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The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Irelandmarker from the United Kingdom and bring about a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion. It emerged out of the December 1969 split of the Irish Republican Army due to differences over ideology and over how to respond to violence against the nationalist community. This violence had followed the community's demands for civil rights in 1968 and 1969, which met with resistance from the unionist community and from the authorities, and culminated in the 1969 Northern Ireland riots.The Provisional IRA by Patrick Bishop and Eamonn Mallie (ISBN 0-552-13337-X), p. 117. The IRA conducted an armed campaign, primarily in Northern Ireland but also in England, over the course of which is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,800 people. The dead included around 1,100 members of the British security forces, and about 630 civilians. The IRA itself lost 275 - 300 members, of an estimated 10,000 total over the thirty-year period. The Provisional Irish Republican Army is also referred to as the PIRA, the Provos, or by its supporters as the Army or the RA; its constitution establishes it as Óglaigh na hÉireann ("The Irish Volunteers") in the Irish language.

The IRA's initial strategy was to use force to cause the collapse of the Northern Ireland administration and to inflict enough casualties on the British forces that the British government be forced by public opinion to withdraw from Ireland.O'Brien The Long War, p. 119. This policy involved recruitment of volunteers, increasing after Bloody Sunday, and launching attacks against British military and economic targets.O'Brien, Long War, p. 107. The campaign was supported by arms and funding from Libya and from some groups in the United States. The IRA agreed to a ceasefire in February 1975, which lasted nearly a year before the IRA concluded that the British were drawing them into politics without offering any guarantees in relation to the IRA's goals, and hopes of a quick victory receded. As a result, the IRA launched a new strategy known as "the Long War". This saw them conduct a war of attrition against the British and increase emphasis on political activity, via Sinn Féin.

The success of the 1981 Irish hunger strike in mobilising support and winning elections led to the Armalite and ballot box strategy with more time and resources devoted to political activity. The abortive attempt at an escalation of the military part of that strategy led republican leaders increasingly to look for a political compromise to end the conflict, with a broadening dissociation of Sinn Féin from the IRA. Following negotiations with the SDLP and secret talks with British civil servants, the IRA ultimately called a ceasefire in 1994 on the understanding that Sinn Féin would be included in political talks for a settlement. When this did not happen, the IRA called off its ceasefire from February 1996 until July 1997, carrying out several bombing and shooting attacks. These included the Docklands bombingmarker and the Manchester bombingmarker, which together caused around £500 million in damage. After the ceasefire was reinstated, Sinn Féin was admitted into all-party talks, which produced the Belfast Agreement of 1998.

On 28 July 2005, the IRA Army Council announced an end to its armed campaign, stating that it would work to achieve its aims using "purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means", and shortly afterwards completed decommissioning. In September 2008, the nineteenth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission stated that the IRA was "committed to the political path" and no longer represented "a threat to peace or to democratic politics", and that the IRA's Army Council was "no longer operational or functional". The organisation remains classified as a proscribed terrorist group in the UK and as an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland. Home Office - Proscribed Terror Groups — Home Office website, retrieved 11 May 2007 Two small groups split from the Provisional IRA, first in 1986 (Continuity IRA) and then in 1997 (Real IRA). Both reject the Belfast Agreement and continue to engage in violence.

Origins

In August 1969, a confrontation between nationalists and police in Derrymarker following an Apprentice Boys of Derry march led to the Battle of the Bogsidemarker - three days of heavy fighting between rioters throwing stones and petrol bombs and police who saturated the area with CS gas. Fighting spread beyond Derry over the following days. Burning, damage or intimidation by loyalists forced 1,505 Catholics from their homes in Belfastmarker in the Northern Ireland riots of August 1969, with over 200 Catholic homes being destroyed or requiring major repairs. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) had been poorly armed and unable to adequately defend the Catholic community, which had been considered its traditional rôle since the 1920s. Republicans were critical of the IRA's Dublinmarker leadership which, for political reasons, had refused to prepare for aggressive action in advance of the violence. On 24 August, a week after the fighting ended, Joe Cahill, Seamus Twomey, Dáithí Ó Conaill and several other future Provisional leaders came together in Belfast intending to remove the Belfast leadership and turn back to traditional republicanism. Although the pro-Dublin commander Billy McMillen stayed in command, he was told it was only for three months and he was not to have any communication with Dublin.

