The Irish Republic (Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann) was an unrecognised revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom in January 1919. The Republic claimed jurisdiction over the whole island of Ireland, but by 1920 its functional control was limited to only 21 of Ireland's 32 counties, and British state forces maintained a presence across much of the north-east, as well as Cork, Dublin and other major towns. The republic was strongest in rural areas, and through its military forces was able to influence the population in urban areas that it did not directly control.
Its origins date back to the Easter Rising of 1916, when Irish republicans seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic. The rebellion was crushed, but the survivors united under a reformed Sinn Féin party to campaign for a republic. The party won a clear majority of largely uncontested seats in the 1918 general election, and formed the first Dáil (legislature) of