With the participation of Ireland in the First World War, the southern Irish Volunteers split into the larger
With the participation of Ireland in the First World War, the southern Irish Volunteers split into the larger National Volunteers and followed Redmond's call to support the Allied war effort to ensure the future implementation of Home Rule by voluntarily enlisting in Irish regiments of the 10th (Irish) Division or the 16th (Irish) Division of Kitchener's New Service Army. The men of the Ulster Volunteers joined the 36th (Ulster) Division. Between 1914 and 1918 Irish regiments suffered severe losses.
A core element of the remaining Irish Volunteers who opposed the nationalist constitutional movement towards independence and the Irish support for the war effort, staged the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin. Initially widely condemned in both Britain and Ireland, the British government's mishandling of the aftermath of the Rising, including the rushed e
A core element of the remaining Irish Volunteers who opposed the nationalist constitutional movement towards independence and the Irish support for the war effort, staged the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin. Initially widely condemned in both Britain and Ireland, the British government's mishandling of the aftermath of the Rising, including the rushed executions of its leaders by General Maxwell, led to a rise in popularity for an Irish republican movement named Sinn Féin, a small separatist party taken over by the survivors of the Easter Rising. Britain made two futile attempts to implement Home Rule, both of which failed because of Ulster unionists' protesting against its proposed implementation for the whole island of Ireland; first after the Rising and then at the end of the Irish Convention of 1917–1918. With the collapse of the allied front during the German Spring Offensive and Operation Michael, the British Army had a serious manpower shortage, and the Cabinet agreed on 5 April to enact Home Rule immediately, linked in with a "dual policy" of extending conscription to Ireland. This signalled the end of a political era, which resulted in a swing of public opinion towards Sinn Féin and physical force separatism. Interest in Home Rule began to fade as a result.
After the end of the war in November 1918 Sinn Féin secured a majority of 73 Irish seats in the general election, with 25 of these seats taken uncontested. The IPP was decimated, falling to only six seats; it disbanded soon afterward.
In January 1919 twenty-seven Sinn Féin MPs assembled in Dublin and proclaimed themselves unilaterally as an independent parliament of an Irish Republic. This was ignored by Britain. The independent parliament of an Irish Republic. This was ignored by Britain. The Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) ensued.
Britain went ahead with its commitment to implement Home Rule by passing a new Fourth Home Rule Bill, the Government of Ireland Act 1920, largely shaped by the Walter Long Committee which followed findings contained in the report of the Irish Convention. Long, a firm unionist, felt free to shape Home Rule in Unionism's favour, and formalised dividing Ireland (and Ulster) into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. The latter never functioned, but was replaced under the Anglo-Irish Treaty by the Irish Free State which later became the Republic of Ireland.
The Home Rule Parliament of Northern Ireland came into being in June 1921. At its inauguration, in Belfast City Hall, King George V made a famous appeal drafted by Prime Minister Lloyd George for Anglo-Irish and north–south reconciliation. The Anglo-Irish Treaty had provided for Northern Ireland's Parliament to opt out of the new Free State, which was a foregone conclusion. The Irish Civil War (1922–1923) followed.
The Parliament of Northern Ireland continued in operation until 30 March 1972, when it was suspended in favour of direct rule by the Northern Ireland Office during The Troubles. It was subsequently abolished under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973. Various versions of the Northern Ireland Assembly re-established home rule in 1973–74, 1982–86, intermittently from 1998–2002, and from 2007 onward. The Assembly attempts to balance the interests of the unionist and republican factions through a "power sharing" agreement.