A century of Anglo-Irish history

15th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth II makes a historic visit to Ireland on Tuesday, the first by a British monarch since Irish independence almost a century ago.

Here are the key events in Anglo-Irish history in the past 100 years:

1911: King George V visits Ireland, the last British monarch to do so.

1916: The Easter Rising, an insurrection in Dublin by Irish republicans aimed at ending centuries of British rule. British forces brutally suppress the rebellion and the execution of several of the leaders alienates public opinion.

1919-1921: Irish War of Independence begins after nationalist lawmakers in January unilaterally declare independence shortly after the end of World War I, pitting Irish volunteer forces against British troops.

1921: Partition: the Anglo-Irish treaty on December 6 establishes the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Empire. The six northeastern counties -- Northern Ireland -- remain under British rule.

1922-1923: Irish Civil War between two groups who disagreed over the Anglo-Irish treaty, won by those that supported it. Ireland's current ruling party Fine Gael and opposition Fianna Fail are direct descendants of the two sides.

1937: Irish Free State is renamed "Eire" in new constitution and the post of president is created. But the British monarch theoretically continues to reign.

1948: Republic of Ireland Act passed, severs last constitutional links with Britain.

1968-69: Start of "The Troubles", three decades of unrest in Northern Ireland. Civil rights movement springs up in protest against discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland; riots break out and the British army is deployed.

1972: London dissolves the government in Belfast and imposes direct rule after 470 people die in violence, including "Bloody Sunday" when 13 civilians were killed after British soldiers opened fire on demonstrators in Londonderry.

1973: Ireland joins the European Economic Community (now the European Union).

Mid-1990s: "Celtic Tiger" boom begins in Ireland as it becomes one of the world's fastest growing economies. In 2002 it adopts the euro.

1998: The Good Friday peace accord in Northern Ireland is signed and the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the main Catholic-backed militant group, declares a ceasefire. Northern Ireland assembly set up.

2002: Britain reimposes direct rule in Northern Ireland after allegations of an IRA spy-ring centred on Stormont Castle, the seat of the Belfast government. Self-rule restored in 2007 and Britain ends its military operation there.

© 2011 AFP

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