A report on Irish nationalism

The national flag of the Republic of Ireland, which was created to represent all of Ireland
Government Buildings in Dublin
The green harp flag was first used by Irish Confederate troops in the Eleven Years War, and became the main symbol of Irish nationalism from the 17th to the early 20th century.
"Daniel O'Connell: The Champion of Liberty" poster published in Pennsylvania, 1847
A flowchart illustrating all the political parties that have existed throughout the history of Northern Ireland and leading up to its formation (1889 onwards). Nationalist parties are in green.
Poster for a 1913 anti-Carson meeting, hosted by Protestants of Ballymoney. Speakers included Roger Casement and Robert Glendinning.

Nationalist political movement which, in its broadest sense, asserts that the people of Ireland should govern Ireland as a sovereign state.

- Irish nationalism
The national flag of the Republic of Ireland, which was created to represent all of Ireland

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Overall

O'Connell Street, Dublin, after the Rising. The GPO is at left, and Nelson's Pillar at right.

Easter Rising

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Armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916.

Armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916.

O'Connell Street, Dublin, after the Rising. The GPO is at left, and Nelson's Pillar at right.
Members of the Irish Citizen Army outside Liberty Hall, under the slogan "We serve neither King nor Kaiser, but Ireland"
The signatories of the Proclamation: Tom Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, Patrick Pearse, Éamonn Ceannt, James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett
Proclamation of the Republic, Easter 1916
The General Post Office in Dublin – the rebel headquarters
One of two flags flown over the GPO during the Rising
Positions of rebel and British forces in central Dublin
A street barricade erected by the rebels in Dublin during the Rising
British armoured truck, hastily built from the smokeboxes of several steam locomotives at Inchicore railway works
British soldiers in position behind a stack of barrels during the Rising in Dublin
Birth of the Irish Republic by Walter Paget, depicting the GPO during the shelling
British soldiers marching rebel prisoners away after the surrender
Irish War News, produced by the rebels during the Rising
Enniscorthy in the 1890s
Memorial in Deansgrange Cemetery, where various civilians and members of the Irish Volunteer Army, Irish Citizen Army and British Army are buried
Ruins of the Metropole Hotel on Sackville Street, next to the GPO
The spot at Kilmainham Gaol where most of the leaders were executed
The burial spot of the leaders of the Rising, in the old prison yard of Arbour Hill Prison. The Proclamation of 1916 is inscribed on the wall in both Irish and English
British soldiers searching the River Tolka in Dublin for arms and ammunition after the Easter Rising. May 1916
View of O'Connell Bridge, 1916, on a German postcard. The caption reads: Rising of the Sinn Feiners in Ireland. O'Connell bridge with Dublin city, where the fiercest clashes took place.
Grave in Donaghcumper, Celbridge of Peter Connolly, one of 15 civilians murdered in the North King Street Massacre.
Commemoration of Connolly's execution, 12 May 1917
Crowds in Dublin waiting to welcome republican prisoners released in 1917
Document from the 1940s which lists the deceased members of the Stephen's Green garrison
Plaque commemorating the Easter Rising at the General Post Office, Dublin, with the Irish text in Gaelic script, and the English text in regular Latin script
Memorial in Cobh, County Cork, to the Volunteers from that town
Mural in Belfast depicting the Easter Rising of 1916
Memorial in Clonmacnoise commemorating men of County Offaly (then King's County) who fought in 1916: James Kenny, Kieran Kenny and Paddy McDonnell are named
Flag and copy of the Proclamation in Clonegal

From early on, many Irish nationalists opposed the union and the continued lack of adequate political representation, along with the British government's handling of Ireland and Irish people, particularly the Great Irish Famine.

Sinn Féin

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Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Arthur Griffith is credited as the main founder of the party
The campaign car of Joseph McGuinness, who won the 1917 South Longford by-election whilst imprisoned. He was one of the first Sinn Féin members to be elected. In 1921 he sided with Collins in the Treaty debate.
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was the president of Provisional Sinn Féin from 1970 until 1983.
Bobby Sands mural in Belfast. Sands, a member of the Provisional IRA, stood on an Anti H-Block ticket.
Under the political leadership of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, Provisional Sinn Féin adopted a reformist policy, eventually leading to the Good Friday Agreement.
The election of Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin to the Dáil in 1997 was the first time in 75 years a Sinn Féin TD had taken their seat and marked a turning point in the party's history
Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill in February 2018
Members of Sinn Féin calling for a Yes vote in the 2018 referendum on abortion in Ireland

Sinn Féin is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, having won the largest share of first-preference votes and the most seats in the 2022 election, the first time an Irish nationalist party has done so.