Traditional republicans formed the "Provisional Army Council" in December 1969, when an IRA Convention voted to recognise the Parliaments of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Opponents of this change in the IRA Constitution argued strongly against this move, and when the vote took place, Seán Mac Stíofáin, present as IRA Director of Intelligence, announced that he no longer considered that the IRA leadership represented Republican goals. However, there was not a walkout. Those opposed, who include Mac Stíofáin and Ruairi O Bradaigh, did refuse to go forward for election to the new IRA Executive.

While others organised throughout Ireland, Mac Stíofáin was a key person making a connection with the Belfast IRA, under Billy McKee and Joe Cahill, who had refused to take orders from the IRA's Dublin leadership since September 1969, in protest at their failure to defend Catholic areas in August 1969. Nine out of thirteen IRA units in Belfast sided with the Provisionals in 1969, roughly 120 activists and 500 supporters. The new group elected a "Provisional Army Council" to head the new IRA. The first Provisional IRA Army Council was: Seán Mac Stíofáin, C/S, Ruairi O Bradaigh, Paddy Mulcahy, Sean Tracey, Leo Martin, and Joe Cahill. A political wing, Provisional Sinn Féin, was founded on 11 January 1970, when a third of the delegates walked out of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in protest at the party leadership's attempt to force through the ending of the abstentionist policy, despite its failure to achieve a two-thirds majority vote of delegates required to change the policy.

There are allegations that the early Provisional IRA got off the ground due to arms and funding from the Fianna Fáil-led Irish government in 1969. This was not found to be the case when investigated in the Arms trial. However, roughly £100,000 was donated by the Irish government to "Defence Committees" in Catholic areas and, according to historian Richard English, "there is now no doubt that some money did go from the Dublin government to the proto-Provisionals".

The main figures in the early Provisional IRA were Seán Mac Stiofáin (who served as the organisation's first chief of staff), Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (the first president of Provisional Sinn Féin), Dáithí Ó Conaill, and Joe Cahill. All served on the first Provisional IRA Army Council. The Provisional appellation deliberately echoed the "Provisional Government" proclaimed during the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Provisionals maintained a number of the principles of the pre-1969 IRA. It considered British rule in Northern Ireland and the government of the Republic of Ireland to be illegitimate. Like the pre-1969 IRA, it believed that the IRA Army Council was the legitimate government of the all-island Irish Republic. This belief was based on a complicated series of perceived political inheritances which constructed a legal continuity from the Second Dáil. Most of these abstentionist principles were abandoned in 1986, although Sinn Féin still refuses to take its seats in the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker.

As the violence in Northern Ireland steadily increased, both the Official IRA and Provisional IRA espoused military means to pursue their goals. Unlike the Officials, however, who characterised their violence as purely "defensive," the Provisionals called for a more aggressive campaign against the Northern Ireland state. While the Officials were initially, for a short period, the larger organisation and enjoyed more support from the republican community, the Provisionals came to dominate, especially after the Official IRA declared an indefinite ceasefire in 1972. The Provisionals inherited most of the existing IRA organisation in the north by 1971 and the more militant IRA members in the rest of Ireland. In addition, they recruited many young nationalists from the north, who had not been involved in the IRA before, but had been radicalised by the communal violence that broke out in 1969. These people were known in republican parlance as "sixty niners", having joined after 1969.

Although the Provisional IRA had a political wing, Sinn Féin, which split with Official Sinn Féin at the same time as the split in the IRA, the early Provisional IRA was extremely suspicious of political activity, arguing rather for the primacy of armed struggle.

Organisation

The IRA is organised hierarchically. At the top of the organisation is the IRA Army Council, headed by the IRA Chief of Staff.

Leadership

All levels of the IRA are entitled to send delegates to IRA General Army Conventions (GACs). The GAC is the IRA's supreme decision-making authority. Before 1969, GACs met regularly. Since 1969, there have only been two, in 1970 and 1986, owing to the difficulty in organising such a large gathering of an illegal organisation in secret.

The GAC in turn elects a 12-member IRA Executive, which selects seven volunteers to form the IRA Army Council. For day-to-day purposes, authority is vested in the Army Council which, as well as directing policy and taking major tactical decisions, appoints a Chief of Staff from one of its number or, less commonly, from outside its ranks.

