Some Key Background Events - 1858  to 1918

Note:  This page is designed to give only the briefest of background to the 1919 to 1923 period with a little more detail for the years before 1919

1858

Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) Founded

Curran J M (1980), pg3

 

 

 

1867

Fenian (IRB) Insurrection

Curran J M (1980), pg4

 

 

 

1873

IRB Re-organised and revitalised – they decide on ‘entryist’ policy into Irish/Ireland Movement.

Curran J M (1980), pg5

 

 

 

1886

Dissident Liberals join with Tories to defeat Gladstone/Parnell Home Rule Bill

Curran J M (1980), pg1

 

 

 

1890

Fall of Parnell

Curran J M (1980), pg1

 

 

 

1893

Gaelic League founded

Curran J M (1980), pg2

 

 

 

1908

Sinn Féin founded by Arthur Griffith

Curran J M (1980), pg2

 

 

 

1909

ITGWU founded by Jim Larkin

Curran J M (1980), pg2

 

 

 

1911

Pop of Ireland is 4,390,319 (In 6 counties of what was to be NI 820,370 Protestants and 430,161 Catholics - Catholic majority in Fermanagh and Tyrone)

Curran J M (1980), pg296

1911

Opposition to Home rule Bill by Carson and Ulster Volunteer Force - Pledge- supported by Bonar Law

Curran J M (1980), pg6

 

 

 

1912

Asquith (Lib) gets Home Rule Bill passed - Law in 2 years

Curran J M (1980), pg4

 

 

 

1913

Lock-out - Unions defeated – Irish Citizens Army founded to protect strikers.

Curran J M (1980), pg6

 

Irish Volunteers founded by Eoin O'Neill (+IRB) - eventually supported by Irish Party

Curran J M (1980), pg6

 

 

 

1914

200,000 in Irish Volunteers and 100,000 in Ulster Volunteer Force

Curran J M (1980), pg7

 

Split in Irish Volunteers after war starts with National Volunteers going with Redmond and in support of British war effort.  About 13,000 left in Irish Volunteers

Curran J M (1980), pg8

 

Home Rule enacted but suspended

Curran J M (1980), pg8

Sept

IRB and Connolly decide for rebellion

Curran J M (1980), pg9

 

 

 

1915

IRB Military Council founded and headed by Pearse

Curran J M (1980), pg9

 

 

 

1916

Easter Rising in Dublin (Monday 24th to Saturday 29th April) - 800 turn out with about another 800 joining during the week - 60 rebels killed, 132 British (including 16 police) and more than 300 civilians killed.

Curran J M (1980), pg11

 

15 rebel leaders shot and Casement hung - 97 death sentences commuted

Curran J M (1980), pg12

 

Afterwards 3500 rebel suspects lifted, 1500 let go almost immediately, 1800 interned in England (most ~1300 let go quickly)

Curran J M (1980), pg11

 

Lloyd George made Prime Minister

Curran J M (1980), pg13

 

All remaining internees released - 150 prisoners still held

Curran J M (1980), pg14

 

 

 

1917

 

 

Feb

Count Plunkett wins seat for Sinn Féin in Roscommon

O'Farrell P (1997) P (1997), pg xiv

Mar

John Redmond dies and succeeded as leader of Irish Party by John Dillon

Curran J M (1980), pg15

Mar

Irish Volunteer meeting in Dublin leads to formation of National Executive

 

Apr

Joseph McGuiness wins seat for Sinn Féin  in South Longford while in prison

O'Farrell P (1997) P (1997), pg xiv

May

Convention called – Sinn Féin & Labour Party boycott - attended by Irish Party, Unionists and Bishops - Kept going until April 1918

Curran J M (1980), pg15

June

Remaining prisoners released including De Valera 

Curran J M (1980), pg14

July

De Valera wins seat for Sinn Féin in East Clare.  An Irish Volunteer (Daniel Scanlon) is shot dead during victory celebrations.  An RIC man (Constable Lyons) is found guilty but no action is taken against him. 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xiv and pg 93

Aug

WT Cosgrave wins seat in Kilkenny for Sinn Fein

Curran J M (1980), pg17

Sept

Thomas Ashe, leader of the successful Ashbourne ambush during 1916 Rising and President of IRB, dies due to force-feeding in Mountjoy Prison during a hunger strike.  Massive funeral procession organised for him.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 4

Oct-25

Sinn Féin Ard Fheis - 1,700 delegates – De Valera elected President; Griffith as Vice-President and Michael Collins on Executive

Curran J M (1980), pg18; Deasy (1973), pg 16

Oct-27

Irish Volunteer Convention - De Valera elected President and Cathal Brugha chief-of-staff and Collins on Executive and Director of Organisation

Curran J M (1980), pg18  O'Donnoghue F (1986), pg 15

 

 

 

1918

 

 

Mar

GHQ staff for Irish Volunteers set up with Richard Mulcahy (formerly O/C Dublin Brigade) as Chief-of-Staff and Michael Collins as Director of Organisation.  Dick McKee takes over as O/C Dublin Brigade.

Hopkinson (2002), pg 16

Apr-16

Conscription Bill passed by British House of Commons - heightening the conscription crisis

O'Donnoghue (1986), pg21

May-06

Lord French appointed Viceroy and Edward Shortt as Chief Secretary

O'Donnoghue (1986), pg22

May-17 & 18

Sinn Féin leaders jailed (including De Valera, Plunkett, Griffith and MacNeil) - "German Plot"

Curran J M (1980), pg19

Jul-08

Pat O’Sullivan and Dan Harrington from Kilnamatyra, Co. Cork disarm two RIC men at Béal na nGleanna.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 85

Nov-11

1st World War ends

Curran J M (1980), pg19

Dec

Election in Britain and Ireland.  Lloyd George elected to head coalition of Tories & some Liberals.

Curran J M (1980), pg20

Dec-14

Polling day of General Election in Great Britain and Ireland (except for University constituencies).  Sinn Féin wins 73 out of 105 seats - the remaining seats are 23 Northern Unionists; 6 Irish Party and 3 Southern Unionists.  Sinn Féin received only 48% of votes cast - however it received 65% of vote outside Six counties and there were 26 unopposed constituencies. 

Curran J M (1980), pg21; Figgis 1927, pg 225; Walker (1992), pgs 4-9

 

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