The Irish Republican Army (IRA) (Irish: Óglaigh na hÉireann])
For hundreds of years, Ireland had been forcefully dominated by the British. All efforts to gain independence, or even self-rule, was brutally put down.
Britain would utilize the ancient Roman tactic of creating legitimacy through the use of pawns, mainly British selected “Irish Lords”.
25 November 1913 an organization of Irish Volunteers was established to fight for independence. In April of 1916, in what would become the Easter Rising, the
Irish Republic was proclaimed. Thereafter an an elected assembly (Dáil Éireann) was formed which recognized the Irish Volunteers as its legitimate army. In
1919 the Irish War of Independence began and the official Irish Republican Army waged a guerrilla campaign against the British.
In 1921 the British and Irish agreed to a cease fire which would produce the Anglo-Irish Treaty ending the Irish War of Independence. No sooner had the
details been released that a split occurred within the IRA. Michael Collins, who was the IRA leader and supported the treaty, formed the new Irish National
Army. The anti-treaty members, which were most of the IRA, began both a guerrilla campaign and a Civil War against the British, the Irish National Army and
Michael Collins with the goal of an independent Ireland republic. The Civil war lasted from 1922 to 1923. Though Michael Collins was assassinated in an
ambush, the IRA lost. The IRA would continue a guerrilla campaign through a mirage of forms, for 80 years with the intention of overthrowing both the Irish
Free State and Northern Ireland so to achieve what was proclaimed in 1916: The Irish Republic.
The Kingdom Of Ireland, The Irish Free State, Northern Ireland
prior 1169 -Gaelic Ireland
1169 -Lordship of Ireland after Norman invasion
1541-1801 -Kingdom of Ireland, Irish State
1801 -United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1803 Irish rebellion led by Robert Emmet joined by other Protestants including James Hope. Executed
1840 Revolutionary writer and poet Thomas Davis and John Mitchel involved with William Smith O’Brien in rebellion of 1848.
1914 -Third Home Rule Act which contained a provision for the “temporary” partition of six northern counties where pro-British Protestant Irish rule
separately from the rest of Ireland this was suspended due to the outbreak of the WWI.
1916 -*** The majority “Nationalist” Community seeking greater Independence from Britain, revolt in the “Easter Rising”
1920- War of independence between Ireland and British leads to a treaty where Northern Ireland provisionally becomes an autonomous part of the newly
independent Irish Free State with the right to opt out.
1921 Ireland partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland under the terms of Lloyd George’s Government of Ireland Act
1922 -Northern Ireland a 6 county Unionist community with a dominantly Protestant constituent
1922 – Southern Ireland a 26-county nationalist community with a dominant Roman Catholic constituent
1919 to 1922 -Irish Republic unrecognized independent state -David Lloyd George proposed bill dividing Ireland into two Home Rule areas with twenty-six
counties being ruled from Dublin by majority Catholic Nationalists and six Northern Counties being ruled from Belfast by Unionist Protestant
1922-1925 Free State Civil War
1925 Leaders in Dublin expected a substantial reduction in the territory of Northern Ireland, with Nationalist Free State securing additional territory
from Northern Ireland. Commission recommends a small portions of land should be ceded from the Free State to Northern Ireland.Free State secures a waiver of
the Free State’s obligations to the UK’s public debt
1922-1937-Irish Free State a dominion in the beginning comprising all of Ireland, then 26 of the Ireland’s 32 counties
1940,WWII Irish Free State declares neutrality
1945-1948 the end of WWII and Northern Ireland Britain loses most of her colonies across the globe. Learning that Winston Churchill had guaranteed to the
Nationalists, that they, Britain, would work toward a union of Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland after the war if Ireland joined the Allies, demand an act
that would guarantee their status as part of Britain.
1949 -** Northern Ireland receives the news of The Ireland Act of 1949 which provides a legal guarantee to the Parliament and Government of Northern Ireland
that the region will continue to be a part of the United Kingdom unless the consent of the majority of its citizens option out.
1950-1965 -With the passing of The Ireland Act, Northern Ireland Unionists begin to create and pass acts,laws and rules that are designed to limit the
influence of Nationalist Catholics in their domain. This discrimination against Nationalist Irish Catholics include even the rudimentary. From housing to
employment, Catholic Nationalist was deprived of their rights. The muscle of the Unionists include policing and electoral procedures. To insure
disenfranchisement of mostly Catholics, voting is limited to property-owning rate-payers.
1965-1972 the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association is formed. Utilizing the U.S. Civil Rights Movement as an example, they campaign utilizing civil
resistance to anti-Catholic discrimination but with limited results.