Political map of Ireland

Partition of Ireland

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The process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing polities: Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

The process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing polities: Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

Political map of Ireland
Result in Ireland of the December 1910 United Kingdom general election showing a large majority for the Irish Parliamentary Party.
Ulster Volunteers marching in Belfast, 1914
Result of the 1918 general election in Ireland showing the dramatic swing in support for Sinn Féin
Catholic-owned businesses destroyed by loyalists in Lisburn, August 1920
Crowds in Belfast for the state opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament on 22 June 1921
Members of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921
North East Boundary Bureau recommendations May 1923
James Craig (centre) with members of the first government of Northern Ireland
The Boundary Commission's proposed changes to the border
A republican anti-partition march in London, 1980s

However, it also had a significant minority of Catholics and Irish nationalists.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

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The British state as it existed between 1801 and 1922, when it included all of Ireland.

The British state as it existed between 1801 and 1922, when it included all of Ireland.

The United Kingdom in 1914
The signing of the Treaty of Ghent ending the war with the United States (by Amédée Forestier, c. 1915)
The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 resulted in 18 deaths and several hundred injured.
A painting by James Pollard showing the Trafalgar Square before the erection of Nelson's Column
Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830
A painting by George Hayter that commemorates the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. It depicts the first session of the newly reformed House of Commons on 5 February 1833. In the foreground, the leading statesmen from the Lords: Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845), William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779–1848) and the Whigs on the left; and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769–1852) and the Tories on the right.
Lord Palmerston addressing the House of Commons during the debates on the Treaty of France, February 1860
Jeremy Bentham's panopticon prison (1791 drawing by Willey Reveley)
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 (1882 photograph)
The British Empire in 1910
Benjamin Disraeli
Lobby card, 1929
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Men of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment following up the Germans near Brie, March 1917
The Irish Free State (red) in 1922
George V, the last British king to be styled as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

The failure of the British government to respond to the crisis in the eyes of the Irish people would lead to a growth in resentment of Britain and a rise in Irish nationalism.

Hazards of separation from Great Britain. Unionist postcard (1912)

Unionism in Ireland

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Political tradition on the island of Ireland that favours political union with Great Britain and professes loyalty to the British Crown and constitution.

Political tradition on the island of Ireland that favours political union with Great Britain and professes loyalty to the British Crown and constitution.

Hazards of separation from Great Britain. Unionist postcard (1912)
Detail of the Battle of Ballynahinch 1798 by Thomas Robinson. Government Yeomanry prepare to hang United Irish insurgent Hugh McCulloch, a grocer.
1899 penny print of Henry Cooke's 1841 speech in "reply to Daniel O'Connell"
William Gladstone writing legislation under pressure from the Land League. Caricature 1881.
God Save the Queen, Erin Go Bragh, Ulster Unionist Convention, Belfast, 1892
Flag of the Congested Districts Board for Ireland, 1893–1907
Unionist march in Belfast, 9 April 1912
Signing the Ulster Covenant Declaration, "Ulster Day” 1912
An Orange Order banner showing Carson the signing of the Ulster Covenant 1912
The 1918 general election result in Ireland. Sinn Féin sweeps the south and west
The Coat of Arms of the Government of Northern Ireland used between 1924 and 1973
The statue of Lord Edward Carson in front of Parliament Buildings, Stormont
Anti-Faulkner Unionist election poster
Mural for the Red Hand Commando (UVF) which, uniquely, had an Irish-language motto, Lamh Dearg Abu (Victory to the Red Hand)
Campaign against the Anglo-Irish Agreement
Detail from 2015 Sinn Féin election flyer, North Belfast
The cross of St. Patrick superimposed on the Scottish Saltire with a six-county star, Red Hand of Ulster and no crown: the "Ulster national flag" variously employed by Loyalist groups to represent an independent, or distinctly Ulster-Scot, Northern-Ireland identity.
A flowchart illustrating all the political parties that have existed throughout the history of Northern Ireland and leading up to its formation (1889 onwards). Unionist parties are in orange.

