Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 17:06 GMT
1917-20: The road to partition
The newly-named IRA carried the fight to the British
Sinn Fein election success Starting in January 1917, a grouping of nationalists under the name Sinn Fein sweeps four by-elections - Roscommon, South Longford, East Clare and Kilkenny City - against the official Irish Parliamentary Party.
The East Clare poll is won by future Irish Prime Minister Eamon de Valera.
In July, he was among the remaining prisoners of the Easter Rising who had all been released to a tumultuous welcome in Dublin.
Irish Constitutional Convention On July 25, Prime Minister Lloyd George convenes a meeting to try to resolve the Home Rule problem. Sinn Fein does not attend and Unionists in the north and south disagree. The convention continues, but eventually fails in spring, 1918.
De Valera In October 1917, de Valera becomes president of Sinn Fein and decides to push for an independent republic.
Conscription With Germany launching its final great offensive in spring 1918, the British government considers extending conscription to Ireland. Official nationalists, Sinn Fein and the Catholic church unite at the Mansion House conference against the idea, which is dropped.
Post-war election In the general election of December 1918, Sinn Fein achieves a huge breakthrough, sweeping aside the IPP by 73 seats to six. The Ulster Unionists take 25 seats in the north.
Dail Eireann Sinn Fein boycotts Westminster, meeting instead at Dublin's Mansion House as the 'Dail Eireann', or Irish Parliament, from January 1919. De Valera elected 'president' of a uniliaterally declared independent republic.
This marks a new phase of the struggle and in a year, 14 Irish police are killed and 20 wounded by the Volunteers, who now call themselves the Irish Republican Army.
Banned Westminster declares the Dail Eireann illegal in September.
With a lack of normal uniforms, they are kitted out partially in khaki which leads to their nickname.
Soon after, a special Auxiliary force is created from former officers who served in the First World War.
They and the Black and Tans fight the IRA in an increasingly bloody cycle of reprisal and counter-reprisal.
Local elections Held in urban areas under a system of proportional representation, the polls confirm Sinn Fein dominance in 172 out of 206 boroughs and urban districts.
Riots worsen Sectarian violence escalates; in Belfast, 30 people are killed in August alone.
He is followed by Tomas McSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, after a 78-day fast in Brixton prison.
And in the evening, two IRA men and a Sinn Fein supporter are killed in the guard-room of Dublin Castle.
Partition The Government of Ireland Act comes into force on December 23, 1920. It provides for two parliaments in Ireland - one in Belfast serving six counties and the other in Dublin for the remaining 26 counties. There would be a Council of Ireland to oversee common facilities.
Partition is accepted by Unionists but rejected by Nationalists. Carson steps down as Ulster Unionist leader and is succeeded by Sir James Craig in February 1921.