A number of previous cabinet ministers, notably Constance Markievicz , were demoted to under-secretary level. The Ministry met as often as secrecy and safety allowed. This was to assert the claim that the negotiations were between two sovereign states Ireland's view , and not that it was between the British government and local politicians Britain's view. Military[ edit ] The military branch of the Irish Republic were the Irish Volunteers who, in the course of the War of Independence, who were formally renamed the " Irish Republican Army " to reflect their status as the national army of the declared republic.
They proved unable to deal with violent crimes but acquired a good reputation with farmers, particularly in dealing harshly with cases of cattle rustling. Functionality[ edit ] The Irish Republic had some of the attributes of a functioning state; a ministry with a head of state in the latter stages , a parliament, a courts system, a police force and a constitution. The extent to which these functioned fluctuated in different parts of the island, with the success or otherwise of republican institutions depending both on the degree of control of the IRA in the region and on the brutality of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, active from June to July The more brutal the 'Tans' the more they alienated the local populace from the Dublin Castle administration and Assize courts and the greater success the republican alternatives had.
This was in part due to standing down the Royal Irish Constabulary RIC in early before a new police force was ready to operate; in the interim the Irish Republican Army IRA , dividing within itself over the Treaty, was the only police force.
The cabinet met frequently, though necessarily in secret, and dealt with everyday matters as well as the conduct of the war. O'Kelly , to win international recognition failed. Patrick McCartan set one up in Washington, D. Despite heavy lobbying from prominent Irish-Americans, President Woodrow Wilson refused to raise the Irish case at the conference as he did not want to antagonise the British.
Finally in June "Ireland's demand for recognition" was conveyed to Georges Clemenceau , the Conference Chairman, without effect. Carr , the historian of early Bolshevism , considered that ".. Wilson had promised self-determination for nations and international norms were changing.
In declaring independence unilaterally for the whole island, the new republic had denied "equal weight" to the wishes of Britain or the Irish loyalists. The obvious problem was that the Irish Republic's Declaration of Independence of January was hostile to Britain, which was one of the four main powers arranging terms at Versailles.
Although armistices were holding, World War I was technically unfinished until the treaties ending it were signed, starting with Germany on 28 June The Irish Republic was never recognised by the British government.
Because its original contents were not seen as workable, the government under David Lloyd George abandoned plans to amend the Third Home Rule Act enacted in , having called the Irish Convention in — The British cabinet started in September to work from Walter Long's proposals, and in December they enacted the Government of Ireland Act Each Ireland was to have a two bicameral parliaments, with a shared chief executive, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and a Council of Ireland which was intended to be an embryonic all-Ireland single parliament.
The proposal was greeted with mild enthusiasm among Irish Unionists in the new Northern Ireland, who had never sought their own home rule, but was rejected by a combination of Irish Republicans, Irish Nationalists and Irish Unionists who were not in Northern Ireland. This was a de facto recognition of de Valera's position, but also recognition by de Valera that Craig could not be ignored.
He had been invited as: This accreditation gave them the legal ability to sign a treaty without waiting for approval from the Republic's cabinet, some of whose members were among the envoys. However, the British view was that they were not envoys, and they recognised them only as elected members of parliament representing those Irish people who wanted independence in one form or another. By September, the British called for a conference with the envoys "to ascertain how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations".
De Valera replied on 12 September "Our nation has formally declared its independence and recognises itself as a sovereign State. Anglo-Irish Treaty[ edit ] Each side in the negotiations used sufficiently elastic language to enable the Republic's delegates to suggest that what was taking place was inter-state negotiations, while allowing the British Government to suggest that it was an internal United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland matter. The Anglo-Irish Treaty , when signed on 6 December, was similarly put through three processes to satisfy both sides.
Finally, the two structures of government the British government's administration in Dublin Castle and the Republic's began a process of convergence, to cover the year until the coming into force of the new Irish Free State. In January , a Provisional Government came into being, but the Irish Republic was not dismantled; its institutions continued to operate in parallel with those of the provisional authority.
However the two administrations were progressively merged until in August, following the deaths of both Griffith and Collins, W. Cosgrave assumed both leadership positions simultaneously and so the two most important offices effectively became one, producing a unique constitutional hybrid; a crown-appointed prime minister and a president of a republic.
As a constituent assembly this enacted a new constitution with the passage of the Irish Free State Constitution Act. On 6 December , the Constitution of the Irish Free State came into effect and the institutions of both the Irish Republic and the Provisional Government ceased to be. Legacy[ edit ] The goal of those who established the Irish Republic was to create an independent republic comprising the whole island of Ireland.
They failed in this goal, but the Irish Republic paved the way for the creation of the Irish Free State, a Commonwealth dominion with self-government. By , under a new constitution, the Free State became a fully independent republic with the self-designation 'Ireland'. Irish Republic in the post-Treaty Republican tradition[ edit ] Main article: Irish republican legitimatism Since the Civil War during and , the Irish Republic has been an important symbol for radical republicans, amongst others.
In particular the anti-Treaty faction objected to the continued role in the Irish constitution that would be granted to the British monarch under the Irish Free State. Arguments about abandoning the republic had, however, been very fully discussed during the Treaty Debates. The anti-Treaty side was then defeated in the Civil War. Nonetheless, a hard-line minority continued to reject the legitimacy of the Free State and its successor, "Republic of Ireland".
The Irish Republican Army ultimately ceased military operations against Ireland in but continued to consider itself the legitimate government of all Ireland.