On 18th of September 1914 the Irish Home Rule Bill was enacted – The Government of Ireland Act 1914.
On the same day a Suspensory Act was also passed, which suspended the enactment of two Acts of Parliament (the Government of Ireland Act and the Welsh Churches Act) initially for 12 months due to the outbreak of war.
The war which it was claimed ‘would be over by Christmas’, dragged on. Many Irish men served in the British forces dying on both land and sea. The war became deeply unpopular in Ireland.
From 24th to 29th April 1916, the Irish Uprising, Éirí Amach na Cásca, the Easter Rebellion took place. The brutal suppression of Ireland by the British led to a greater support for independence for Ireland.
In 1918 the General Election saw this discontent manifest itself in a huge rise in support for Sinn Féin and the shattering of the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), dominant in Ireland for decades, which had encouraged Irish men to fight for Britain at the start of the war.
The first woman MP was also elected. Constance Markievicz, who did not take up her seat in the House of Commons. Sinn Féin did not send its MPs to Westminster but instead set up a parliament in Dublin and declared Ireland independent.