Perhaps because it is on my doorstep, so to speak, but I did not quite know how the country came to be.
From The Week:
On 3 May 1921, the Government of Ireland Act 1920 came into effect. Passed by the British PM David Lloyd George’s coalition government, it created Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland: two separate, self-governing territories with their own “home rule” parliaments, which were nevertheless to remain within the United Kingdom.
In the event, Southern Ireland was a dead letter: amidst the Irish War of Independence, its parliament met only once, and the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 established the Irish Free State, which would in 1949 become the Republic of Ireland.