy, social-democratic and Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist list of political parties in Northern Ireland, political party ...
(SDLP) represented the nationalists of Northern Ireland in initiatives such as the 1973
Sunningdale Agreement The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive The Northern Ireland Executive is the devolved government of Northern Ireland, an administrative branch of the legislature A legislature is ...
, republicans took no part in these, believing that a withdrawal of British troops and a commitment to a united Ireland was a necessary precondition of any settlement. This began to change with a landmark speech by Danny Morrison in 1981, advocating what became known as the Armalite and ballot box strategy. Under the leadership of
Gerry Adams Gerard Adams ( ga, Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an Irish republican politician who was the president of Sinn Féin between 13 November 1983 and 10 February 2018, and served as a Teachta Dála A Teachta Dála ( , plural ) ...
, Sinn Féin began to focus on the search for a political settlement. When the party voted in 1986 to take seats in legislative bodies within Ireland, there was a walk-out of die-hard republicans, who set up Republican Sinn Féin and the
Continuity IRA The Continuity Irish Republican Army (Continuity IRA or CIRA), styling itself as the Irish Republican Army (), is an Irish republican paramilitary group that aims to bring about a united Ireland United Ireland, also referred to as Irish re ...
. Following the Hume–Adams dialogue, Sinn Féin took part in the
Northern Ireland peace process The Northern Ireland peace process includes the events leading up to the 1994 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire, the end of most of the violence of the Troubles, the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and subsequent political developme ...
which led to the IRA ceasefires of 1994 and 1997 and the
Good Friday Agreement The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: or ), is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a po ...
of 1998. After elections to the
Northern Ireland Assembly The Northern Ireland Assembly ( ga, Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster Scots: ''Norlin Airlan Assemblie'') often referred to by the metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase ...
, republicans sat in government in Northern Ireland for the first time when
Martin McGuinness James Martin Pacelli McGuinness ( ga, Séamus Máirtín Pacelli Mag Aonghusa; 23 May 1950 – 21 March 2017) was an Irish republican Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, " eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political ...

Martin McGuinness
and
Bairbre de Brún Bairbre de Brún (born 10 January 1954) is an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituen ...
were elected to the
Northern Ireland Executive The Northern Ireland Executive is the devolved government of Northern Ireland, an administrative branch of the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the stud ...
. However, another split occurred, with anti-Agreement republicans setting up the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and the
Real IRA The Real Irish Republican Army, or Real IRA (RIRA), is a Dissident republican, dissident Irish republicanism, Irish republican paramilitary group that aims to bring about a united Ireland. It formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional ...
. Today, Irish republicanism is divided between those who support the institutions set up under the Good Friday Agreement and the later
St Andrews Agreement The St Andrews Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Chill Rímhinn; Ulster Scots: ''St Andra's 'Greement'', ''St Andrew's Greeance'' or ''St Andrae's Greeance'') is an agreement between the British and Irish governments and Northern Ireland North ...
, and those who oppose them. The latter are often referred to as
dissident republican Dissident republicans, renegade republicans, anti-Agreement republicans or anti-ceasefire republicans ( ga, poblachtach easaontach) are Irish republicans who do not support the current peace agreements in Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ...
s.


History


Background of British rule in Ireland

Following the
Norman invasion of Ireland The Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland took place during the late 12th century, when Anglo-Normans gradually conquered and acquired large swathes of land from the Irish, which the Kingdom of England then claimed sovereignty over. At the time, Gael ...
in the 12th century, Ireland, or parts of it, had experienced alternating degrees of rule from England. While some of the native
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...

Gaelic
population attempted to resist this occupation, a single, unified political goal did not exist amongst the independent lordships that existed throughout the island. The
Tudor conquest of Ireland The Tudor conquest (or reconquest) of Ireland took place under the Tudor dynasty, which held the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged from vario ...
took place in the 16th century. This included the
Plantations of Ireland A more detailed map of the areas subjected to plantations Plantations in 16th- and 17th-century Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separ ...
, in which the lands held by Gaelic
Irish clans Irish clans are traditional kinship groups sharing a common surname and heritage and existing in a lineage-based society, originating prior to the 17th century. A clan (or ''fine'' in Irish) included the chief and his agnatic relatives; however ...
and
Hiberno-Norman From the 12th century onwards, a group of Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from Norsemen, Norse Vikings ...
dynasties were confiscated and given to Protestant settlers ("Planters") from England and
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. The
Plantation of Ulster The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ul ...

Plantation of Ulster
began in 1609, and the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

province
was heavily colonised with English and Scottish settlers.Kee Robert, ''The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism'', (1972) p. 12 Campaigns against English presence on the island had occurred prior to the emergence of the Irish republican ideology. In the 1590s and early 1600s, resistance was led by Hugh O'Neill (see the
Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
). The Irish chieftains were ultimately defeated, leading to their exile (the '
Flight of the Earls The Flight of the Earls ( ir, Teitheamh na nIarlaí) took place in September 1607, when Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell Tyrconnell (), also spelled Tirconnell, was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland ...

Flight of the Earls
') and the aforementioned Plantation of Ulster in 1609. During the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
, Irish exiles in
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
petitioned to launch an invasion of Ireland and so in December 1627 a document was drafted by Philip's ministers in
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...

Madrid
containing among other things the first proposal for an Irish republic with the intention of preventing a conflict between the
Earls of Tyrone The Earl of Tyrone is a title created three times in the Peerage of Ireland. It was first created as part of the Tudor attempt to establish a uniform social structure in Ireland by converting the Gaelic kings and chiefs into hereditary nobles of th ...
and
Tyrconnell Tyrconnell (), also spelled Tirconnell, was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland Gaelic Ireland ( ga, Éire Ghaelach) was the Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken ...
over the crown of Ireland. Ultimately however, the invasion did not go ahead. A decade later, the
Irish Rebellion of 1641 The Irish Rebellion of 1641 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1641) was an uprising by Irish Catholics in the Kingdom of Ireland, who wanted an end to anti-Catholic discrimination, greater Irish self-governance, and to partially or fully reverse the plantation ...
began. This consisted of a coalition between the Irish and the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
(descendants of the English/Norman settlers who settled during the Norman Invasion) rebelling against the English rulers. Beginning as a ''coup d'état'' with the aim of restoring lost lands in the north of Ireland and defending Catholic religious and property rights, (which had been suppressed by the
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who u ...
) it evolved into the
Irish Confederate Wars The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War (from ga, Cogadh na hAon Bhliana Déag), took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a series of civil wars in the kin ...
. In the summer of 1642, the Catholic upper classes formed the
Catholic Confederation Confederate Ireland was the period of Irish Catholic Church, Catholic self-government between 1642 and 1649, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Eleven Years' War. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confed ...
, which essentially became the de facto government of Ireland for a brief period until 1649, when the forces of the English Parliament carried out the
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland or Cromwellian war in Ireland (1649–1653) was the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English g ...
and the old Catholic landowners were permanently dispossessed of their lands.