1968-2000, With no relief, the conflicting views become conflicting acts of intense violence in a underground civil war. Both Ireland’s *Roman Catholic
Nationalists [*IRA] and the Protestant Unionist in support of loyalist paramilitaries who carried out brazen attacks and murder, along with their sponsors
and supporters,the British, who would back the Northern Ireland Unionists against the Irish Nationalists with intrigue, force and terror tactics which
included assassinations, torture, illegal wire tapping and surveillance. At least 3,254 individuals would become casualties. Many “terrorist”/”patriot”
-loyalist/righist [depending on which side was quoting] acts of revenge would evolve into significant actions and events against not only the Northern
Unionist, but also the British as sponsors of the north. British soldiers, agents, prominent People [Famous WWII Lord Mountbatten assassinated by bombing]
and property become fair game.
The Irish Republican Army or “IRA* were the main political and military wing of the Nationalists during this era. Yet, different groups identified as IRA,
OIRA,CIRA and RIRA, with different ideology [including Marxist and socialism] existed from 1919 through present day. The original IRA of 1919 represented the
Irish People in their desire for Independence as a Nation called The Irish Republic.
A] The Irish Republican Army & Rebellion (April 1921 – First IRA)
[Old] IRA- After the rebellion against the British, the “Irish Republic” through the First Dáilhad recognized the IRA as the original legitimate army.When a
treaty with Britain was made, the IRA split into two factions. Those supporting the Treaty [ pro-Treaty forces ] became the National Army/Government
forces/regulars, and those against the treaty [anti-Treaty forces] became the Republicans/irregulars/Executive forces
B] The Irish Republican Army & Civil War(1922–1969)
A civil War between Anti-treaty IRA and Pro Treaty Government Forces was lost by the Anti Treaty branch; who then refused to recognize either the Irish Free
State or Northern Ireland, deeming them both to be creations of British imperialism. Over the next 40 Years, the IRA continued to exist one form or another
before splitting in 1969 because of a failure to protect Catholic communities in Northern Ireland.
C] Official IRA (OIRA),
this group are those that failed to protect Catholic communities. Though their power Declined in the mid 1970s, they were led by Cathal Goulding and were
primarily Marxist in its political orientation. Long inactive in the military sense, its political wing Officially Sinn Féin, would morph into the Workers’
Party of Ireland.
D] Provisional IRA (PIRA),
Though left-wing orientated, it was/is Opposed to the OIRA’s Marxism, it also and increasing political activity. Since the the term ‘IRA’ (without
qualifiers) is now used exclusively to denote this particular group.
E] The Continuity IRA (CIRA),
Members who broke from the PIRA in 1986 because the the PIRA ended its policy on abstentionism (thus recognizing the authority of the Republic of Ireland).
F] The Real IRA (RIRA)
In 1997 some members of the PIRA separated to form the RIRA because they were opposed to the ongoing peace process.
G] NEW IRA Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH)
In April 2011 former members of the Provisional IRA announced the resumption of hostilities under the mantle of the mainstream IRA. The Irish Republican Army
entirely separate from the Real IRA; even claiming responsibility for the April killing of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr and other attacks that had previously
been claimed by the Real IRA and ONH
The Protestant Unionist Irish
Created by the British as pawns to their ideology; which included the suppression by any means of the desire for self rule for any peoples who one day found
themselves a part of the British Empire. As in Ancient Rome, the British ruled over the majority in their colonies by creating a minority class of indigenous
social members in their image. By awarding Fiefs with Lordships, they had no problem creating the Protestant Irish Class. Unlike the Spanish who delivered
Catholicism to the New World and the French the same to Indochina, the British delivered the Kings Bible only to those it desired to rule in their stead over
their fellow Catholic Irish. Wanting to “be like mike”, those descendants of High Born Irish, who sought property, esteem, influence wealth and prestige, had
no problem what so ever in imitating the British by changing their religion. Most Irish Protestant Nationalists, from 1803 through 1949, sought freedom for
reasons of their own; that is the master/landlord class.
True 20th Century Irish Nationalists were always Roman Catholics. THE Protestant Nationalist Were only fighting for independence to better themselves. Had
indigence been granted in the forms they fought through legislative methods as Protestant Nationalists, they would have continued to hold the majority
Catholics of the nation as they did AFTER receiving what they desired as Protestant Nationalists before the mid 19th century!
Before the mid-19th century,there were Protestant Nationalists who supported legislative independence, then they supported the political independence of
Ireland prior to the union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland forming the United Kingdom, then for a form of home rule within the United Kingdom,
then for the partition of Ireland. During the fight for independence and The Irish Republic in 1919-1922, there were some Protestants who supported the war.
But, as the outcome demonstrated, it was the power of the Protestant Nationalists that secured the TREATY that most IRA members refused to accept. And, it
was the IRA that had the support of more than the majority of the people.
The Church of Ireland is the largest Protestant denomination having roughly 365,000 members. The Presbyterian Church of Ireland has a membership of
approximately 300,000. The Protestant citizens on North Ireland account for 35% of the population of the north and approximately 4.7% of the population of
the [now] Republic of Ireland. In of 2008, 89% of Northern Ireland Protestants believed the long term policy for Northern Ireland would be to remain in the
United Kingdom. Only 4% believed in the reunification with the Republic of Ireland