The Irish Free Republic (Irish: Éireannach Saor Poblacht) is a country in north-western Europe. Although it is normally just called "Ireland", the Irish Free Republic only owns about five-sixth of the entire Island of Ireland. Ireland is a constitutional republic. The country is bordered to the north east by Northern Ireland, which is a country inside the United Kingdom. The only other border Ireland shares is with the ocean.
Independence from the United Kingdom (1903 - 1922)Shorty after World War I, the Constituent Country of Southern Ireland in the United Kingdom felt the need to break away from the United Kingdom. Talk started in the early 1910s with Northern Ireland to join in a new nation, united as one. However, many members of Northern Ireland did not approve of breaking away from the United Kingdom, and only agreed to join Southern Ireland if they remained a part of the British Commonwealth. The Southern Irish, however, wanted nothing to do with this, and in 1918 proclaimed that Southern and Northern Ireland were united under one country called the Republic of Ireland, and were not a part of the Commonwealth. It was intervention by the United Kingdom that shut down this renegade government and separate Southern and Northern Ireland once more. In 1919, the Irish Free Republic was formed from just Southern Ireland. After being debated in the UK for three years, The Irish Free State Act of 1922 was passed in the Parliament, and The Irish Free State was recognised as an offical Republic, free and separate from the United Kingdom.
A Time of National Construction (1922 - 1939)
After the Irish Free State won its independence, the hard task of completely building a country came into play. Plagued with poverty, Ireland struggled to pass reforms that its economy needed. In 1922 the Irish Pound was equal to the British Pound, but by 1931, it took five Irish Pounds to equal one British Pound, then by 1938, it took nearly 30. This time period is also known as the polaiteoir ruathar (Politician Scramble) as during this time, the Political Parties of the nation changed every year, and the Oireachtas changed hands over 43 times from 1922 to 1939. It was during this time that the three major parties in Ireland were formed, and have stood that way since 1939. The first party, the Labour Party of Ireland formed in 1938 out of the old Irish Worker and Tradesmen Party, this party keep it self as a Left-wing party. The next party, the Irish Freedom Party formed in early 1939 from the Conservative Party of Ireland. To this day it maintains its Right-wing stance. The largest, and most unelectable, party in Ireland is the Irish Union Party, which was created in 1937 to replace the Reunification Party. It has a pro-annexation stance towards Northern Ireland, and is currently seen as being the most centre party in the nation.
World War II (1939 - 1945)
Due to Ireland's unstable situation, it declared neutrality in all hostilites between the two warring sides. Although, due to the War, known as "The Emergency" In Ireland, this scared many citizens, and thus the 3 main parties were cemented into place as being the three main parties for the nation. It was in the 1940 elections that the Labour Party of Ireland was replaced with the Irish Freedom Party. Luckily, due to the Irish Freedom Parties stance on not joining a war, unlike Labour and the Unionists, who thought a war would be helpful to the nation's stuggeling economy. In 1944, the Irish Freedom majority succeded in finally pulling Ireland out of its deep depression, by passing major industrialisation laws for all counties and town alongs the River Shannon. Due to the high demand for manufactured goods, Ireland exported goods to the United Kingdom, but was fearful of exporting anywhere else, due to the German patrols looking to sink ships carrying goods. During this time, the Irish economy exploded, but, once again, thanks for the Irish Freedom Party, they slowly closed the exportation rate and allowed the country to adjust away from the War-economy.
Ireland Today (1945 - )
After the war was over with an Axis-victory, the United Kingdom stopping buying all goods from Ireland, of course this caused a minor hit in the economy, which was blamed upon the Irish Freedom Party. After this they were voted out and a Labour-Union coalition ran the country until the mid 70s. In 1957, The Irish Free Republic was one of the founding members of the European Community, which is an economic and political union between the various states of Europe. The Irish Free Republic gained the seat of founding member only due to the brief period a Fascist government that ruled Ireland. This was the only time the Labour-Union Coalition did not rule Ireland. It was in 1987 that the President of the Irish Free Republic, Ronald O'Regan, was assassinated by a member of a fringe group, which called for the North-east section of Ireland which bordered Northern Ireland to separate and join the United Kingdom. This caused a national uproar, as Ronald O'Regan had been one of the most popular Irish Presid ents from the Irish Freedom Party. The United Kingdom sent their condolences, but many citizens called for Northern Ireland to be punished, as they believed this is where the attack came from. In 1990, an army, made up of citizens, was formed without the consent of the government, called the Irish Republican Army (IRA). This group carried out armed attacks in Northern Ireland against those they thought wanted to have Ireland, or parts of Ireland back into the United Kingdom. To this day the IRA still causes a headache for both the Irish Free Republic and the United Kingdom.
PoliticsIreland is a Republic, which runs under a parliamentary system. The President of Ireland, who serves as the head of state and head of government is elected for a seven-year term and can be re-elected only once. The president mostly goes by the title of Taoiseach, which is what the Irish Free Republic's constitution places the offical head of government as. National elections are held for the lower and upper houses of the Oireachtas, every 2 years for the lower house, and every 4 years for the upper house. The lower house (Dáil Éireann) determines who is the Vice-President of Ireland by whoever gains a majority of seats or whoever forms the largest coalition. The Seanad Éireann, however, is much less significant than the Dáil, it only has the ability to delay passage of a bill it does not agree with.