Society of United Irishmen and the Irish Rebellion of 1798

Irish republicanism has its origins in the ideals of the American and French revolutions in the late 18th century. In Ireland these ideals were taken up by the United Irishmen, founded in 1791. Originally they sought reform of the Irish parliament, such as an end to sectarian discrimination against
Dissenter A dissenter (from the Latin ''dissentire'', "to disagree") is one who dissent Sticker art arguing that dissent is necessary for democracy.">democracy.html" ;"title="Sticker art arguing that dissent is necessary for democracy">Sticker art arguin ...
s and
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...
, which was enshrined in the
Penal Laws In the history of Ireland The first evidence of human presence in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to ...
. Eventually they became a more radical revolutionary group advocating a full Irish republic free from British control. At this stage, the movement was led primarily by liberal Protestants, particularly
Presbyterians Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form ...
from the province of Ulster. The founding members of the United Irishmen were mainly Southern Irish Protestant aristocrats. The key founders included
Wolfe Tone Theobald Wolfe Tone, posthumously known as Wolfe Tone ( ga, Bhulbh Teón; 20 June 176319 November 1798), was a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the founding members in Belfast and Dublin of the United Irishmen, a republican societ ...
, Thomas Russell,
Henry Joy McCracken Henry Joy McCracken (31 August 1767 – 17 July 1798) was an Irish republican, a leading member of the Society of the United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the United Irishmen, were a sworn society in the Kingdo ...

Henry Joy McCracken
,
James Napper Tandy James Napper Tandy (16 February 1739 – 24 August 1803) was a United Irishmen who experienced exile, first in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a count ...

James Napper Tandy
, and
Samuel Neilson Samuel Neilson (17 September 1761 – 29 August 1803) was an Irish businessman, journalist and politician. He was a founding member of the Society of United Irishmen and the founder of its newspaper, the Northern Star (newspaper of the Society of Un ...
. By 1797, the Society of United Irishmen had around 100,000 members. Crossing the religious divide in Ireland, it had a mixed membership of Catholics, Presbyterians, and even
Anglicans Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
from the
Protestant Ascendancy The Protestant Ascendancy, known simply as the Ascendancy, was the political, economic, and social domination of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. ...
. It also attracted support and membership from Catholic
agrarian Agrarian means pertaining to agriculture, farmland, or rural areas. Agrarian may refer to: Political philosophy *Agrarianism *Agrarian law, Roman laws regulating the division of the public lands *Agrarian reform *Agrarian socialism Society * ...
resistance groups, such as the
Defenders Defender(s) or The Defender(s) may refer to: *Defense (military) *Defense (sports) **Defender (association football) Arts and entertainment Film and television * The Defender (1989 film), ''The Defender'' (1989 film), a Canadian documentary * T ...
organisation, who were eventually incorporated into the Society. The
Irish Rebellion of 1798 The Irish Rebellion of 1798 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1798; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ' ...
began on 23 May, with the first clashes taking place in
County Kildare County Kildare ( ga, Contae Chill Dara) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chamber ...
on 24 May, before spreading throughout
Leinster Leinster ( ; ga, Laighin or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic ...

Leinster
, as well as
County Antrim County Antrim (named after the town of Antrim, County Antrim, Antrim, ) is one of six Counties of Northern Ireland, counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of and has a po ...
and other areas of the country. French soldiers landed in
Killala Killala () is a village in County Mayo County Mayo ( ga, Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning "Plain of the Taxus baccata, yew trees") is a Counties of Ireland, county in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. In the West Region, Ireland, West of Ireland, in the ...
on 22 August and participated in the fighting on the rebels' side. Even though they had considerable success against British forces in
County Wexford County Wexford ( ga, Contae Loch Garman) is a county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geogr ...
, rebel forces were eventually defeated. Key figures in the organisation were arrested and executed.


Acts of Union

Though the Rebellion of 1798 was eventually crushed, small republican guerrilla campaigns against the British Army continued for a short time afterward in the
Wicklow Mountains The Wicklow Mountains (, Archaism, archaic: ''Cualu'') form the largest continuous upland area in the Republic of Ireland. They occupy the whole centre of County Wicklow and stretch outside its borders into the Local government in the Republic ...

Wicklow Mountains
under the leadership of
Michael Dwyer Michael Dwyer (1772–1825) was an insurgent captain in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, leading the United Irish forces in battles in Wexford and Wicklow., Following the defeat and dispersal of the rebel hosts, in July 1798 Dwyer withdrew into ...
and
Joseph Holt Joseph Holt (January 6, 1807 – August 1, 1894) was an American lawyer, soldier, and politician. As a leading member of the Buchanan administration, he succeeded in convincing Buchanan to oppose the secession of the South. He returned to Kentuc ...

Joseph Holt
, involving attacks on small parties of
yeomen Yeoman was first documented in mid-14th-century England, referring to the middle ranks of servants in an English royal or noble household. Yeomanry Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Army, British ...

yeomen
. These activities were perceived by some to be merely "the dying echoes of an old convulsion",Kee Robert, ''The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism'', (1972) p. 149 but others feared further large-scale uprisings, due to the United Irishmen continuing to attract large numbers of Catholics in rural areas of the country and arms raids being carried out on a nightly basis. It was also feared that rebels would again seek military aid from French troops, and another rising was expected take place by 10 April. This perceived threat of further rebellion resulted in the Parliamentary Union between the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After some uncertainty, the Irish Parliament voted to abolish itself in the Acts of Union 1800, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, by a vote of 158 to 115.Webster, Hollis, ''The History of Ireland'', (Greenwood, 2001) p. 83 A number of tactics were used to achieve this end.
Lord Castlereagh Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, (18 June 1769 – 12 August 1822), usually known as Lord Castlereagh, derived from the courtesy title Viscount Castlereagh ( ) by which he was styled from 1796 to 1821, was an Anglo-Irish statesman. ...
and
Charles Cornwallis Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, (31 December 1738 – 5 October 1805), styled Viscount Brome between 1753 and 1762 and known as the Earl Cornwallis between 1762 and 1792, was a British Army The British Army is the princip ...
were known to use bribery extensively. In all, a total of sixteen Irish borough-owners were granted British
peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societi ...
s. A further twenty-eight new Irish peerages were created, while twenty existing Irish peerages increased in rank.Kee Robert, ''The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism'', (1972) p. 158 Furthermore, the government of Great Britain sought to replace Irish politicians in the Irish parliament with pro-Union politicians, and rewards were granted to those that vacated their seats, with the result being that in the eighteen months prior to the decision in 1800, one-fifth of the
Irish House of Commons The Irish House of Commons was the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from 1297 until 1800. The upper house was the Irish House of Lords, House of Lords. The membership of the House of Commons was directly elected, but on a hi ...
changed its representation due to these activities and other factors such as death. It was also promised by Prime Minister
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
that he would bring about
Catholic emancipation #REDIRECT Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of ...
, though after the Acts of Union were successfully voted through,
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Monarchy of Ireland, Ireland from 25 October 1760 until Acts of Union 1800, the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he wa ...