The chief of staff then appoints an adjutant general as well as a General Headquarters , which consists of a number of individual departments. These departments are:

Regional command

At a regional level, the IRA is divided into a Northern Command, which operates in the nine Ulster counties as well as County Leitrimmarker and County Louthmarker, and a Southern Command, operating in the rest of Ireland. The Provisional IRA was originally commanded by a leadership based in Dublinmarker. However, in 1977, parallel to the introduction of cell structures at local level, command of the "war-zone" was given to the Northern Command. According to Ed Moloney, these moves at reorganisation were the idea of Ivor Bell, Gerry Adams and Brian Keenan.

Brigades

The IRA refers to its ordinary members as volunteers (or óglaigh in Irish). Up until the late 1970s, IRA volunteers were organised in units based on conventional military structures. Volunteers living in one area formed a company as part of a battalion, which could be part of a brigade, although many battalions were not attached to a brigade.

For most of its existence, the IRA had five Brigade areas within what it referred to as the "war-zone". These Brigades were located in Armagh, Belfast, Derry, Donegal and Tyrone/Monaghan. The Belfast Brigade had three battalions, respectively in the west, north and east of the city. In the early years of the Troubles, the IRA in Belfast expanded rapidly. In August 1969, the Belfast Brigade had just 50 active members. By the end of 1971, it had 1,200 members, giving it a large but loosely controlled structure. Derrymarker city had one battalion and the South Derry Brigade. The Derry Battalion became the Derry Brigade in 1972 after a rapid increase in membership following Bloody Sunday when British paratroopers killed 13 unarmed demonstrators at a civil rights march. County Armagh had three battalions, two very active ones in South Armagh and a less active unit in North Armagh. For this reason the Armagh IRA unit is often referred to as the South Armagh Brigade. Similarly, the Tyrone/Monaghan Brigade, which operated from around the Border of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is often called the East Tyrone Brigade. Fermanagh, South Down and North Antrim had units not attached to Brigades.O'Brien, p. 161. The leadership structure at battalion and company level was the same: each had its own commanding officer, quartermaster, explosives officer and intelligence officer. There was sometimes a training officer or finance officer.

Active service units

In 1977, the IRA moved away from the larger conventional military organisational principle owing to its perceived security vulnerability. A system of two parallel types of unit within an IRA brigade was introduced in place of the battalion structures. Firstly, the old "company" structures were used for tasks such as "policing" nationalist areas, intelligence gathering, and hiding weapons. These were essential support activities. However, the bulk of actual attacks were the responsibility of a second type of unit, the active service unit (ASU). To improve security and operational capacity, these ASUs were smaller, tight-knit cells, usually consisting of five to eight members. The ASU's weapons were controlled by a quartermaster under the direct control of the IRA leadership. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was estimated that the IRA had roughly 300 members in ASUs and about another 450 serving in supporting roles.

The exception to this reorganisation was the South Armagh Brigade, which retained its traditional hierarchy and battalion structure and used relatively large numbers of volunteers in its actions.

The IRA's Southern Command, located in the Republic of Ireland, consists of a Dublin Brigade and a number of smaller units in rural areas. These were charged mainly with the importation and storage of arms for the Northern units and with raising finances through robberies and other means. They also maintained a sizable presence in North Kerry, where many training camps were based.

Strategy 1969–1998

"Escalation, escalation and escalation"

Following the violence of August 1969, the IRA began to arm and train to protect nationalist areas from further attack. After the split, the Provisional IRA began planning for an "all-out offensive action against the British occupation".

The Official IRA were opposed to such a campaign because it would lead to sectarian conflict, which would defeat their strategy of uniting the workers from both sides of the sectarian divide. The IRA Border Campaign in the 1950s had avoided actions in urban centres of Northern Ireland to avoid civilian casualties and resulting sectarian violence. The Provisional IRA, by contrast, was primarily an urban organisation, based originally in Belfast and Derry.

