Comprehensive facts about the War In Ireland. All you need to know about major events in the history of this amazing country. Learn about the historical events that forced the people of Ireland to flee their native land to escape war. Facts about the Civil War, Northern Ireland War and the Irish War of Independence.
The War In Ireland - Northern Ireland War
The Ulster special constabulary and the Royal Ulster Constabulary were both established in 1920
The first elections for the Northern Ireland parliament took place in 1921 and the parliament was officially opened on 22nd June 1921 by King George V
In 1932, The Northern Ireland parliament moved into a new building at Stormont. The building was opened by Edward, the Prince of Wales
In January 1939, the IRA began a bombing campaign in the UK. The Irish government outlawed the IRA
The Northern Ireland Parliament banned the flying of the Irish Tricolour in 1954
In 1955, the Irish Republic offered people born in Northern Ireland after 1922 citizenship
The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was founded in Northern Ireland in 1966
The Belfast 'peace line' was established in 1969 by the British army
In 1970, the Republican movement split into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA
The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) was formed by the Rev, Ian Paisley in 1971
On the 27th August 1974, the Guildford bombing by the IRA in the UK killed five people. A further 21 people were killed in the Birmingham pub bombings, the IRA were also responsible
Lord Mountbatten and three others were killed in the Mullaghmore boat bombing in 1979. Eighteen British soldiers were killed the same day in an attack at Warrenpoint, County Down
In 1981, Several people including Bobby Sands, the MP for South Fermanagh died during the IRA hunger strike at the Maze prison which lasted from the 9th March to the 3rd October
In October 1984, the IRA were responsible for bombing the British Conservative Party Conference
On the 15th November 1985 at Hillsborough, the Anglo-Irish agreement was signed between the Republic of Ireland and the UK
Eleven people were killed in Enniskillen by a bomb while attending a remembrance day service in 1987
In 1991, the 'Birmingham Six' were released from prison in England after being wrongly accused of the 1974 pub bombings
The IRA bomb London's Canary Warf in 1996, ending their ceasefire
The Good Friday Agreement was signed by all Northern Ireland parties in 1998
The War In Ireland - Independence
The Irish war of Independence was fought from the 21st January 1919 to the 11th July 1921
It is also known by the following names: Black and Tan War, Anglo-Irish War and Tan War
The war was fought between the British government and the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
A ceasefire was agreed on condition that a treaty was prepared allowed the Irish Free State to become a self-governed dominion
The Anglo-Irish treaty was signed in London on 6 December 1921 and came into effect a year later on the 6th December 1922. It allowed the creation of a self-governed dominion, known as the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) This effectively gave Ireland the same status as Australia and Canada. Northern Ireland exercised their right to opt out
The War In Ireland - Image
The image below shows the remains of an 18th Century signal tower built by the English during the Napoleonic War. The English were concerned that France would attack Ireland so they had a series of these signal towers built around the Irish Coast, forming a chain, each tower could be seen from the previous one and communicated with each other through signals. The towers were manned by a team of Sea Fencibles who were made up from elderly sailors, farmers and fishermen (all the young men were in the army). The towers were occupied from 1804 to 1809, the ruins of many of these towers can be seen all around Ireland, a lasting reminder of a time of war and conflict.
The War In Ireland - Civil War
The Irish Civil war began in June 1922 when the Four Courts is shelled by forces from the Free State
The Civil War lasted from the 28th June 1922 until the 28th May 1923
The Anglo-Irish Treaty caused the war. The Provisional Government forces supported the treaty that established the free state in 1922 fought against the Republican opposition who felt the Irish Republic had been betrayed by the treaty
The treaty was established as a result of the Irish War of Independence (21st January 1919 to 11th July 1921) and provided that the Republic of Ireland made up of 26 of the 32 individual states in Ireland become self governing with its own police force and army
The leaders of the Pro-Treaty forces were Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy. The Anti-Treaty forces were led by Liam Lynch and Frank Aiken
The Pro-Treaty forces were also known as the National Army or 'Staters' whereas the Anti-Treaty forces were known as the Republicans or 'Irregulars'
The war was won by Free State forces
Despite the war lasting less than eleven months, it was extremely brutal and the cost was high, many people were murdered, historical buildings were burned and the railway and road infrastructure damaged. Several public figures were killed including Liam Lynch, Michael Collins and Cathal Brugha.
The War In Ireland - World War II
The Dail passed a bill on 3rd September 1939 declaring that Ireland remained a neutral country
An accidental bombing by the Germans in 1940 killed three people in County Wexford
In 1941, almost 900 people were killed in Belfast by German bombers. Emergency services from the republic cross the border to help
Four bombs were dropped on Dublin in May 1941 killing over 30 people
It is estimated nearly 200,000 Irish born people served in the Allied Armed Forces during the second world war
The War In Ireland - Facts
The Battle of The Boyne was an iconic event in Irish history which took place on the 1st July 1690. The Battle of The Boyne is commemorated every year on the 12th July by Protestants who march to celebrate the victory of Protestant King Billy over the Catholics and is known simply as 'The Twelfth'
The famous Irish saying 'To Hell or to Connaught' is a result of Oliver Cromwell's plans for the Irish according to the Act of Settlement 1653 where the Irish people were forced from their lands which were then given to the English. The people had the choice to die or move to Connaught! Click here to view the map of Ireland after the Act of Settlement was passed by Cromwell and the British Parliament in 1653.
Irish soldiers fought in the battles of numerous other countries from the thirty years war fought in Europe to the American Civil War
Montserrat in the West Indies is nicknamed the 'Emerald Isle of the Caribbean'. Some say this is due to its coastline resembling that of Ireland but this is more likely due to the fact that thousands of Irish Slaves were sent to the island in the 1600's on the orders of Oliver Cromwell
In 1936, Eoin O'Duffy led 450 'Blueshirts' (also known as the Army Comrades Association (ACA) or National Guard) to fight in the Spanish Civil War
Ireland was never conquered by the Romans, one of only a few Western European countries that the Romans didn't invade!
Julius Caesar referred to Ireland as Hibernia in his account of the Gaelic Wars (Commentarii de Bello Gallico).
Hibernia is the classical Latin name for Ireland. See the map below for a map of Hibernia
The War of Independence began on in 1919 in County Tipperary
On the 30th January 1972, 13 demonstrators in Derry were killed by soldiers from the Parachute Regiment, a day later named as 'Bloody Sunday'
During the Gulf War in 1991, the Irish Government allowed US Air force aeroplanes to refuel at Shannon airport
President of the US, Bill Clinton visited Ireland in 1995 in an attempt to support the peace process, he visited both Dublin and Northern Ireland
The Easter Rising took place on 24th April 1916 (Easter Monday) led by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Fifteen hundred rebels took over key buildings in Dublin, they raised the Irish flag, read a proclamation of independance declaring the formation of an Irish Republic
Michael Collins was one of the most famous casualties of the Irish Civil War, he was shot dead in his native County Cork
Several films have been made about the wars in Ireland:
Shake Hands with the Devil (1959). Directed by Michael Anderson starring James Cagney and Don Murray. The film is set in 1921 Dublin, where the Irish Republican Army battles the Black and Tans, ex-British soldiers are sent to suppress the IRA with excessively harsh measures
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006). Directed by Ken Loach starring Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney. The film is set during the War of Independence (1919–1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923)
Michael Collins (1996). Directed by Neil Jordan starring Liam Neeson as Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary who was killed during the Irish Civil War
Ancient Map of Ireland know as Hibernia