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Grant asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Can you give me a brief unbiased history of the IRA?

Basically the history of the conflict from 1960 to the present and the current status.


Also if you can recommend any movies (more for entertainment but based on events of the ideas of the group) that would be great.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The IRA were founded between the Easter Rising, 1916 and the Irish War of Independence(also known as "the Tan war" to certain republicans). The IRA were an amalgamation of the Irish Republican Brotherhood(IRA) and the Irish Citizen Army(ICA); whom both took part in the Easter Rising of 1916.

    The IRA first came on the scene during the Irish war of independence as a guerrilla force fighting for the withdrawal of Britain from Ireland. The war was ended with a treaty posed by the British. The IRA then split into anti-Treaty IRA and pro-treaty Free State Army. The opposing forces then fought it out in the civil war. There is still a lasting bitterness to this day about the civil war, no side really "won".(Try the Wind that Shakes the Barley, good film)

    The IRA lived on in the still British occupied north, a few bombing campaigns in the 1950's which eventually fizzled out due to a lack of popular support.

    In 1969, the IRA then split into the Official IRA(Stickies) and the Provisional IRA(Provos) over a lack of the IRA to defend nationalist communities during the sectarian summer of that year. The Stickies were more Marxist orientated and Dublin based, while the Provos usually consisting of younger and more radical member were more center-left and Belfast based. Another republican feud followed which didn't result in a clear victory.

    The Official IRA died off in the 1980's, although there is still some remains of it left today. Also in the 1970's the OIRA Split again into the Irish National Liberation Army, however they are not "The IRA".

    The Provisional lead their terror campaign unchallenged despite feuding with other republican groupings until 1986 following the Ard Fheis(yearly meeting by Sinn Fein, the IRA's political front) which lead to a split about taking seats in the Irish Republic. That split the PIRA into the PIRA and CIRA.

    In 1997 following the Good Friday Agreement another republican faction was born due to a split in the PIRA, the "Real" IRA. The PIRA accepted the Good Friday Agreement, and agreed to disarm; the RIRA reject the Good Friday Agreement and are still active alongside the CIRA.

    In short, PIRA have disarmed, CIRA and RIRA still active. However, the latter two are very much in the minority and only claim sporadic attacks on security forces.

    Republicanism is aptly described as a series of splits. Wolfe Tone the father of republicanism said "The Irish have two enemies, the English and their own infidelity".

    It is extremely confusing, especially when studied in depth, as Brad Pitt said in The Devil's Own(Good show about the IRA, I'd recommend it-nothing to learn from it but entertaining none the less) "If you're not confused you don't know what's going on"

    -I tried to be as unbiased as I could, speaking as a republican =P

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  • kilty
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    History Of The Ira

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hello. There's been several forms of the IRA throughout History.

    - The original IRA was recognised as the legitimate army of the Irish Republic in 1921.

    - The Irish Republican Army opposed the signing of the "Anglo-Irish Treaty" in 1921, which stated their country would be divided among British and Irish rule. They fought and lost a civil war. Afterwards, the Irish Republican Army refused to recognise the Irish Free State or Northern Ireland, deeming them both to be creations of English imperialism.

    - In 1969, The Irish Republican Army split into two parties.The Official IRA was led by Cathal Goulding and primarily Marxist in its political orientation.

    - The Provisional IRA was the second splinter group. They despised the Official IRA because of their failure to protect nationalist communities in Northern Ireland. The Provisional IRA was also strongly opposed to the Official IRA's political belief of Marxism.

    - The Continuity IRA left the Provisional IRA in 1986 because they ended its policy on abstentionism, which recognised authority within the Republic of Ireland.

    - The 'Real' IRA, was another breakaway from the Provisional IRA in 1997. It consisted of young members who denied the peace process.

    It's rumoured that different types of the IRA supported the German offensive in World War II, helping the Luftwaffe raid towns, although this is unconfirmed. From the 1970-1990s the rebels were trained by the Libya and Palestine Liberation Organisation. Their base of operations was usually centred in Northern Ireland, where activities were first planned and discussed. They continued to wreak havoc and threaten civilians until their demands were met, or compromised in some form. The "Good Friday agreement" was acknowledged by everyone in 1998, which ammended many of the complex problems. In 2005, all IRA's destroyed their weapons, munitions and bombs in an effort to prove their commitment to non-violence and a democratic society. The forces disbanded in the months to follow. There is currently no threat to the United Kingdom or Ireland in any way.

    I can recommend several movies.

    - "Irish Destiny" talks about the war of independence and the 'Easter Rising'. It's made in 1926 however, and could be boring.

    - "In the Name of the Father" is an excellent film, which hit cinemas in 1993. It's a true, entertaining story of 4 Irish people falsely imprisoned by the British, suspected as IRA recruits. It follows their life right through until their incarceration and release. I've seen it and it's great!

    - "Patriot Games", produced in 1992, details the daily life of a working man Jack Ryan, British secretary of state for Northern Ireland. He intervences in an IRA attack, killing a terorist and testifies in court against the other attacker. Basically, the IRA trace Jack and set an assasination mission on him. It's interesting and once again, I've seen it.

    Glad to help!

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