After a centuries old struggle against colonisation by the British, the Irish Republic was first declared in Easter of 1916. Although the rising was unpopular at the time the execution of the leaders of the uprising led to an upsurge of support for the rebels. After a 6 year war of independence, in which Eamon De-Valera and Michael Collins fought together, an Irish Free State Treaty offering a limited form of independence “Home Rule”, was negotiated with the British Government in 1922.
The Treaty caused division within the republican movement. The hardline opponents of the treaty led by De-Valera, wanted to continue to fight for an all Ireland solution, while others supported by Collins, saw the treaty as a stepping stone to an independent nation. The civil war that followed lasted for just 11 months. (28 June 1922 – 24 May 1923)
DeValera subsequently validated the “Stepping Stone ” argument, when between 1932 and 1937 DeValera dismantled British control of Ireland through a series of Constitutional amendments, leading eventually to the 1937 Constitution.