The Provisional IRA's strategy was to use force to cause the collapse of the Northern Ireland administration and to inflict casualties on the British forces such that the British government be forced by public opinion to withdraw from Ireland. According to journalist Brendan O'Brien, "the thinking was that the war would be short and successful. Chief of Staff Seán Mac Stíofáin decided they would 'escalate, escalate and escalate' until the British agreed to go". This policy involved recruitment of volunteers and carrying out attacks on British forces, as well as mounting a bombing campaign against economic targets. In the early years of the conflict, IRA slogans spoke of, "Victory 1972" and then "Victory 1974". Its inspiration was the success of the "Old IRA" in the Irish War of Independence (1919–1922). In their assessment of the IRA campaign, the British Army would describe these years, 1970–72, as the "insurgency phase".

The British government held secret talks with the IRA leadership in 1972 to try and secure a ceasefire based on a compromise settlement within Northern Ireland after the events of Bloody Sunday when IRA recruitment and support increased. The IRA agreed to a temporary ceasefire from 26 June to 9 July. In July 1972, IRA leaders Seán Mac Stíofáin, Dáithí Ó Conaill, Ivor Bell, Seamus Twomey, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness met a British delegation led by William Whitelaw. The IRA leaders refused to consider a peace settlement that did not include a commitment to British withdrawal, a retreat of the British Army to its barracks, and a release of republican prisoners. The British refused and the talks broke up.

Éire Nua and the 1975 ceasefire

The Provisionals' goal in this period was the abolition of both the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland states and their replacement with a new all-Ireland federal republic, with decentralised governments and parliaments for each of the four Irish historic provinces. This programme was known as Éire Nua (New Ireland). The Éire Nua programme remained policy until discontinued by the Provisionals under the leadership of Gerry Adams in the early 1980s in favour of the pursuit of a new unitary all-Ireland Republic.

By the mid 1970s, the hopes of the IRA leadership for a quick military victory were receding. The British military was unsure of when it would see any substantial success against the IRA. Secret meetings between Provisional IRA leaders Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Billy McKee with British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Merlyn Rees secured an IRA ceasefire which began in February 1975. The IRA initially believed that this was the start of a long-term process of British withdrawal, but later came to the conclusion that Rees was trying to bring them into peaceful politics without offering them any guarantees. Critics of the IRA leadership, most notably Gerry Adams, felt that the ceasefire was disastrous for the IRA, leading to infiltration by British informers, the arrest of many activists and a breakdown in IRA discipline resulting in sectarian killings and a feud with fellow republicans in the Official IRA. The ceasefire broke down in January 1976.

The "Long War"

IRA political poster from the 1980s
Thereafter, the IRA, under the leadership of Adams and his supporters, evolved a new strategy termed the "Long War", which underpinned IRA strategy for the rest of the Troubles. It involved a re-organisation of the IRA into small cells, an acceptance that their campaign would last many years before being successful and an increased emphasis on political activity through the Sinn Féin party. A republican document of the early 1980s states, "Both Sinn Féin and the IRA play different but converging roles in the war of national liberation. The Irish Republican Army wages an armed campaign... Sinn Féin maintains the propaganda war and is the public and political voice of the movement". The 1977 edition of the Green Book, an induction and training manual used by the Provisionals, describes the strategy of the "Long War" in these terms:

  1. A war of attrition against enemy personnel [British Army] based on causing as many deaths as possible so as to create a demand from their [the British] people at home for their withdrawal.
  2. A bombing campaign aimed at making the enemy's financial interests in our country unprofitable while at the same time curbing long term investment in our country.
  3. To make the Six Counties... ungovernable except by colonial military rule.
  4. To sustain the war and gain support for its ends by National and International propaganda and publicity campaigns.
  5. By defending the war of liberation by punishing criminals, collaborators and informers.


Confidential documents released on 30 December 2008 from the British state archives show that the IRA leadership proposed a ceasefire and peace talks to the British government in 1978. The British refused the offer. Prime Minister James Callaghan decided that there should be "positive rejection" of the approach on the basis that the republicans were not serious and "see their campaign as a long haul". Irish State documents from the same period say that the IRA had made a similar offer to the British the previous year. An Irish Defence Forces document, dated 15 February 1977, states that "It is now known that feelers were sent out at Christmas by the top PIRA leadership to interest the British authorities in another long ceasefire."