King George III
saw that this pledge was never realised, and as such Catholics were not granted the rights that had been promised prior to the Acts.


Robert Emmet

A second attempt at forming an independent Irish republic occurred under
Robert Emmet Robert Emmet (4 March 177820 September 1803) was an Irish Republican, and Irish nationalist patriot, orator and rebel leader. After leading an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 he was captured then tried and executed for high tr ...
in 1803. Emmet had previously been expelled from
Trinity CollegeTrinity College may refer to: Australia * Trinity Anglican College, an Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican coeducational primary and secondary school in , New South Wales * Trinity Catholic College, Auburn, a coeducational school in the inner-we ...

Trinity College
, Dublin for his political views. Like those who had led the 1798 rebellion, Emmet was a member of the United Irishmen, as was his brother
Thomas Addis Emmet Thomas Addis Emmet (24 April 176414 November 1827) was an Irish and American lawyer and politician. He was a senior member of the revolutionary republican group United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the Unite ...
, who had been imprisoned for membership in the organisation. Emmet and his followers had planned to seize
Dublin Castle Dublin Castle ( ga, Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) is a major Government of Ireland, Irish government complex, conference centre, and tourist attraction, of significant historical importance. It is located off Dame Street in central Dublin. Un ...

Dublin Castle
by force, manufacturing weaponry and explosives at a number of locations in Dublin. Unlike those of 1798, preparations for the uprising were successfully concealed from the government and law enforcement, and though a premature explosion at an arms depot attracted the attention of police, they were unaware of the United Irishmen activities at the time and did not have any information regarding the planned rebellion. Emmet had hoped to avoid the complications of the previous rebellion and chose not to organise the county outside of Dublin to a large extent. It was expected that the areas surrounding Dublin were sufficiently prepared for an uprising should one be announced, and Thomas Russell had been sent to northern areas of the country to prepare republicans there. A proclamation of independence, addressed from 'The Provisional Government' to 'The People of Ireland' was produced by Emmet, echoing the republican sentiments expressed during the previous rebellion: However, failed communications and arrangements produced a considerably smaller force than had been anticipated. Nonetheless, the rebellion began in Dublin on the evening of 23 July. Emmet's forces were unable to take Dublin Castle, and the rising broke down into rioting, which ensued sporadically throughout the night. Emmet escaped and hid for some time in the Wicklow Mountains and
Harold's Cross Harold's Cross () is an urban village and inner suburb ''Inner suburb'' is a term used for a variety of suburb The Swedish suburbs of Husby/Kista/Akalla are built according to the typical city planning of the Million Programme. A suburb ...
, but was captured on 25 August and hanged on 20 September 1803, at which point the Society of United Irishmen was effectively finished.


Young Ireland and the Irish Confederation

The
Young Ireland Young Ireland ( ga, Éire Óg, ) was a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...
movement began in the late 1830s. The term 'Young Ireland' was originally a derogatory one, coined by the press in Britain to describe members of the
Repeal Association The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell in 1830 to campaign for a repeal of the Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland. The Association's aim was to revert Ireland to the ...
(a group campaigning for the repeal of the Acts of Union 1800 which joined the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain) who were involved with the Irish nationalist newspaper ''
The Nation ''The Nation'' is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, covering progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * ...
''.Duffy, Charles Gavan, ''Young Ireland'', Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. (1880). p. 291 Encouraging the repeal of the Acts of Union, members of the Young Ireland movement advocated the removal of British authority from Ireland and the re-establishment of the Irish Parliament in Dublin. The group had cultural aims also, and encouraged the study of Irish history and the revival of the
Irish language Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons, kinds of military signs * Heraldic flag, Standard (emblem), a type of a large symbol or emblem used for identification Norms, conventions or requ ...
. Influential Young Irelanders included
Charles Gavan Duffy Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, KCMG, Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, PC (12 April 1816 – 9 February 1903), was an Irish poet and journalist (editor of ''The Nation (Irish newsp ...
, Thomas Davis and
John Blake Dillon John Blake Dillon (5 May 1814 – 15 September 1866) was an Irish writer and politician who was one of the founding members of the Young Ireland movement. John Blake Dillon was born in the town of Ballaghaderreen, on the border of counties M ...
, the three founders of ''The Nation''. The Young Irelanders eventually seceded from the Repeal Association. The leader of the Repeal Association,
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell ( ga, Dónall Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), hailed in his time as The Liberator, was the acknowledged political leader of Ireland's Roman Catholic majority in the first half of the 19th century. His mobilisa ...

Daniel O'Connell
, opposed the use of physical force to enact repeal, and passed 'peace resolutions' declaring that violence and force were not to be employed.Michael Doheny, ''The Felon's Track'', M.H. Gill &Sons, LTD 1951, p. 105 Though the Young Irelanders did not support the use of violence, the writers of ''The Nation'' maintained that the introduction of these peace resolutions was poorly timed, and that to declare outright that physical force would never be used was 'to deliver themselves bound hand and foot to the Whigs.'Kee, Robert, ''The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism'', (1972) p. 253
William Smith O'Brien William Smith O'Brien ( ga, Liam Mac Gabhann Ó Briain; 17 October 1803 – 18 June 1864) was an Irish nationalist Member of Parliament (MP) and a leader of the Young Ireland Young Ireland ( ga, Éire Óg, ) was a political Poli ...

William Smith O'Brien
, who had previously worked to achieve compromise between O'Connell and ''The Nation'' group, was also concerned, and claimed that he feared these resolutions were an attempt to exclude the Young Irelanders from the Association altogether. At an Association meeting held in July 1846 at Conciliation Hall, the meeting place of the Association,
Thomas Francis Meagher Thomas Francis Meagher (; 3 August 18231 July 1867) was an Irish nationalist and leader of the Young Irelanders in the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848, Rebellion of 1848. After being convicted of sedition, he was first sentenced to death, but ...
, a Young Irelander, addressing the peace resolutions, delivered his 'Sword Speech', in which he stated, "I do not abhor the use of arms in the vindication of national rights ... Be it for the defence, or be it for the assertion of a nation's liberty, I look upon the sword as a sacred weapon." John O'Connell, Daniel O'Connell's son, was present at the proceedings and interrupted Meagher's speech, claiming that Meagher could no longer be part of the same association as O'Connell and his supporters. After some protest, the Young Irelanders left Conciliation Hall and the Repeal Association forever, founding the Irish Confederation 13 January 1847 after negotiations for a reunion had failed. The Young Ireland movement culminated in a failed uprising (see
Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848 The Young Irelander Rebellion was a failed Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist uprising led by the Young Ireland movement, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 that affected most of Europe. It took place on 29 July 1848 at Farranrory, a small ...
), which, influenced by the
French Revolution of 1848 The 1848 Revolution in the History of France, also known as the February Revolution (''révolution de février''), was the series of revolutionary events that ended the July Monarchy (1830–1848) and led to the creation of the French Secon ...
and further provoked by government inaction during the Great Famine and the suspension of ''
habeas corpus (; from Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin '' ...
'', which allowed the government to imprison Young Irelanders and other political opponents without trial, was hastily planned and quickly suppressed. Following the abortive uprising, several rebel leaders were arrested and convicted of sedition. Originally sentenced to death, Smith O'Brien and other members of the Irish Confederation were
transported ''Transported'' is an Australian convict melodrama film directed by W. J. Lincoln. It is considered a lost film. Plot In England, Jessie Grey is about to marry Leonard Lincoln but the evil Harold Hawk tries to force her to marry him and she woun ...
to
Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land was the original name of the island of Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island States and territories of Australia, state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Mainl ...
.


