The Irish Republican Army, organized to help fight for the integration of Ireland as a complete and independent country. Micheal Collins organized it from the left over of rebels who rebelled on Easter of 1916. Armed groups known as the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen Army staged a rebellion in Dublin to show that they wanted a free and independent Ireland from the UK. It was unsuccessful; during the attack British soldiers killed 14 rebels. With this event gone bad it sparked an even stronger desire for independence among the Irish people. Thus they formed the political group known as Sinn F in. (shin fane)
In the election of 1918 Sinn F in put up a candidate for every Irish seat in the British Parliament and won 73 seats. To protest British rule over Ireland, the elected members declined to go to Westminster. Instead, they set up an Irish assembly in Dublin, called the D il +ireann, which declared Irish independence. The British attempted to suppress terrorists, led by Michael Collins, by a policy of counter terror and sent a body of military irregulars, popularly known as the Black and Tans, to reestablish order. The general public rallied to Sinn F in.
During the troubled early years of the Free State, the IRA was responsible for numerous bombings, raids, and street battles on both sides of the Irish Border. Then in 1932 Eamon De Valera a former IRA supporter that was born in New York and moved to Ireland and was jailed and escaped from prison took over the Free State government. Weakened by internal fighting and by the loss of the popular support because the Germans were starting to become a strong threat in Europe. The IRA declined, but it was still alive in many people s hearts. This brought it down to the underground. The group perpetrated bombing attacks in Belfast, London and in cities surrounding the border to Northern Ireland during the 1950s, but then the group became less active until the late 1960s.
Then in 1969 with the IRA still alive and fighting the group split into two groups. One side was the majority or officials, who wanted a more united country calling a stop to all terrorist activities while still remaining to the cause that all of Ireland should be independent from England. The other half was called the provisionals, claiming terrorism as a necessary means for unification. And with the IRA split into two groups this ment the return of the Sinn F in political group to the Irish scene. Sinn F in was the provisionals side of the IRA.
Then on January 30 1972 during a civil rights march in Derry involving thousands of people, British troops shot dead thirteen Roman Catholics. (A British inquiry will later pardon the soldiers suggesting the demonstrators were terrorists linked to the IRA. Decades later, the British government concedes the demonstrators were innocent; a new investigation is under way in 1999.) This date became known as Bloody Sunday (which later became the title to a U2 hit song). Then about six months later on July 21 1972 the IRA sets off 26 car bombs in Belfast killing nine people and injuring 130.
Then one month later Lord Mountbatten, uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, is murdered along with three others when an IRA bomb blew up his boat. Then they also tried to assassinate the Prime Minister at the time Margaret Thatcher, but that attempt was unsuccessful.
In 1994 talks of peace were buzzing around England as to when the IRA would declare a cease-fire. Sinn F in soon began participating in talks with Britain in 1995. But they couldn t continue to negotiate because terrorism was not helping, with car bombs and street battles just about a daily site in the streets of Belfast and London Sinn F in was not allowed to negotiate. But when the IRA finally announced a cease-fire in July 1997 they were allowed to participate in the talks that convened in September. This resulted in an agreement that provided for a new Northern Ireland Assembly. With the agreement reached it was known as the good Friday accord because it was reached on Good Friday. Which by coincidently was pushed along with the help of Bill Clinton.
Here are some of the details of the accord.
The Northern Ireland accord will create three interconnected bodies of government within Northern Ireland, between the North and rest of Ireland, and between the Irish Republic and United Kingdom as a whole.
NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY
Elections in June for a 108-seat assembly at Stormont, former center of a Protestant-dominated parliament abolished in 1972. Checks and balances require Protestants and Catholics to share power and responsibilities.
Powers now administered by Britain’s Northern Ireland Office will not be handed back to local politicians until early 1999 — and only if the assembly members agree on how to participate in the North-South Council.
A forum for ministers from the Irish Republic’s government to promote joint policy-making with the new Northern Ireland assembly. Areas of potential common interest include agriculture, transportation links, policing and relations with the European Union. Will have powers to implement all-Ireland policies — but only with the approval of both the Northern Ireland assembly and the Irish parliament in Dublin.
Lawmakers from the Irish Republic will meet regularly with members of the British Parliament from London, the Northern Ireland assembly, and with representatives of the new parliament for Scotland and assembly for Wales. It will have no administrative or legislative powers.
Republic of Ireland will hold referendum on amending the country’s constitution, which now claims the territory of Northern Ireland.
With the threat of violence still lingering in Northern Ireland and the cease-fire still in effect, some wonder what will happen to the peace accord now that Bill Clinton is going to be out of office and crazy George Bush will be our new president. If you think about it Clinton was the only one to get something done in Northern Ireland but not in the Middle East. Some say that since Bush wants to mend ways with the democrats he could offer Clinton the post of special envoy to Northern Irish peace process, and of all the proposed post-presidential roles for the still-popular Clinton, this is the area in which he could do the most good, and, from Bush’s point of view, the least harm.
With the split in the IRA some of the top experts went into hiding and now some people believe they are the top terrorists in Europe now. The following article was posted on September 29th in the London Times.
THE Real IRA, a rag-tag group formed after its clumsy 1997 split from the Provisional IRA, is now regarded as one of the most efficient terrorrist groups in Europe.
Its recently acquired bomb-making and weapons skills have so far enabled it to run a new campaign without causing the mass civilan deaths that brought it such universal odium after the Omagh car bomb in 1998.
Then it was dependent on only a handful of former members of the Provisional IRA and had virtually no infrastructure, with a bombing team which gave cack-handed warnings and killed 29 people, most of them Catholics. Now, its bombmaking skills have improved and the number of members grown.
The Real IRA, working on the fertile ground created by the Provisional IRA ceasefire, has increased its recruiting rate significantly. Every attack in London helps to increase the number of ex-Provos willing to defect.
One factor of the new campaign has been the very few people who have been arrested for the 16 incidents attributed to the IRA breakaways in Northern Ireland and England so far this year.
The way in which the Real IRA campaign has been masterminded from the Irish border town of Dundalk – the name of the group’s leader is widely known – has convinced the British Government that it is being planned as a mirror image to that run by the Provisional IRA.
The Provisionals are understood to be anxious to avoid another internal feud. They have also been trying to keep their men in a state of readiness and to maintain supplies of up-to-date weaponry in case the peace deal collapses.
Recent intelligence has shown, however, that a stream of Provisional IRA men have been defecting, increasingly disillusioned by the decision in May to allow international inspection of a number of arms dumps in the Irish Republic.
A BBC Northern Ireland poll hinted at the splits to come when it found that 22.5 per cent of Sinn Fein voters believed that the initiative was tantamount to surrender.
Despite apparent divisions between the Real and Continuity IRA, the security forces tend to lump them together, noting that the memberships are largely interchangeable. The Real IRA, still theoretically on ceasefire, does not claim attacks for fear of prompting sanctions agains its prisoners held in Irish and British jails.
Earlier this summer, a spokesman for the dissident leadership, asked what their motivation was, said: “Whatever deal Gerry Adams [the Sinn Fein President] does with the Unionists, the Unionists will eventually have to negotiate a better deal with us.”
With the peace process taking place what will come next for a country in a long and bitter fight over its independence. Will this fight go on for decades or will it end within the year. Right now the majority of the country wants to break away from the United Kingdom control and form its own identity, but within a certain amount of people there always has to be someone who wants to go the other way. Those people try to ruin it by causing acts of terrorism. But for now the peace process looks promising.