1981 hunger strikes and electoral politics

IRA prisoners convicted after March 1976 did not have Special Category Status applied in prison. In response, over 500 prisoners refused to wash or wear prison clothes (see Dirty protest and Blanket protest). This activity culminated in the 1981 Irish hunger strike, when seven IRA and three Irish National Liberation Army members starved themselves to death in pursuit of political status. The hunger strike leader Bobby Sands and Anti H-Block activist Owen Carron were elected to the British Parliamentmarker, and two other protesting prisoners were elected to the Irish Dáil. In addition, there were work stoppages and large demonstrations all over Ireland in sympathy with the hunger strikers. Over 100,000 people attended the funeral of Sands, the first hunger striker to die.

After the success of IRA hunger strikers in mobilising support and winning elections on an Anti H-Block platform in 1981, republicans increasingly devoted time and resources to electoral politics, through the Sinn Féin party. Danny Morrison summed up this policy at a 1981 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (annual meeting) as a "ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other". (See Armalite and ballot box strategy)

"TUAS" – peace strategy

In the 1980s, the IRA made an attempt to escalate the conflict with the so called "Tet Offensive". When this did not prove successful, republican leaders increasingly looked for a political compromise to end the conflict. Gerry Adams entered talks with John Hume, the leader of the moderate nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and secret talks were also conducted with British civil servants. Thereafter, Adams increasingly tried to disassociate Sinn Féin from the IRA, claiming they were separate organisations and refusing to speak on behalf of the IRA. Within the Republican Movement (the IRA and Sinn Féin), the new strategy was described by the acronym "TUAS", meaning either "Tactical Use of Armed Struggle" or "Totally Unarmed Strategy".

The IRA ultimately called an indefinite ceasefire in 1994 on the understanding that Sinn Féin would be included in political talks for a settlement. When this did not happen, the IRA called off its ceasefire from February 1996 until July 1997, carrying out several bombing and shooting attacks. The bombings caused severe economic damage, with the Manchester bombingmarker and the Docklands bombingmarker causing approximately £500 million in combined damage. After its ceasefire was reinstated, Sinn Féin was admitted into the "Peace Process", which produced the Belfast Agreement of 1998.

Weaponry and operations

Mural in Derry depicting IRA weapons, 1986


In the early days of the Troubles (1969–71), the Provisional IRA was very poorly armed, but starting in the early 1970s it procured large amounts of modern weaponry from such sources as supporters in the United States, Libyanmarker leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, and arms dealers in Europe, America, the Middle East and elsewhere.

In the first years of the conflict, the IRA's main activities were providing firepower to support nationalist rioters and defending nationalist areas from attacks. The IRA gained much of its support from these activities, as they were widely perceived within the nationalist community as being defenders of Irish nationalist and Roman Catholic people against aggression.

From 1971–1994, the IRA launched a sustained offensive armed campaign that mainly targeted the British Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), and economic targets in Northern Ireland. The first half of the 1970s was the most intense period of the IRA campaign. In addition, IRA units carried out sectarian killings such as the Kingsmill massacre of 1976, which in itself was a retaliation for the Reavey and O'Dowd killings the previous day, when the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force killed six Catholic civilians.



The IRA was chiefly active in Northern Ireland, although it took its campaign to England. The IRA also targeted certain British government officials, politicians, judges, establishment figures, British Army and police officers in England, and in other areas such as the Republic of Irelandmarker, West Germany and the Netherlands. By the early 1990s, the bulk of the IRA activity was carried out by the South Armagh Brigade, well known through its sniping operations and attacks on British Army helicopters. The bombing campaign principally targeted political, economic and military targets, and approximately 60 civilians were killed by the IRA in England during the conflict. It has been argued that this bombing campaign helped convince the British government (who had hoped to contain the conflict to Northern Ireland with its Ulsterisation policy) to negotiate with Sinn Féin after the IRA ceasefires of August 1994 and July 1997.

Ceasefires and decommissioning of arms

On 31 August 1994, the Provisional IRA declared an indefinite ceasefire. However, from December 1995 until July 1997, the Provisional IRA called off its 1994 ceasefire because of its dissatisfaction with the state of negotiations. They re-instated the ceasefire in July 1997, and it has been in operation since then.