Fenian movement

The
Fenian The word ''Fenian'' () served as an umbrella term for the Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic re ...
movement consisted of the
Fenian Brotherhood The Fenian Brotherhood () was an Irish republican organisation founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony John Francis O'Mahony (1815 – 7 February 1877) was a Gaelic scholar and the founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in ...
and the
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
(IRB), fraternal organisations founded in the United States and Ireland respectively with the aim of establishing an independent republic in Ireland. The IRB was founded on
Saint Patrick's Day Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick ( ga, Lá Fhéile Pádraig, lit=the Day of the Festival of Patrick), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick Saint Patrick ...
1858 in Dublin. Members present at the first meeting were James Stephens,
Thomas Clarke Luby Thomas Clarke Luby (16 January 1822 – 29 November 1901) was an Irish people, Irish revolutionary, author, journalist and one of the founding members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Early life Luby was born in Dublin, the son of a Church of ...
, Peter Langan, Joseph Denieffe, Garrett O'Shaughnessy, and
Charles Kickham Charles Joseph Kickham (9 May 1828 – 22 August 1882) was an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Irelan ...
. Stephens had previously spent time exiled in Paris, along with
John O'Mahony John Francis O'Mahony (1815 – 7 February 1877) was a Gaels, Gaelic scholar and the founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Despite coming from a reasonably wealt ...

John O'Mahony
, having taken part in the uprising of 1848 and fleeing to avoid capture. O'Mahony left France for America in the mid-1850s and founded the
Emmet Monument Association Statue of Robert Emmet The Emmet Monument Association (EMA) was a mid-nineteenth century secret military organization with the special purpose of training men to attack England and free Ireland. It was established in the mid-1850s, by John O'Mahony ...
with
Michael Doheny Michael Doheny (22 May 1805 – 1 April 1862Some references give 1862: ) was an Irish writer and member of the Young Ireland movement. Early life The third son of Michael Doheny, of Brookhill, he was born at Brookhill, near Fethard, Co. Tipper ...
. Stephens returned to Ireland in 1856. The original oath of the society, drawn up by Luby under Stephens' direction, read:
I, AB., do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will do my utmost, at every risk, while life lasts, to make ther versions, according to Luby, establish in'Ireland an independent Democratic Republic; that I will yield implicit obedience, in all things not contrary to the law of God [ 'laws of morality'] to the commands of my superior officers; and that I shall preserve inviolable secrecy regarding all the transactions [ 'affairs'] of this secret society that may be confided in me. So help me God! Amen.
The Fenian Brotherhood was the IRB's counterpart organisation, formed in the same year in the United States by O'Mahony and Doheny. The Fenian Brotherhood's main purpose was to supply weapons and funds for its Irish counterpart and raise support for the Irish republican movement in the United States. The term "Fenian" was coined by O'Mahony, who named the American wing of the movement after the ''Fianna'' — a class of warriors that existed in Gaelic Ireland. The term became popular and is still in use, especially in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where it has expanded to refer to all Irish nationalists and republicans, as well as being a pejorative term for Irish Catholics. Public support for the Fenian movement in Ireland grew in November 1861 with the funeral of Terence MacManus, a member of the Irish Confederation, which Stephens and the Fenians had organised and which was attended by between twenty thousand and thirty thousand people. Following this, Stephens (accompanied by Luby) undertook a series of organisational tours throughout the island. In 1865 the Fenian Brotherhood in America had split into two factions. One was led by O'Mahony with Stephens' support. The other, which was more powerful, was led by William R. Roberts. The Fenians had always planned an armed rebellion, but there was now disagreement as to how and where this rebellion might be carried out. Roberts' faction preferred focusing all military efforts on History of Canada (1763–1867), British Canada (Roberts and his supporters theorised that victory for the American Fenians in nearby Canada would propel the Irish republican movement as a whole to success). The other, headed by O'Mahony, proposed that a rising in Ireland be planned for 1866.Kee Robert, ''The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism'', (1972) p. 325 In spite of this, the O'Mahony wing of the movement itself tried and failed to capture Campobello Island in New Brunswick in April 1866. Following this failure, the Roberts faction of the Fenian Brotherhood carried out its own, occupying the village of Fort Erie, Ontario on 31 May 1866 and engaging Canadian troops at the battles of Battle of Ridgeway, Ridgeway and Battle of Fort Erie (1866), Fort Erie on 2 June. It was in reference to Fenians fighting in this battle that the name "Irish Republican Army" was first used. These attacks (and those that followed) in Canada are collectively known as the "Fenian raids".


