How Has The IRA Attempted To Re-unite Eire And Northern Ireland Since 1972? Essay, Research Paper
The IRA has existed since 1858, was known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood and later became the Irish Republican Army in 1972. However in 1969 a single group broke away, forming the Provisional IRA (Proves), this terrorist group was a younger and was to become a more powerful group then the former IRA.
The IRA had a main aim to establish a united Ireland under a socialist government.
Since 1969 to 1972 the IRA have got more support, after the British government introduced a policy of Interment, imprisonment without trail for any Roman Catholics suspected of being apart of the IRA, this led to more people disliking the British and supporting the IRA. Furthermore in 1972 Soldiers from the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civilians during a civil rights march, 13 people were killed.
In 1972 the British government imposed directed rule of Northern Ireland from London.
Through out my life so far and even before, the IRA have been very active, in the news and the on radio and television. The campaign was fought on two fronts. The political front by Sinn Fein and on the military front by the IRA. It could be argued that these are one and the same organisations.
The IRA´s targets have been Ambassadors, MP´s and other famous people, for example on 14th November 1981 Robert Bradford, a Unionist MP was murdered by the IRA in Belfast, and on 30th July 1990 Ian Gow, a Conservative MP was killed at his Sussex home. Targeting these well know people is an effort to make their cause more high profile, to illustrate the fact that even these important people can be murdered even through they are protected by high security. The Military have always been a target, as the IRA have been against military presence in Eire and Northern Ireland, for example on 20th July 1982 a bomb in Hyde Park, London killed 8 soldiers and 7 horses during a parade, also on 22nd September 10 people were killed and 22 injured after a bomb went of at a Royal Marine base in Deal, Kent Other targets of the IRA have been famous shops and buildings, in December 1983 a bomb exploded outside Harrod´s the famous department store, 5 innocent people were killed and 80 were wounded, this caused “good” publicity for the IRA, people would not visit London, for fear of the IRA. What’s more, money was lost.
This put pressure on the shop owners who have expected the government to sort out the problems or they will take there business else were, as with the owner of Harrod´s Mohamed El Fayed who has a great deal of power and many important people would listen to him. The IRA also targeted the London Stock Exchange, House of Commons, Bank of England, a London subway, an air terminal and major shopping centres, all in September 1973. Even ordinary people like you and me having nothing to do with the problems in Ireland have been targeted, for incidents quite recently in February 1996
two people were killed and over 100 injured in Canary Wharf in London´s docklands, in November 1974 Birmingham was bombed, 19 people died and 182 were injured. This strategy caused maximum disruption without blatant killing. In the early 1990´s pressure from people from both Ireland and Britain forced the IRA to consider to enter negotiations with the British government, also Sinn Fein was losing support. Secret peace talks had been held in late 1993. In December 1993 the Downing Street Declaration was announced stating that Sinn Fein would be allowed to join the peace talks if the IRA denounced violence. A cease-fire took place in August 1995 and continued till January 1996, a resumption of bombings took place until a new cease-fire was announced in 1997 after a labour government came into power. Power was devolved from the British government to the Northern Ireland assembly. Britain agreed to release many IRA prisoners. The IRA agreed to give up their weapons by May 2000 but they did not comply, so direct rule was re-imposed, but this has recently been revoked.
The IRA have attempted to re-unite Eire and Northern Ireland and could have seen to be successful in their campaign as the government have started peace talks and started to listen to them. The “troubles” have been going on since the early 1900´s. But in the early 1970´s, the new IRA, the Provos decided to mount a very high profile campaign with maximum disruption to every day life, to try and bring the problems in Northern Ireland to the forefront. Also to bring the fight to mainland Britain so as to involve the English civilians to put pressure on the Government to find a solution. By targeting very important and famous people this has portrayed IRA as very powerful terrorist group, of which they are.