The Irish Republican Army (IRA; Irish: Oglaigh na hEireann), also known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army and colloquially as the Provos, was a republican paramilitary organization in Northern Ireland that sought to end British rule, facilitate Irish reunification, and bring about an independent, socialist...
Its goal was to establish a free republic within the United Kingdom. The IRA was founded in 1919 and operated continuously until 1998 when it called a ceasefire while negotiations took place over the future shape of Northern Ireland's government. In 2001, the IRA declared its campaign "over" and said that it now focused on political action instead.
In 1969, the IRA began bombing businesses it regarded as supporting the British occupation of Northern Ireland. It also launched several large-scale attacks against police and military targets. These bombings caused considerable damage but no deaths.
In 1972, the IRA detonated two bombs at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London. One killed three people and injured 70 others. The other bomb went off prematurely, killing one member of the gang who had planted it and injuring another. Following this attack, the IRA entered into peace talks with the British government.
These talks resulted in the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998. The agreement provided for elections to be held simultaneously in Northern Ireland and Ireland to determine the future status of both countries. If a majority voted for continued union with Britain, then that would be what would happen.
Throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, many paramilitary organizations in Ireland adopted the name Irish Republican Army (IRA). This IRA was the army of the revolutionary Irish Republic as declared by its parliament, Dail Eireann, in 1919, according to Irish law. The original IRA was founded in 1913 as Fianna Éireann, "the Young Men from Ireland", by James Connolly for the purpose of achieving an independent republic within the British Empire, Europe and North America.
Connolly's vision was based on the concept of national liberation through armed struggle. This form of resistance would be combined with mass mobilization and community involvement. The aim was to achieve independence without relying on support from abroad. The original IRA was small, militant and highly organized, but it lacked any political leadership and therefore could not hope to achieve its goal quickly. In fact, the first three years of its existence were spent fighting a civil war against the government of Britain and its allies, the New York City police force.
The original IRA was successful in combating its enemies, but it also suffered serious setbacks. One incident that has become known as the "Lost Cause" occurred in 1920 when Eoin McNeill and his comrades were out hunting when they were captured by British soldiers. All but one of them were executed. This single survivor, Seán Mac Donncha, managed to escape from prison and travel to Germany where he met up with Connolly.
After the end of the Irish Civil War (1922–23), the IRA existed in various forms for forty years before splitting into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA in 1969. The latter group became known as the "Provisionals" because it was believed that all its members would join the provisional government once it was established. This did not happen, however, and over time most of the Provisionals joined conventional armies around the world. The Official IRA continued to operate within the Republic of Ireland until it was officially disbanded in 1997.
After the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence (1919–21) many volunteers joined up with the new Irish republican army (the National Army). These men were known as the "Boland League" after its chairman, Eamonn Boland. In December 1920, the two forces merged under Boland's command, forming what was now called the Irish Republican Army (IRA). During the war, the IRA conducted numerous attacks on British military targets, but also engaged in some counter-terrorism against pro-British elements within Ireland.
The conflict came to an end when the Anglo-Irish Treaty was agreed by Britain and Ireland in November 1921. This treaty created a free state called Southern Ireland, which would be governed by a president who could veto laws he or she disliked.
The Irish republican army's mission was to eliminate British control in Northern Ireland, assist Irish reunification, and establish an independent, socialist republic including all of Ireland. The provisional government of the IRA declared war on Britain on 24th March 1919.
They used terror as a means to their end. They bombed churches, schools, courts, barracks, hotels, restaurants, markets, and any other public place they thought would make the British leave Northern Ireland. This is why, even today, people in Northern Ireland are afraid to go to school or stay at home alone because they know they are likely to be attacked by one of these "unknown gunmen".
Weegy: n. , 1. a small armed group that operates within a country for political purposes; 2. an irregular military force especially of an insurgent nature.
IRA = The Irish Republican Army.
These men were called "hoodlums" by some people because they would wear hats and coats during bombings which made them look more like criminals than revolutionaries.
The Provisional IRA primarily operated in Northern Ireland, employing violence against the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the British Army, as well as British institutions and economic objectives. It also had ties with similar organizations in the United States and Canada.
However, the actual leadership of the organization was located in the Republic of Ireland. The organization's Army Council met regularly to discuss policy and make decisions on military matters. Representatives from each of the province of Northern Ireland's eight counties attended these meetings. The chairman of the council was usually appointed by popular vote of its members. They were usually elected representatives of Sinn Féin, the political party that supports their efforts through acts of civil disobedience and violence.
The IRA has been responsible for killing over 200 people during its campaign for a separate Irish republic. It has also caused extensive damage through its use of roadside bombs and other explosive devices.
However, it has not succeeded in achieving its goal of creating an independent republic because most countries do not recognize its violent actions against the government of Northern Ireland or Britain. In fact, many countries will not trade with or offer any form of diplomatic support to Ireland if it does not engage in peaceful negotiations with Britain about the future status of Northern Ireland.
|Provisional Irish Republican Army|
|Ideology||Physical force Irish republicanism Socialism|
|Size||Unknown, estimated at 10,000 over the course of the Troubles|
|Allies||Libya Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID) Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)|