Nineteenth century onward

Irish republican and other independence movements were suppressed by the British authorities following the merging of Ireland with Britain into the United Kingdom after the Acts of Union 1800, Act of Union in 1801. Nationalist rebellions against British rule in 1803, by Robert Emmet, 1848 (by the Young Irelanders) and 1865 and 1867 (by the Fenians) were followed by harsh reprisals by British forces. The National Council, was formed in 1903, by Maud Gonne and Arthur Griffith, on the occasion of the visit of Edward VII of the United Kingdom, King Edward VII to Dublin. Its purpose was to lobby Dublin Corporation to refrain from presenting an address to the king. The motion to present an address was duly defeated, but the National Council remained in existence as a pressure group with the aim of increasing nationalist representation on local councils.Davis, Richard P. (1974). Arthur Griffith and non-violent Sinn Féin. Dublin: Anvil Books. p. 21. The first annual convention of the National Council on 28 November 1905 was notable for two things: the decision, by a majority vote (with Griffith dissenting), to open branches and organise on a national basis; and the presentation by Griffith of his 'Hungarian' policy, which was now called the ''Sinn Féin'' policy. This meeting is usually taken as the date of the foundation of the Sinn Féin party. In 1916 the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of ...
, organised by the
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
, was launched in Dublin and the Irish Republic was proclaimed, albeit without significant popular support. The Rising was suppressed after six days, and most of its leaders were executed by the British authorities. This was a turning point in Irish history, leading to the War of Independence and the end of British rule in most of Ireland. From 1919–1921 the
Irish Republican Army The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary organisations in Ireland throughout the 20th and the 21st centuries. Organisations going by this name have been dedicated to irredentism through Irish republicanism, the be ...
(IRA) was organised as a guerrilla army, led by Richard Mulcahy and with Michael Collins (Irish leader), Michael Collins as Director of Intelligence and fought against British forces. During the Anglo-Irish War (or War of Independence), the British sent a paramilitary police, the "Black and Tans" and the Auxiliary Division, to help the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
and
Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, ga, Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann; simply called the Irish Constabulary 1836–67) was the police force in Ireland from 1822 until 1922, when the country was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain an ...
. These groups committed atrocities which included killing captured POWs and any Irish civilians they viewed as being sympathetic to the IRA. Among the most infamous of their actions were the Bloody Sunday (1920), Bloody Sunday massacre in November 1920 and the Burning of Cork, burning of half the city of Cork (city), Cork in December that same year. These atrocities, together with the popularity of the republican ideal, and British repression of republican political expression, led to widespread support across Ireland for the Irish rebels. In 1921, the British government led by David Lloyd George negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty with Anglo-Irish Treaty#Negotiators, republican leaders led by Arthur Griffith who had been delegated as Plenipotentiary, plenipotentiaries on behalf of the Second Dáil, thus ending the conflict.


Irish Free State and Republic of Ireland

Though many across the country were unhappy with the Anglo-Irish Treaty (since, during the war, the IRA had fought for independence for all Ireland and for a republic, not a partitioned dominion under the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British crown), some republicans were satisfied that the Treaty was the best that could be achieved at the time. However, a substantial number opposed it. Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament, voted by 64 votes to 57 to ratify it, the majority believing that the treaty created a new base from which to move forward. Éamon de Valera, who had served as President of Dáil Éireann, President of the Irish Republic during the war, refused to accept the decision of the Dáil and led the opponents of the treaty out of the House. The pro-Treaty republicans organised themselves into the Cumann na nGaedheal party, while the anti-Treaty republicans retained the Sinn Féin name. The IRA itself split between pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty elements, with the former forming the nucleus of the new National Army (Ireland), Irish National Army. Michael Collins became Commander-in-Chief of the National Army. Shortly afterwards, some dissidents, apparently without the authorisation of the anti-Treaty IRA Army Executive, occupied the Four Courts in Dublin and kidnapped J. J. "Ginger" O'Connell, JJ "Ginger" O'Connell, a pro-Treaty general. The new Government of Ireland, government, responding to this provocation and to intensified British pressure following the assassination by an anti-treaty IRA unit in London of Sir Henry Wilson, 1st Baronet, Sir Henry Wilson, Battle of Dublin, ordered the regular army to take the Four Courts, thereby beginning the
Irish Civil War The Irish Civil War ( ga, Cogadh Cathartha na hÉireann; 28 June 1922 – 24 May 1923) was a conflict that followed the Irish War of Independence and accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State, an entity independent from the United ...
. It is believed that Collins continued to fund and supply the IRA in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
throughout the civil war, but, after his death, W. T. Cosgrave (the new President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, President of the Executive Council, or prime minister) discontinued this support. By May 1923, the war ended in the order by Frank Aiken, telling IRA members to dump arms. However, the harsh measures adopted by both sides, including Executions during the Irish Civil War, assassinations, executions and other atrocities, left a bitter legacy in Irish politics for decades to follow. In October 1923 mass hunger strikes were undertaken by Irish republican prisoners protesting the continuation of their internment without trial by the newly formed Irish Free State - 1923 Irish Hunger Strikes. De Valera, who had strongly supported the Republican anti-treaty side in the Civil War, reconsidered his views while in jail and came to accept the ideas of political activity under the terms of the Free State constitution. Rather than abstaining from Free State politics entirely, he now sought to republicanise it from within. However, he and his supporters which included most Sinn Féin TDs failed to convince a majority of the anti-treaty Sinn Féin of these views and the movement split again. In 1926, he formed a new party called Fianna Fáil ("Soldiers of Destiny"), taking most of Sinn Féin's TDs with him. In 1931, following the enactment of the Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster, the country became a sovereign state along with the other Dominions and the United Kingdom. The following year, De Valera was appointed President of the Executive Council of the Free State and began a slow process of turning the country from a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
to a constitutional republic, thus fulfilling Collins's prediction of "the freedom to achieve freedom". By then, the IRA was engaged in confrontations with the Blueshirts, a quasi-fascist group led by a former War of Independence and pro-Treaty leader, Eoin O'Duffy. O'Duffy looked to Kingdom of Italy, Fascist Italy as an example for Ireland to follow. Several hundred supporters of O'Duffy briefly went to Spain to volunteer on the Nationalist faction (Spanish Civil War), Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War, and a smaller number of ex-IRA members, communists and others participated on the Republican faction (Spanish Civil War), Republican side. In 1937, the
Constitution of Ireland The Constitution of Ireland ( ga, Bunreacht na hÉireann, ) is the constitution, fundamental law of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It asserts the national sovereignty of the Irish people. The constitution is broadly within the tradition of libera ...
was drafted by the de Valera government and Adoption of the Constitution of Ireland, approved via referendum by the majority of the population of the Free State. The constitution changed the name of the state to in the Irish language (''Ireland'' in English) and asserted its national territory as the whole of Ireland. The new state was headed by a President of Ireland elected by universal suffrage. The new Constitution removed all reference to the monarchy but foreign diplomats continued to present their credentials to the King in accordance with the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 which had not been repealed. The new state had the objective characteristics of a republic and was referred to as such by de Valera himself, but, it remained within the Commonwealth of Nations, British Commonwealth and was regarded by the British as a Dominion, like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Furthermore, the claim to the whole of the island did not reflect practical reality and inflamed anti-Dublin sentiment among northern Protestants. In 1948, Fianna Fáil went out of office for the first time in sixteen years. John A. Costello, leader of the coalition government, announced his intention to declare Ireland a republic. The
Republic of Ireland Act 1948 The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 (No. 22 of 1948) is an Act of the Oireachtas The Oireachtas ( , ), sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the ...
, which "described" the state as the Republic of Ireland (without changing its name or constitutional status), led the British government to pass the Ireland Act 1949, which declared that Northern Ireland would continue as part of the United Kingdom unless the Parliament of Northern Ireland consented to leave; and Ireland ceased to be a member of the Commonwealth. As a result of this—and also because continuing struggle against the Dublin government was futile—the republican movement took the decision to focus on Northern Ireland from then on. The decision was announced by the IRA in its Easter statement of 1949.