As the overwhelming sentiment of Ireland's Protestant minority, following Catholic Emancipation (1829) unionism mobilised to keep Ireland part of the United Kingdom and to defeat the efforts of Irish nationalists to restore a separate Irish parliament.

Map of Ireland in 1609 showing the major Plantations of Ireland

Irish republicanism

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Political movement for the unity and independence of Ireland under a republic.

Political movement for the unity and independence of Ireland under a republic.

Map of Ireland in 1609 showing the major Plantations of Ireland
Wolfe Tone circa 1794. Tone is considered by many as the father of Irish Republicanism
The Battle of Killala marked the end of the rising
Michael Dwyer
Depiction of Robert Emmet's trial
William Smith O'Brien, leader of the Young Ireland movement
Some of the founding members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
A depiction of the Easter Rising
Seán Hogan's IRA flying column during the Irish War of Independence.
The funeral procession of Irish republican politician Martin McGuinness, Derry, Northern Ireland

During the late 1980s the British Government became increasingly willing to give concessions to Irish Nationalism, such as the Anglo-Irish Agreement and extending to, the Northern Ireland Security, Peter Brooke's declaration of "no selfish, strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland.", causing uproar amongst strands of Unionism.

The traditional counties of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

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Part of the United Kingdom that is variously described as a country, province, territory or region.

Part of the United Kingdom that is variously described as a country, province, territory or region.

The traditional counties of Northern Ireland
Cannon on the Derry city walls
Scrabo Tower, County Down
Signing of the Ulster Covenant in 1912 in opposition to Home Rule
Result of the 1918 general election in Ireland
Crowds in Belfast for the state opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament on 22 June 1921
The Coat of arms of Northern Ireland used between 1924 and 1973
James Craig (centre) with members of the first government of Northern Ireland
Opening of the Northern Ireland parliament buildings (Stormont) in 1932
Responsibility for Troubles-related deaths between 1969 and 2001
First Minister Ian Paisley (DUP) centre, and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin) left, and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond right in 2008
A flowchart illustrating all the political parties that have existed throughout the history of Northern Ireland and leading up to its formation (covering 1889 to 2020).
Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Belfast, seat of the assembly
Unionist mural in Belfast
ESA Sentinel-2 image of Northern Ireland
Köppen climate types of Northern Ireland
Lough Neagh
Hare's Gap, Mourne Mountains
The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim
Marble Arch Caves
Goliath crane of Harland & Wolff in Belfast
An NIR C3K railcar
2011 census: differences in proportions of those who are, or were brought up, either Catholic or Protestant/Other Christians
Map of predominant national identity in the 2011 census
Map of most commonly held passport
Approximate boundaries of the current and historical English/Scots dialects in Ulster. South to north, the colour bands represent Hiberno-English, South-Ulster English, Mid-Ulster English and the three traditional Ulster Scots areas. The Irish-speaking Gaeltacht is not shown.
Percentage of people aged 3+ claiming to have some ability in Irish in the 2011 census
Percentage of people aged 3+ claiming to have some ability in Ulster Scots in the 2011 census
An Orange march
The logo for the Northern Ireland assembly is based on the flower of the flax plant.
People carrying the Irish flag, overlooking those with the unionist Ulster Banner
George Best, Northern Irish international footballer and 1968 Ballon d'Or
Peter Canavan, Tyrone captain 2003
Prominent Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy
Queen's University Belfast
Broadcasting House, Belfast, home of BBC Northern Ireland

Meanwhile, the majority in Southern Ireland (which became the Irish Free State in 1922), and a significant minority in Northern Ireland, were Irish nationalists and Catholics who wanted a united independent Ireland.

Cartoon: British Liberal Party politicians are forced to endure the stink of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's "cigar" of Irish Home Rule. Former Prime Minister Lord Rosebery (left) and future Prime Minister H. H. Asquith (right) both regarded Home Rule as an electoral liability for the Liberals.

