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Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin (Irish, “we, ourselves”), Irish nationalist movement formed by Arthur Griffith in 1905. It secured wide support in 1916, when most of the leaders of the Easter Rebellion against English suppression were martyred. Led by Eamon De Valera, the Sinn Féin set up a separate Irish Parliament, the Dáil Éireann, which declared Irish independence (1918). Sinn Féin guerrilla activity was countered by British Black and Tans military terrorists (1920), but Irish resolve strengthened to the point of war. Britain negotiated a peace treaty with De Valera, and the result was the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. The treaty split the Sinn Féin into factions; civil war ensued. Eventually the majority of the Irish backed De Valera's party, the Fainna Fáil, and he became president of the Irish Free State in 1932. With independence, the Sinn Féin movement ended—except for that faction called the Irish Republican Army, which was outlawed. In April 1998 Sinn Féin participated in the peace talks which led to a peace agreement.

See also: De Valera, Eamon.

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