Republicanism in Northern Ireland


1921–66

In 1921, Ireland was partitioned. Most of the country became part of the independent
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of St ...
. However, six out of the nine counties of Ulster remained part of the United Kingdom as
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
. In the 1921 elections in Northern Ireland, *County Antrim, Antrim, County Down, Down and the borough of Belfast had Unionist majorities of over 25%. *In County Londonderry, the breakdown in that election was 56.2% Unionist / 43.8% Nationalist. *In County Armagh, Armagh, the ratio was 55.3% Unionist / 44.7% Nationalist. *In County Fermanagh, Fermanagh–County Tyrone, Tyrone (which was a single constituency), the ratio 54.7% Nationalist / 45.3% Unionist. (Tyrone was 55.4% Catholic in the 1911 census and 55.5% in the 1926 census, though of course only adults had votes on the other hand religious and national affiliations while closely linked are not as absolute as commonly assumed.) Within most of these counties there were large pockets which predominantly nationalist or Unionist (South Armagh, West Tyrone West Londonderry and parts of North Antrim were largely nationalist whereas much of North Armagh, East Londonderry, East Tyrone and most of Antrim were/are largely Unionist). This territory of Northern Ireland, as established by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, had its own Government of Northern Ireland, provincial government which was controlled for 50 years until 1972 by the conservative Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The tendency to vote on Sectarianism, sectarian lines and the proportions of each religious denomination ensured that there would never be a change of government. In local government, constituency boundaries were drawn to divide nationalist communities into two or even three constituencies and so weaken their effect (see Gerrymandering). The (mainly Catholic) Nationalist population in Northern Ireland, besides feeling politically alienated, was also economically alienated, often with worse living standards compared to their Protestant (mainly Unionist) neighbours, with fewer job opportunities, and living in ghettos in Belfast, Derry, Armagh and other places. Many Catholics considered the Unionist government was undemocratic, bigoted and favoured Protestants. Emigration for economic reasons kept the nationalist population from growing, despite its higher birth rate. Although poverty, (e)migration and unemployment were fairly widespread (albeit not to the same extent) among Protestants as well, on the other hand the economic situation in Northern Ireland (even for Catholics) was for a long time arguably still better than in the Republic of Ireland. During the 1930s the Irish Republican Army (1922–1969), IRA launched minor attacks against the
Royal Ulster Constabulary The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was the police The police are a constituted body of persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of conscio ...

Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC) and
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
in Northern Ireland. The IRA began another armed campaign in Britain in 1939. During World War II the IRA leadership hoped for support from Germany, and chief of staff Seán Russell travelled there in 1940; he died later that year after falling ill on a U-boat that was bringing him back to Ireland (possibly with a view to starting a German sponsored revolution in Ireland). Suspected republicans were interned on both sides of the border, for different reasons. The Border Campaign in the mid-50s was the last attempt at traditional military action and was an abject failure. The Movement needed to reconsider its strategy.


1966–69

In the late 1960s, Irish political activists groups found parallels with their struggle against religious discrimination in the Civil rights movement, civil rights campaign of African Americans the US against racial discrimination. Student leaders such a Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and Nationalist politicians such as Austin Currie tried to use Nonviolence, non-violent direct action to draw attention to the blatant discrimination. By 1968, Europe as a whole was engulfed in a struggle between radicalism and conservativism. In Sinn Féin, the same debate raged. The dominant analysis was that Protestant Irishmen and women would never be bombed into a united Ireland. The only way forward was to have both sides embrace socialism and forget their sectarian hatreds. They resolved to no longer to be drawn into inter-communal violence. As a response to the civil rights campaign militant loyalist paramilitary groups started to emerge in the Protestant community. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was the first. The UVF had originally existed among Loyalism, loyalist Ulster Protestants before World War I to oppose Irish Home Rule movement, Home Rule. In the 1960s it was relaunched by militant loyalists, encouraged by certain politicians, to oppose any attempt to reunite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland, which is how they saw any change in their status vis-a-vis Catholics. By mid-1969 the violence in Northern Ireland exploded. Consistent with their new political ideology, the IRA declined to intervene. By late August, the British government had to intervene and declare a state of emergency, sending a large number of troops into Northern Ireland to stop the intercommunal violence. Initially welcomed by some Catholics as protectors, later events such as Bloody Sunday and the Falls Road curfew turned many against the British Army.


1970–85

Divisions began to emerge in the Republican movement between leftists and conservatives. The leader of the IRA, Cathal Goulding believed that the IRA could not beat the British with military tactics and should turn into a workers' revolutionary movement that would overthrow both governments to achieve a 32-county socialist republic through the will of the people (after WWII the IRA no longer engaged in any actions against the Republic). Goulding also drove the IRA into an ideologically Marxism–Leninism, Marxist–Leninist direction which attracted idealistic young supporters in the Republic, but alienated and angered many of the IRA's core supporters in the North. In particular, his decision to regard the UVF as deluded rather than as the enemy, was anathema to traditionalists and those who were its potential victims. The argument led to a split in 1970, between the Official Irish Republican Army, Official IRA (supporters of Goulding's Marxist line) and the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Provisional IRA (also called Provos, traditional nationalist republicans). The Provos were led by Seán Mac Stíofáin and immediately began a Provisional Irish Republican Army campaign, large scale campaign against British state forces and economic targets in Northern Ireland. The Official IRA were also initially drawn into an armed campaign by the escalating communal violence. In 1972, the Official IRA declared a cease-fire, which, apart from feuds with other republican groups, has been maintained to date. Nowadays the term 'Irish Republican Army' almost always denotes the Provisional IRA. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the conflict continued claiming thousands of lives, with the UVF (and other loyalist groups) extending attacks into the Republic of Ireland and the IRA launching attacks on targets in England. However some things slowly began to change. In the 1980s Provisional Sinn Féin (the Provisional IRA's political wing) began contesting elections and by the mid-1990s was representing the republican position at peace negotiations. In the loyalist movement splits occurred, the Ulster Unionist Party made tentative attempts to reform itself and attract Catholics into supporting the union with Britain, while the radical Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Ian Paisley, Rev. Ian Paisley began attracting working class Protestant loyalists who felt alienated by the UUP's overtures towards Catholics.


