Goidelic Republic of Airgialla
Poblacht Gaeilge na Airgíalla
|Government||Unitary one-party parliamentary guild socialist republic|
• Forum President
|Iuchra Uí Slatara|
|Legislature||Standing Forum of Unions|
|Independence from Tiperyn|
• Goidelic Framework
|21 February 1934|
• Rosrick Accord
|2 March 1927|
• Siege of Rosrick
|10 May 1920|
|55,820 km2 (21,550 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
• 2010 census
|107.1/km2 (277.4/sq mi)|
Airgialla (Goidelic: Airgíalla), officially known as the Goidelic Republic of Airgialla (Goidelic: Poblacht Gaeilge na Airgíalla), is a country in Western Artemia off the western coast of Tiperyn. Airgialla is considered to be the western edge of Artemia, as well as the Goidelia subcontinent. The country shares a maritime border with Tiperyn to the east, but is otherwise surrounded by the North Iapetus Ocean.
Airgialla includes 15 shires covering an area of 84,700 km2 and the whole of the Airgialla Archipelago. The Goidelic Republic claims sovereignty over Goidel-inhabited portions of western Goidelia—the vast majority of which is under Tiperyn control—but does not exercise control outside of its internationally-recognized archipelago. With a population of 5,420,000, Airgialla is one of smallest countries in Western Artemia.
Airgialla is believed to be derived from an Old Goidelic word meaning "ones who hand over hostages". This was an exonym applied to the archipelago by Goetic settlers during the Goetic expansion westward in the 12th century. The name likely referenced east Airgialla's role as a base for Goidel raiders who would often kidnap women and children from frontier Goetic settlements and ransom them for silver, cattle, and Goidel slaves taken by the Goets. Scholars believe that the name originated from Goetic invaders interrogations of imprisoned Goidels asking where their families had been taken hostage.
Second Goidelic Secession (1920-1927)
When Tiperyn entered the Grand Campaigns in 1919, the Secretariat on War and Crisis issued a conscription order to enlarge the Realm Defence for war. Initially, this conscription period did not extend to the Goidel-majority divisions of Airgialla, Rosraig, and Darimh, which did not have regiments of their own and until 1920 were exempt from national service obligations due to the fear of military uprisings. Volunteers from these provinces could join Poc'herian regiments, where national service obligations remained. However, in 1920, with the expansion of the war and early losses, Tiperyn expanded conscription to traditionally repressed Goidel provinces for the first time since the First Goidelic Secession (1571-1610). Ten new regiments were formed drawing their other ranks from Airgialla, Rosraig and Darimh. However, they were organized like 19th century Viceroyal territorial regiments directly under federal control and led by ethnically Tiperyner officers and ensigns. This model had been abandoned in the 1840s as most overseas territories were granted more autonomy and were permitted to commission indigenous officers to serve in teritorial regiments. Wartime rationing also exacerbated crippling food shortages resulting from a poor year's harvest.
Conscription in Goidel divisions was widely protested, leading to several riots in the spring of 1920 in the Goidel cities of Rosrick, An Clochan, and Darimh. Segregated Goidel units were likened to cannon fodder, and it was argued by some that sending Goidelia's young men to die in war was another piece of a policy of genocide. Rampant civil unrest was met with the deployment of the Holy Guard, Tiperyn's religious paramilitary force subordinate to the First Apostolic Church charged with maintaining order at home and protecting the monarch. Although not viewed as such at the time, the razing of the Realm Guard Mustering Station No. 450 in central Darimh by Goidel protesters on 4 April 1920 is typically cited as the beginning of the Second Goidelic Secession.
The Tiperyn government responded harshly to Goidel unrest, with the Holy Guard arresting dozens of high profile Goidel community leaders and academics who had already been targetted pre-war. The Realm Academy at Darimh was also closed due to it being at the center of Goidel secession thought, not to be re-opened until after the war's end. As the Holy Guard was under church administration, in addition to its wartime role as an internal security force it also effectively bolstered the enforcement of Apostolic religious law in Goidel regions. Outside of its mandate from the Secretariat on War and Crisis to quell the riots, the Secretariat on Values—the Tiperyner ministry responsible for religious policy and propaganda—also instructed the Holy Guard to crackdown on public practice of Goidelic paganism, which further stoked tensions.
