Irish republicans challenged British legislative, executive and judicial control over their country.
They challenged British legislative control when they held the inaugural meeting of Dáil Éireann on 21 January 1919. With the election of the Dáil’s first Ministry the following day, they began to challenge British executive control over Ireland. It is perhaps surprising that some time was to pass before systematic efforts were made to supplant the third arm of the British state on the island – the judicial. But when steps were taken to address this deficiency, remarkable progress was made in a very short space of time. The success in this field energised the entire separatist movement precisely at the time when the British response to the military threat posed by the Irish Volunteers was moving into a high gear.