1986–present

At the 1986
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
Ardfheis, a motion declaring the end of the policy of
abstentionism Abstentionism is standing for election to a deliberative assembly while refusing to take up any seats won or otherwise participate in the assembly's business. Abstentionism differs from an election boycott in that abstentionists participate in ...
(refusing to take seats in the Republic of Ireland's parliament), was passed. This motion caused a split in the movement creating Republican Sinn Féin, a party committed to the 1970s "provisional" Sinn Féin vision of a 32 County federal republic. It was led by former Sinn Féin President Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (who had previously led "provisional" Sinn Féin to split from Official Sinn Féin). The policy of participation in Dáil elections became known as the Armalite and ballot box strategy. In 1994 the leaders of Northern Ireland's two largest nationalist parties,
Gerry Adams Gerard Adams ( ga, Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an Irish republican politician who was the president of Sinn Féin between 13 November 1983 and 10 February 2018, and served as a Teachta Dála A Teachta Dála ( , plural ) ...
, the leader of Sinn Féin and John Hume, the leader of the
Social Democratic and Labour Party The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) ( ga, Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre) is a social democracy, social-democratic and Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist list of political parties in Northern Ireland, political party ...
(SDLP) entered into peace negotiations with Unionist leaders like David Trimble of the UUP and the British government. At the table most of the paramilitary groups (including the IRA and UVF) had representatives. In 1998 when the IRA endorsed the
Good Friday Agreement The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: or ), is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a po ...
between nationalist and unionist parties and both governments, another small group split from the IRA to form the
Real IRA The Real Irish Republican Army, or Real IRA (RIRA), is a Dissident republican, dissident Irish republicanism, Irish republican paramilitary group that aims to bring about a united Ireland. It formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional ...
(RIRA). The Continuity and Real IRA have both engaged in attacks not only against the British and loyalists, but even against their fellow nationalists (members of Sinn Féin, the SDLP and IRA). Since 1998, the IRA and UVF have adhered to a ceasefire. Today the republican movement can be divided into moderates who wish to reunite with the Republic through peaceful means and radicals who wish to continue an armed campaign. In late July 2005, the IRA announced that the armed conflict was over and that their weapons were to be put out of use. A large stock of weapons was reportedly "decommissioned" later that year. Some Unionists disputed the claim that this represented the entire stock of IRA weaponry.


Ideology


Rejection of the British state

Irish republicans view British rule in any part of Ireland as an inherently illegitimate, foreign regime. A variant of this is Irish republican legitimism, which also rejects the Republic of Ireland because of its tacit acceptance of partition of Ireland, partition and continuing British rule in Northern Ireland. The rejection of the legitimacy of British rule extends to all institutions of the British state. This includes rejection of the British parliament (
abstentionism Abstentionism is standing for election to a deliberative assembly while refusing to take up any seats won or otherwise participate in the assembly's business. Abstentionism differs from an election boycott in that abstentionists participate in ...
), and rejection of British police and court systems, which has led to republicans developing alternatives. Several Irish Republican political parties have, however, contested Northern Irish local elections since the 1970s.


Violence

According to Malachi O'Doherty, Sinn Féin politicians often presented republican terrorist violence as an inevitable result of partition and British rule. This rhetorical device allowed republican politicians to evade responsibility for violence and further their political goals of a reunited Ireland. In contrast, the non-republican Social Democratic and Labour Party, SDLP presents community reconciliation as a cornerstone of the peace process.


Socialism

Socialism has been part of the Irish republican movement since the early 20th century, when
James Connolly , image = James_Connolly2.jpg , alt = A side view black-and-white photo of Connelly in a suit , caption = Connolly in 1900 , nickname = , birth_date = , birth_place = Cowgate, Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edi ...

James Connolly
, an Irish Marxism, Marxist and Syndicalism, Syndicalist theorist, took part in the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of ...
of 1916. Today, many Irish nationalist and Republican organisations located in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
advocate some form of socialism, both Marxist and non-Marxist. The
Social Democratic and Labour Party The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) ( ga, Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre) is a social democracy, social-democratic and Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist list of political parties in Northern Ireland, political party ...
, which until recently was the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, promotes social democracy, while militant republican parties such as
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
, Éirígí, Republican Sinn Féin, and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement all promote their own varieties of democratic socialism intended to redistribute wealth on an all-island basis once a united Ireland has been achieved. The Irish Republican Socialist Movement, encompassing the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Irish National Liberation Army, as well as the defunct Official Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Front, are known for promoting an ideology which combines Marxism–Leninism with traditional revolutionary militant republicanism and is claimed by its adherents to be the most direct fulfilment of Connolly's legacy.


Relationship with the Christian churches

A 1983 article examined statements by Irish republicans on the issue of religion, and found that the attitudes contrasted with "the commonsense view" that Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA supported Catholics and opposed Protestants. There has been long-standing mutual dislike between the Catholic hierarchy and the Republican movement, with the latter seeing the former as complicit in British occupation of Ireland. Articles in ''An Phoblacht'' often upheld the morality of parish priests and pastors of all Christian denominations rather than bishops and church leaders, with respect for the Christian tradition of social justice. The article said that ''An Phoblacht'' "bends over backwards to be sympathetic to men who have expressed consistently anti-Catholic sentiments", including at times the Loyalist leader Ian Paisley, as they are seen as fellow Irish citizens whereas the British forces are seen as the principal enemy. Republicans have often denied that their attacks on the Ulster Defence Regiment or
Royal Ulster Constabulary The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was the police The police are a constituted body of persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of conscio ...

Royal Ulster Constabulary
are sectarian attacks on Protestants by claiming that they attack these groups because they are seen as complicit in "the oppression of the nationalist people" and not because of the religious beliefs of the members. However, a series of attacks in the Troubles, such as the Kingsmill massacre, that collectively killed 130 Protestant civilians were classified as "sectarian" in Malcolm Sutton's work on those killed during the Troubles.


