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What if the Easter rising of 1916 had succeeded? What if James Connolly had established a united, socialist Ireland that eventually became a major European power?
On April 24 1916 hundreds of Irish citizens army rebels stormed Leinster house (instead of the general post office in OTL) taking The Lord lieutenant hostage and threatening to kill British colonial figures in Dublin unless Britain recognised Ireland's independence. After a hasty and heated meeting with his cabinet British PM David Lloyd George officially recognised the Socialist Republic of Ireland on April 27th and ordered the withdrawal of all British troops in Ireland. The last of which left Belfast on May 30th 1916 marking the start of a new era for the island of Ireland.....
Birth of a nation
With James Connolly at the helm as Chairman of the Irish workers party Ireland's economy began to boom with Factories being built in the major cities of Dublin, Belfast, Limerick and Galway attracting workers from all over Europe, between 1920 and 1929 50,000 Irish Americans returned to a more free, prosperous Ireland then the one they left behind. However in 1929, the financial crisis in America spread to Europe and deeply affecting the republic.
Irish civil War
On January 28th 1931 Chairman Connolly was assassinated outside his residence in Phoenix Park by a bomb planted by members of Ailtiri na hAiseirghe (the architects of the resurrection) a Fasicst paramilitary group led by Former Army officer Oliver j Flanagan who proceeded to seize Dublin and declare the National Democratic socialist Republic of Ireland. However, not all members of the Irish workers party were killed by Flanagan's purge and minister of police Brian O'Higgins fled to Killarney, the old Capitol of confederate ireland to establish a rump government to resist Flanagan's regime, for the rest of 1931 Flanagan's national army made huge advances into ulster and rural counties until both army's met at Mullingar in February 1932 where for three weeks the Irish citizen army and the national army fought in a bitter siege that destroyed Mullingar and killed 55,000 before the Irish national army retreated to its defensive line in county Kildare while the Irish citizen army launched a co-ordinated offensive to capture Belfast and the rest of Ulster and surround Ailtiri na hAiseirghe in Dublin. By the end of 1932 Dublin was surrounded and the national army was cut off from supplies given to them by Mussolini, a bitter battle ensured with the vastly outnumbered National army fought the Irish citizen army until March 10th 1933 when Irish citizen army troops captured Dublin castle, killed Flanagan and raised the starry plow over the historic castle, ending the war.
The Roaring Forties and the emergency.
After the war chairman O'Higgins began a ambitious reconstruction plan with collective farms and factory's churning out products that were exported to Europe and, by 1940, the economy had recovered from the war. When World War 2 began in 1939 the Irish government, not wanting to get into another war so soon after the civil war, declared neutrality but allowed British and later the American warships to pass through Irish waters. During this period a draft was imposed and defensive lines set up on the south coast against any German invasion. When peace broke out in 1945 Chairman O'Higgins celebrated V-E day in Moscow with his longtime ally Joseph Stalin.
As the Cold War began in Europe and knowledge of Stalin's abuses of human rights O'Higgins began to distance his country from the Soviet Union but he had already lost the trust of American and British governments and in 1950 he retired from the chairmanship of the Irish workers party and Foreign Affairs Minister William Norton took over and immediately began reforms (such as freedom of religion, universal free healthcare and experimenting with capitalism) that made relations with the western nations improve and, when Norton died in 1965 a state funeral at st Mary's pro cathedral in Dublin was attended by US President Lyndon B Johnston and British Queen Elizabeth II.
Ulster insurgency and reform era
At the party congress in 1966 Tomas Mac Giolla was elected party chairman, Mac Giolla was an unpopular leader whose crackdown on Protestants in Ulster led to an insurgency. In 1979 Mac Giolla was shot by a sniper during a speech in Belfast and many people feared another civil war. However, law and order survived and in 1980 Vice Chairman Sean Garland was elected who unveiled plans for massive scale judicial and governmental reforms. In 1985 a new constitution was unveiled with the office of president of the republic established to be the title of the head of state who would be elected by the party every five years and taisoeach the title of head of state. Garland was appointed president and appointed long serving party member Prosnias de Rossa as taisoeach. Garland served as president until 1991 when he resigned in favour of his Vice President Dick spring, a populist who embraced capitalism and led Ireland into a economic boom.
During the economic boom lasting from 1993 to 2008 Ireland's GDP tripled and tourism became a multi-billion punt industry with millions of tourists from Europe, Australia and the United States visiting Ireland. In 2001 president spring was term limited out of office and army general Gerry Adams was elected president and Premier de Rossa was defeated in a caucus room coup by Environment Minister Trevor Sargent who worked to expand the agriculture industry and making Ireland an environmentalist Mecca. President Adams meanwhile was unpopular for his decision to send 6000 Irish troops to Iraq and in 2006 was ousted by a no confidence vote and replaced by Social welfare minister Joan Burton who became the first female president of the republic.