The Irish Republic ((アイルランド語:Poblacht na hÉireann) or ) was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature (Dáil Éireann), a government (Aireacht), a court system and a police force. At the same time, the Irish Volunteers, who came under the control of the Dáil and became known as the Irish Republican Army, fought against British armed forces in the Irish War of Independence.
The War of Independence ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed on 6 December 1921 and narrowly approved by Dáil Éireann on 7 January 1922. A Provisional Government was set up under the terms of the treaty, but the Irish Republic nominally remained in existence until 6 December 1922, when most of Ireland became a self-governing British Dominion called the Irish Free State. The six counties of Northern Ireland exercised their right under the Treaty to opt out of the new dominion and rejoin the United Kingdom on 8 December 1922,〔Hachey, Thomas E. et al. (''The Irish Experience: A Concise History'' ) 1996 p172〕 leading to the Partition of Ireland, so that the Irish Free State consisted of only 26 of the island's 32 counties.〔(Northern Ireland Parliamentary Report, 7 December 1922 )〕
== Name ==
In English, the revolutionary state was to be known as the "Irish Republic". Two different Irish language titles were used: ''Poblacht na hÉireann'' and ''Saorstát Éireann'', based on two alternative Irish translations of the word ''republic''. The word "poblacht" was a new word, coined by the writers of the Easter Proclamation in 1916.〔Liam de Paor. ''On the Easter Proclamation: And Other Declarations'' (1997) ISBN 1-85182-322-0〕 ''Saorstát'' was a compound word based on the Irish words ''saor'' ("free") and ''stát'' ("state"). Its literal translation was "free state". The term ''Poblacht na hÉireann'' is the one used in the Proclamation of 1916, but the Declaration of Independence and other documents adopted in 1919 used ''Saorstát Éireann''.
''Saorstát Éireann'' was adopted as the official Irish title of the Irish Free State when it was established at the end of the Anglo-Irish War, although this Free State was not a republic but a form of constitutional monarchy within the British Empire. Since then, the word ''saorstát'' has fallen out of use as a translation of ''republic''. After the Irish state had changed its name to "Ireland", in 1949 the description of the state was declared "Republic of Ireland", while in Irish it was translated as ''Poblacht na hÉireann''.
In ''The Aftermath'',〔W. Churchill, ''The Aftermath'' (Thornton 1929) p298.〕 Winston Churchill gives an account of the first meeting of Éamon de Valera with David Lloyd George on 14 July 1921, at which he was present. Lloyd George was a native speaker of Welsh and a noted Welsh linguist and as such was interested in the literal meaning of 'Saorstát'. De Valera replied that it meant 'Free State'. Lloyd George asked '...what is your Irish word for Republic?' After some delay and no reply, Lloyd George commented: 'Must we not admit that the Celts never were Republicans and have no native word for such an idea?'
Lord Longford (although not actually present) gives a different account in ''Peace by Ordeal'':〔Lord Longford, ''Peace by Ordeal'' (1935) ISBN 0-283-97909-7〕 "The only doubt in de Valera's mind, as he explained to Lloyd George, arose from the current dispute among Gaelic purists whether the idea Republic was better conveyed by the broader ‘Saorstát’ or the more abstract ‘Poblacht’."
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