Political parties


Active Republican parties

The following are active republican parties in Ireland. *
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
John Horgan
Divided We Stand: The Strategy and Psychology of Ireland's Dissident Terrorists
, 2012, p. 164
is a Republican party in Ireland. Throughout the The Troubles, Northern Ireland troubles, it was closely allied with the Provisional Irish Republican Army, publicly arguing for the validity of its armed campaign. Its policy platform combines civic nationalism with democratic socialist views on economic and social issues. It is led by Mary Lou McDonald and organises in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Party was also known as "''Provisional''" Sinn Féin by the media and commentators, having split from what later became known as the "''Official''" Sinn Féin (later the
Workers' Party Workers' Party is a name used by several political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about poli ...
) in 1970, because the latter had voted to enter a 'partitionist parliament'. In 1986, it reversed its original policy of not taking seats in Dáil Éireann, prompting another split, when Republican Sinn Féin was formed. By the early 21st century it had replaced the
Social Democratic and Labour Party The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) ( ga, Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre) is a social democracy, social-democratic and Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist list of political parties in Northern Ireland, political party ...
(SDLP) as Northern Ireland's largest nationalist party. As of 2020, it holds seven seats in the British parliament, thirty-seven seats in the Dáil, six in the Seanad Éireann, Seanad and 26 in the
Northern Ireland Assembly The Northern Ireland Assembly ( ga, Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster Scots: ''Norlin Airlan Assemblie'') often referred to by the metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase ...
. Sinn Féin members contest elections to the British parliament on an Abstentionism, abstentionist basis, that is, they refuse to take their seats in that parliament as they refuse to accept the right of that body to rule in any part of Ireland. * Fianna Fáil was founded as an expressly Republican party, one born out of Sinn Féin but which dropped abstentionism in order to engage in constitutional politics in Ireland. In fact, Seán Lemass had originally desired for the name of the party to simply be "The Republican Party", however, Eamon De Valera muted that idea in favour of a name inspired by the Irish language and culture. Since the 1930s and 1940s, a period which saw Fianna Fáil imprison in mass physical force Republicans, to what degree Fianna Fáil can be still described as "Republican" has been contested. The party itself, however, continues to frame itself as a Republican party; indeed in 1971 the party's commitment to this was signalled when the formal name of the party was altered to "Fianna Fáil - The Republican Party". Following the 2020 Irish general election, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald spoke often of forming a coalition which would produce a "Republican programme for Government". Some suggested this choice of language was chosen to encourage Fianna Fáil to work with Sinn Féin under a united "Republican" banner. *Éirígí is a Socialist Republican political party that formed by a small group of community and political activists who had left Sinn Féin, in
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Dublin
in April 2006 as a political campaigns group, and became a full-fledged political party at the party's first Ardfheis (conference) in May 2007. An Independent Monitoring Commission report said the group was "a small political grouping based on revolutionary socialist principles". While it continues to be a political association, albeit, with aggressive protest activities, it was not seen as paramilitary in nature. * Saoradh is a Socialist Republican party created in 2016. It is associated with dissident Republicans and is alleged to have ties to the New IRA. * Republican Sinn Féin was formed in 1986 by former Sinn Féin leader Ruairí Ó Brádaigh who led traditional Republicans in a break with Sinn Féin over the ending of the policy of abstention in relation to elections to Dáil Éireann. The party continues to operate on an abstentionist basis: it would not take seats in the assemblies of either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland because it views neither as legitimate. It is linked to the
Continuity IRA The Continuity Irish Republican Army (Continuity IRA or CIRA), styling itself as the Irish Republican Army (), is an Irish republican paramilitary group that aims to bring about a united Ireland United Ireland, also referred to as Irish re ...
, whose goals are the overthrow of British rule in Northern Ireland and the unification of the island to form an independent country. In November 2009, Des Dalton replaced Ó Brádaigh as leader of Republican Sinn Féin. *Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) was founded in 1974 by former Official Irish Republican Army, Official IRA militant Seamus Costello, who possibly had an eye towards
James Connolly , image = James_Connolly2.jpg , alt = A side view black-and-white photo of Connelly in a suit , caption = Connolly in 1900 , nickname = , birth_date = , birth_place = Cowgate, Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edi ...

James Connolly
's Irish Socialist Republican Party of the late 19th/early 20th century when coining the party's name. Costello led other former Official IRA members dissatisfied with Cathal Goulding's policies and tactics. The party quickly organised a paramilitary wing called the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) which has decommissioned recently. It claims to follow the principles of republican socialism as set out by the 1916 rebellion leader Connolly and radical 20th-century trade unionist James Larkin. * Aontú, who split from Sinn Féin in 2019 in opposition to the party's support for the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, Repeal of the Eighth Amendment, which removed the constitutional right to life of the unborn and allowed for the legalisation of abortion in Ireland in 2018. As of 2020, Aontú has one TD; party leader Peadar Tóibín, and five councillors across Ireland.


Defunct Republican parties

The following were republican parties in Ireland which are no longer active. * Clann Éireann split from Cumann na nGaedheal in 1926 after the results of the Irish Boundary Commission confirmed partition between Ireland (state), Ireland and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
. They called for a "one and indivisible" Ireland, but found little support as those already of the anti-partition mindset were already aligned with Fianna Fáil, and were not favourable to those who had previously been in Cumann na nGaedhael. * The Republican Congress was an attempt in 1934 by Left-wing Republicans to set up an explicitly socialist Republican party in Ireland, however, it was hampered by the fact the IRA had no interest in supporting the endeavour (and in fact, the IRA expelled members who tried to be a part of both), and because it was torn apart almost immediately because of infighting. Members of the Republican Congress, which counted amongst its membership several of the most prominent socialists in Ireland at the time, could not decide whether they should immediately seek a "Workers Republic" or not, nor could they agree if they should embrace the idea of a Popular Front with non-socialists or not. * Córas na Poblachta were an Irish Republican party set up in 1940, supported by elements of the IRA. With the IRA at this point under the control of Seán Russell, it had seen a swing heavily to the right. Córas na Poblachta reflected that, the party entertaining relations with the Fascist party Ailtirí na hAiséirghe and some meetings of Córas na Poblachta were even attended by Eoin O'Duffy and members of the Irish Christian Front, all of whom had bitterly opposed the IRA in the early 30s. With The Emergency (Ireland), "The Emergency" in full effect, there was little appetite or room to grow a political party in Ireland at the time and thus in practical terms Córas na Poblachta did very little. * Clann na Poblachta were an Irish Republican party set up in 1947 by former IRA Chief of Staff Seán MacBride. The party contained a broad political spectrum of Irish Republicans, from former Communists to "traditionalist" Republicans. The party settled on a centre-left platform promoting Social Democracy and New Deal style politics that suited the new political era of post-World War 2 Europe. Initially, they hoped to overtake Fianna Fáil as the main Republican party in Irish politics and were projected to do very well, but savvy electoral manoeuvring by Eamon De Valera saw them falter in their first election. After they entered a coalition that included the traditional opponents of Irish Republicanism Fine Gael and ran into political turmoil over the Mother and Child Scheme, the party rapidly lost support. However, they were successful in Republic of Ireland Act 1948, formally declaring that Ireland was a Republic in 1948 . Their influence waned throughout the 1950s and they were formally wound up by 1965. * Aontacht Éireann were an Irish Republican party set up in 1971 following a major political rift in Fianna Fáil caused by the Arms Crisis, in which Fianna Fáil ministers Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney were dismissed from cabinet following allegations they were involved in arranging for the IRA to be supplied with weaponry. The fallout of this caused many Fianna Fáil members to resign, amongst them Fianna Fáil minister Kevin Boland. Boland left Fianna Fáil and setup Aontacht Éireann to be a more openly Republican party in Irish politics. He was joined by the likes of sitting Fianna Fáil TD Seán Sherwin. Although there was quite an amount of interest in Aontacht Éireann initially, with branches set up across Ireland, the party struggled to maintain it's momentum. When Boland had resigned from Fianna Fáil, he not only gave up his cabinet position but also his seat in the Dáil as well. Without the platform to the speak in the Dáil, Boland was somewhat sidelined. The party also struggled to meaningfully separate itself from Provisional Sinn Féin, with much of the policies and the rhetoric of the party membership mirroring each other. The party only managed to take 0.9% of the national vote at the 1973 Irish general election and by 1976 the vast majority of the original membership had moved on from the party. It was formally wound up in 1984, after a period in which a far-right group has usurped the party's name and used it for their own ends for a time.


See also

*Dissident republican *Protestant Irish nationalists


References


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Irish Republicanism Irish republicanism, Celtic nationalism Politics of Ireland, Republicanism Politics of the Republic of Ireland Republicanism by country, Ireland