Irish War of Independence
These men were defeated and sixteen of the leaders were executed. This angered Irish people. Many Irish people turned against British rule. Such Irish people were called Republicans. Republicans lived all over Ireland except in areas in Ulster where people called Unionists lived. The Unionists wanted to stay under control of the British Empire. In Dublin, the political party Sinn Féin won most seats in the Irish Dáil. They set up the IRA (Irish Republican Army) to fight the British soldiers in Ireland. The British government hated the Dail. The British wanted to destroy the Dail.
In 1919, fighting started. By 1921, the IRA had beaten the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Ireland had no police. In London, the British government began to row over Ireland. The war went on until 1922 when Irish Sinn Féin leaders and British MPs made a peace treaty. Besides six of the nine counties of Ulster where Unionists still lived (they were a majority of the population in four of those six counties while nationalists were a majority in the other two), Ireland was made its own country. The area where Ireland was its own independent country was called the Irish Free State and the area that stayed under British rule was called Northern Ireland.