WWI and the split of the Irish Volunteers

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  • WWI and the Split of the Irish Volunteers
    • At the outbreak of war, John Redmond pledged his and his party's loyalty to the crown
    • He also pledged the loyalty of the Irish volunteers of which the majority supported him
      • Between 150,000 and 170,000 formed into the National Volunteers
      • A small minority of 10,000 (especially those influenced by the IRB) broke away, keeping the name of the Irish Volunteers led by Eoin MacNeill
    • Overall, around 80,000 Irishmen enlisted in the British Army in WWI, in addition to the 20,000 that had already signed up- about half of these were from Ulster
    • The British Government looked at introducing conscription but John Redmond successfully prevented them from introducing it in Ireland


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