The Irish Free State and the Fourth Home Rule Bill
By this time Irish labor leaders like James Connolly had been drawn into the struggle, and Irish radicalism—along with impatience and doubts as to Britain's good faith—brought about the Easter Rebellion of 1916. In 1918, S Ireland elected to Parliament only Sinn Fein members pledged to republicanism instead of Home Rule. These members did not go to Westminster; they set up their own Irish assembly, the Dáil Éireann, which declared Ireland independent. There followed a period of guerrilla war between the nationalist Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a force of British irregulars known as the Black and Tans.
In 1921 the British government entered into negotiations with the de facto Irish government headed by Eamon De Valera. The Irish Free State, with dominion status, was created by an Anglo-Irish treaty in 1921. Remaining ties with Great Britain were gradually discarded (see Ireland, Republic of). The six counties of Northern Ireland (see Ireland, Northern) remained part of the United Kingdom, their government established under the provisions of the Fourth Home Rule Bill of 1920, which was rendered void in the South by the establishment of the Irish Free State. The continued British presence in Northern Ireland was abhorrent to Irish nationalists, but except for scattered IRA terrorism, the issue was dormant until Protestant repression led to revived militant nationalism among Northern Ireland's Catholics.
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