Irish Home Rule movement

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Movement that campaigned for self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Movement that campaigned for self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Cartoon: British Liberal Party politicians are forced to endure the stink of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's "cigar" of Irish Home Rule. Former Prime Minister Lord Rosebery (left) and future Prime Minister H. H. Asquith (right) both regarded Home Rule as an electoral liability for the Liberals.
Anti-Home Rule cartoon, 1891: it claims that Home Rule will bring economic benefits to middle class "patriots," but ruin to the peasantry.
Charles Stewart Parnell addressing a meeting
Gladstone at a debate on the Irish Home Rule Bill, 8 April 1886
Queensland Figaro and Punch cover, 16 March 1889, depicting Irish Australians offering enthusiastic support to Parnell's struggle for Home Rule.
The Home Rule Club, Kilkenny, founded in 1894
A sticker produced by Ulster loyalists to protest against Irish Home Rule {{efn|Sticker found glued on the inside of the cover of A History of the Siege of Londonderry ... as digitised by Internet Archive |undefined

It was the dominant political movement of Irish nationalism from 1870 to the end of World War I.

Election campaigning on a busy Irish street, 1918

1918 Irish general election

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The part of the 1918 United Kingdom general election which took place in Ireland.

The part of the 1918 United Kingdom general election which took place in Ireland.

Election campaigning on a busy Irish street, 1918
360px
Constance Markievicz was the first woman ever to be elected to the British House of Commons. She did not take her seat, instead joining the First Dáil. In 1919 she was appointed Minister for Labour, the first female minister in a democratic government cabinet.

It is now seen as a key moment in modern Irish history because it saw the overwhelming defeat of the moderate nationalist Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), which had dominated the Irish political landscape since the 1880s, and a landslide victory for the radical Sinn Féin party.

Seán Hogan's flying column of the IRA's 3rd Tipperary Brigade during the war

Irish War of Independence

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Guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and British forces: the British Army, along with the quasi-military Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and its paramilitary forces the Auxiliaries and Ulster Special Constabulary (USC).

Guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and British forces: the British Army, along with the quasi-military Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and its paramilitary forces the Auxiliaries and Ulster Special Constabulary (USC).

Seán Hogan's flying column of the IRA's 3rd Tipperary Brigade during the war
Result of the 1918 UK general election in Ireland
RIC and British Army personnel near Limerick, c.1920
West Connemara IRA flying column
Police wanted poster for Dan Breen, one of those involved in the Soloheadbeg Ambush in 1919.
Wall plaque in Great Denmark Street, Dublin where the Dublin IRA Active Service Unit was founded.
A group of RIC officers in 1917
Michael Collins
A group of "Black and Tans" and Auxiliaries in Dublin, April 1921
British soldiers and relatives of the victims outside Jervis Street Hospital during the military enquiry into the Bloody Sunday shootings at Croke Park
Aftermath of the burning of Cork by British forces
A crowd gathers at the Mansion House in Dublin in the days before the truce
Members of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921
The funeral of Michael Collins
St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, August 1922
Catholic-owned businesses destroyed by loyalists in Lisburn, August 1920.
Unionist leader James Craig.
The Lord Lieutenant inspecting troops outside Belfast City Hall on the day Northern Ireland's parliament first met.
A mural in Belfast depicting revenge killings by police in Belfast.
Irish republican internees at Ballykinlar Internment Camp 1920
The symbol of the Republic:
The Irish tricolour which dated back to the Young Ireland rebellion of 1848.
A symbol of British rule:
The standard of the Lord Lieutenant, using the union flag created under the Act of Union 1800.
Monument to IRA fighters in Phibsborough, Dublin
Soldiers of a British cavalry regiment leaving Dublin in 1922
Constance Markievicz was a member of the Irish Citizen Army and fought in the Easter Rising. In 1919 she was appointed Minister for Labour in the Government of the Irish Republic
Conflict deaths in Belfast 1920–1922.
50–100 deaths per km2
100–150 deaths per km2
over 150 deaths per km2

Since the 1870s, Irish nationalists in the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) had been demanding Home Rule, or self-government, from Britain.