War of Independence

A Declaration of Independence was issued by the Irish Republic on 21 January 1919. Later that day, two members of the armed police force (RIC) were killed in an ambush at Soloheadbeg in County Tipperary. The Irish War of Independence had begun. The Irish Volunteers, later renamed the Irish Republican Army (IRA), targeted RIC and British Army barracks and ambushed their patrols, capturing arms and forcing the closure of barracks in isolated areas. The British Government bolstered the RIC with recruits from Britain (Black and Tans and Auxiliaries) who became notorious for ill-discipline and reprisal attacks on civilians.
On Bloody Sunday, 21 November 1920, fourteen British intelligence operatives were assassinated in Dublin in the morning, and the RIC opened fire on a crowd at a football match at Croke Park later that afternoon, killing fourteen and wounding 65 others. A week later, seventeen British Auxiliaries were killed by the IRA in an Ambush at Kilmichael in County Cork. The British Government declared martial law in much of southern Ireland. The center of Cork City was burnt out by British forces in December 1920. Violence continued to escalate over the next seven months, when 1,000 people were killed and 4,500 republicans interned. Trials by jury ceased and the burning of income tax offices left Ireland ungovernable. The conflict had reached stalemate. The British government was facing severe criticism at home and abroad for the lawless actions of British forces in Ireland. On the other side, the IRA could not continue much further due to lack of arms and ammunition. Negotiations on a settlement began, leading to peace talks and the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 6 December 1921