On 10 May 1920, several thousands citizen in Rosrick, Airgialla aided by up to 110 constables attacked the small Tiperyner Realm Guard garrison, surrounding it and forcing the surrender of 35 Realms Guardsmen. A small amount of weapons were also seized from the garrison's armory, including 4 machine guns and 10 rifle grenade launchers. The Siege of the Rosrick Garrison prompted a larger response from Ambrosia, and the Tiperyn government prepared to deploy two Realm Guard regiments to Airgialla to regain control of the capital. However, the Airgialla insurrection, led by social-democratic activist and academic Dr. Liam Ó hAnnaigh, had gained significant ground by mid-June, with the capital of Rosrick essentially being under the control of a provisional alliance of liberals and socialists supported by the Rosrick constabulary.
Further, representatives of the insurrection—most notably underground labor organizer Nuala Nic Alasdair—were sent in secret to garner support from Brigantica, a Goidel state in Northern Avalonia and former colony of Tiperyn. Although the point is disputed, it's argued that the situation in Airgialla was what ultimately pushed Brigantica to declare war on Tiperyn, which it was fighting with as a co-belligerent as part of the Grand Campaigns. The war declaration came on 4 September 1920, the justification being Tiperyn's open repression of its Goidel peoples and targetted violence against republican revolutionaries on continental Artemia.
The conflict in western Tiperyn escalated significantly, as Goidelic insurrectionists emboldened by Brigantic material and political support increased their attacks on Tiperyner infrastructure and began organizing large militias. Airgialla, which was geographically protected by the Strait of Airgialla, served as the first landing point for Brigantic war materiel. The Tiperyn Realm Armada, now fighting an active naval war on three sides of Tiperyn, the West Tethys, and Eurybian Sea was not able to support a large scale amphibious invasion of Airgialla at any point during the war, and was relegated to targetting Brigantic shipping to Airgialla and smugglers between Airgialla and Tiperyn proper. The civil war in western Tiperyn drew a significant amount of resources away from the war in western Artemia, forcing Tiperyn to deploy seven divisions to combat operations at home.
The geographic split and difference in the character of the fight created a rift between the Airgiallan and Darimh-Rosraig arms of the Goidelic insurrection. Although the Airgiallans supported the mainland movement and deployed fighters, each side's movement had different origins and different conditions. The Darimg-Rosraig insurrection was largely led by working class organizers and farmers unions from rural areas, as many of the urban and educated political leaders were interned at the start of the conflict. The Airgiallan revolution was led by industrial trade unionists from urban areas and well-educated academics. Additionally, a portion of mainland Tiperyn's relatively affluent, urban Goidelic population used their wealth to escape to Airgialla in 1920 and 1921. Fighting on the mainland was also much more intense, as Tiperyn could prosecute a land war with short supply lines against the Goidel rebels. Meanwhile, on Airgialla, fighting was limited after the initial seizure of the archipelago, except for the occasional naval bombardment, commando raid, or airship raid. Foreign influence was also much more apparent on Airgialla, as foreign agents could operate from the archipelago with near impunity, whereas western Tiperyn was militarily contested.
These factors led to the failure of mainland movement—with militants being forced into hiding and large scale fighting coming to an end by 1927—while Airgialla survived with Brigantic support; albeit without Tiperyn recognition. As a result of how the civil war unfolded, tensions rose between the archipelagic and mainland movements through the 1930s and 1940s. Airgiallan secessionists were characterized as champagne socialists or even liberals by mainland leaders due to the perception of Airgiallans as well-off city dwellers unwilling to fight as they had. This led to a general distrust of authority—even the authority of successful Goidel states—among mainland Goidelic insurrectionists and a trend towards grassroots, decentralized libertarian socialism among rural agricultural laborers and some urban factory workers, with political violence seen as the only means of achieving independence. The Airgiallans meanwhile, led largely by socialist academics and urban factory trade unionists, built their state on the principals of guild socialism with strong state institutions based on trade, academic and consumer unions.
Early statehood (1927-1930)
In the immediate aftermath of the Second Goidelic Secession, the Goidelic coalition on Airgialla initially formed the Airgiallan Assembly modelled off of a parliamentary system. The foundation of democratic institutions was an early requirement for Brigantic material support during and after the secession. The first assembly was formed in 1928, composed of 51 elected assemblymen. Despite Brigantic support, the nascent socially democratic party Unity Alliance only won 13 seats in the inaugural election. The Unity Alliance was generally perceived to be a continuation of the land- and factory-owning Goidel class that managed property and industry with the de facto approval from the Tiperyn government pre-war, and were deeply unpopular with the working class. The wealthy liberals were also thought of by the leftist coalition as free-riders who did little to win Airgialla its independence. The Labour Unionist Coalition, affiliated with the archipelago's largest trade unions, earned 23 seats and formed a minority government with the four other leftist parties.
