In 1912 with the treat of home rule about to be introduced the Ulster Volunteers were set up in opposition to home rule and numbered around 100,000 men. They later imported 20,000 rifes and 3 million rounds of ammunition. In the south the Irish Volunteers were set up and while they numbered more in terms of around 150,000-200,000 they only at the outbreak of WW1 had were badly unequipped for a war.
Had WW1 not broken out it is quite likely war between the two factions would have broken out over the introduction of home rule. With the Curragh mutiny indicating that many British soldiers would have refused to implement home rule, what exactly would have happened? Would the army have sided with the UV in a war against the IV or merely kept out of the situation altogether? Could we potentially be living in a 32 county republic had war broken out and the IV won?