The first and only term of the Airgiallan Assembly was characterized by a tumultuous political situation, where the governing coalition was highly critical of the institutions and laws that had been dictated by Brigantica. There was very little respect for the assembly's charter, and trade unions—who commanded significant influence over the working class—effectively ran a shadow government parallel with the provisional municipal and county governments. To the opposition of the Unity Alliance, the Labour Unionists under the leadership of Aolu O Lorcain saw the gradual rolling back of commitments to the assembly's charter. The parliamentary cabinet was stacked with union leadership and socialist academics, and the assembly largely ignored the nation's weak courts which were largely benched by mostly liberal judges appointed by Brigantic statebuilders in 1925.
Clashes between municipal police and union enforcers were common in urban centers, particularly in Unity Alliance strongholds.
Socialist takeover (1930-1935)
In 1930, just before the assembly's charter would have forced a new election to be called, the First Assemblyman and Labour Union leader Aolu O Lorcain declared a state of emergency and suspended the assembly.
Contemporary history (1935-present)
Airgialla is a unitary one-party socialist state whereby the Standing Forum of Unions is the main legislating body and elects the Forum President as the head of state. Airgiallan government is structured as per the Goidelic Framework, Airgialla's founding document and constitution. This framework conceptualizes the national government as representing the interests of the working masses via union representation and procedures and theory developed by the qualified scholarly class. Only one party, the socialist Goidelic Union, is permitted. but political competition is normally defined by inter-union relationships and special interests rather than by party factionalism. As a whole, the Airgiallan national government consists of four parts:
- The Legislature: The Standing Forum of Unions consists of 600 councilships that are allotted to 67 approved trade and collegiate unions based on union membership figures. The Standing Forum is Airgialla's chief legislating body which adopts national law, sets the national budget, and elects the Forum President from among its members. Councillors serve at the pleasure of their represented union, who usually select Councillors by a ranked vote among all members or by appointment from union leadership. There are no term limits for individual Councillors, but a new selection process must take place across the entire Standing Forum every five years.
- The Executive: The Forum President is the head of state of Airgialla. They chair the Standing Forum of Unions setting the agenda, act as chief diplomat and head of the armed forces, appoint cabinet secretaries and national judges, and use the national secretarial bureaucracy, military and law enforcement through the Office of the Forum President to enforce the policy of the national legislature and judiciary. Among the sub-offices of the Forum President is the People's Procurator, which acts as a national investigative agency and represents the government during judicial hearings. Although not required by law, due to the dynamics of the Standing Forum, the Forum President is typically a member of the largest trade union in the Standing Forum or a union that is in coalition with the largest union.
- The Bureaucracy: The Cabinet of Secretaries is a body of educated experts appointed by the Forum President who lead the national ministries and bureaucracy. By some accounts, the bureaucracy could be considered an extension of the executive. But, while the Forum President is a member of the largest trade union in the Standing Forum, secretaries are normally part of collegiate unions and not themselves members of the Standing Forum. Secretaries are necessarily experts in their field as determined by the Goidelic Framework, and typically draw from Airgiallan academia. For example, the Secretary of Public Health is usually a medical doctor and the Secretary of Finance is usually an economic theorist. The most notable exception is the Secretary on Union Affairs, who is usually a high ranking member of the largest trade union in the Standing Forum, but not themselves a Councillor.
- The Judiciary: The High People's Court is the supreme judicial body in Airgialla, which has the responsibility of ensuring government policy is consistent with the Goidelic Framework and previously established, unrepealed national law. The court also has a particular duty to protect unrepresented classes who, due to not being members of a trade union are not represented on the Standing Forum. These include the unemployed, infirm, non-citizens, and the retired. The bench consists of 20 judges who serve a maximum term of 15 years. Upon a judge's retirement, a new judge drawn from a lower court is appointed to the bench by the Forum President and confirmed by the Standing Forum of Unions by majority vote.
There are no government legislative bodies below the national level. Municipal politics are typically democratic, with elections for municipal councils being held among enfranchised citizens. To qualify for enfranchisement, most jurisdictions require citizens to be over the age of 18 and members of an approved trade or collegiate union.