The Provisional IRA decommissioned all of its arms between July and September 2005. The decommissioning of its weaponry was supervised by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). Among the weaponry estimated, (by Jane's Information Group), to have been destroyed as part of this process were:

Having compared the weapons destroyed with the British security forces estimate the IRA weaponry, and due to the IRA's full involvement in the process of destroying the weapons, the IICD arrived at their conclusion that all Provisional IRA weaponry has been destroyed. Since the process of decommissioning was completed, unnamed sources in MI5marker and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have reported to the press that not all IRA arms were destroyed during the process. This claim remains unsubstantiated so far. In its report dated April 2006 the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) points out that it has no reason to disbelieve the IRA or information to suspect that the group has not fully decommissioned. Rather, it indicated that any weaponry that had not been handed in had been retained by individuals outside the IRA's control.

Other activities

Apart from its armed campaign, the Provisional IRA has also been involved in many other activities, including policing, bank robbery, fuel laundering and kidnapping for the purposes of raising funds.

Policing of communities

The IRA saw itself as the police force of nationalist areas of Northern Ireland during the Troubles instead of the RUC. There were a number of reasons for this. In many Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland, the RUC and British Army, as a result of their conduct and perceived involvement in oppression and violence against Nationalists, were considered biased and untrustworthy, and so were not welcome. Also, the RUC and other forces of the authorities were in some instances reluctant to enter certain Nationalist areas, or patrol, unless it was in armoured Land Rovers and in convoy. Police stations were also heavily armoured because of persistent attacks from the IRA. This gave them the appearance of being fortresses. These conditions led to a situation where in some areas, the community would turn to the IRA first to deal with troublemakers or those practising what came to be called "anti-social behaviour". In efforts to stamp out "anti-social behaviour" and alleged instances of drug dealing reported to or noticed by the organisation, it killed or otherwise attacked suspected drug dealers and other suspected criminals. These attacks varied in severity and depended on various factors. In the first instance, the IRA may serve a caution on the perceived offender, which if they transgressed again might escalate to an attack known as a "punishment beating". Shooting the offender was seen as a last resort, although the process which the IRA went through to determine an offenders "guilt" or "innocence" was never open to debate or scrutiny. The IRA also engaged in attacks which broke the bones of alleged offenders, or involved shooting through the hands, or knees for persistent offenders of activities such as joyriding or drug dealing. In certain cases, for persistent offenders the IRA would serve a notice for the individual to leave the country, this was known as being "put out" of the community/country, and the clear message given to individuals served with these notices was that if they returned to the community/country they would be killed. This practice was frequently criticised by all sections of the political establishment in Northern Ireland as "summary justice".

Informers

In an effort to stamp out what the IRA termed "collaboration with British forces" and "informing", they killed a number of Catholic civilians, such as Joseph Fenton. Purges against these individuals, whom the IRA considered traitors to their own community and to the cause of nationalism, were most prevalent when the IRA found itself persistently vulnerable to infiltration. Investigations into informers and infiltration are suspected to have been dealt with by an IRA unit called the Internal Security Unit (ISU) known colloquially as the "Nutting Squad". This unit is said to be directly attached to IRA GHQ. Where a confession was solicited, the victim was often exiled or executed with a bullet in the back of the head. The body was either buried or later in the IRA campaign left in a public place often in South Armagh.

One particular example of the killing of a person deemed by the IRA to have been an informer that is the source of continuing controversy is that of Jean McConville from Belfast who was killed by the IRA. Ed Moloney and IRA sources continue to claim she was an informer despite the Police Ombudsman recently stating that this was not the case. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) have described the killing as a "war crime". Her family contend that she was killed as a punishment for aiding a dying British soldier in West Belfast.

In March 2007 Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan announced that there would be an inquiry into claims of collusion between IRA members and the British security forces.

Attacks on other Republican paramilitary groups

The IRA has also feuded with other republican paramilitary groups such as the Official IRA in the 1970s and the Irish People's Liberation Organisation in the 1990s.

Joseph O'Connor (26) was shot dead in Ballymurphy, west Belfast on 11 October 2000. He was a leading member of the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA). Claims have been made by O'Connor's family and people associated with the RIRA, that he was murdered by Provisionals as the result of a feud between the organisations, but Sinn Féin denied the claims. No-one has been charged with his killing.

Fundraising via organised crime

According to Michael McDowell, the Irish Minister of Justice from 2002 to 2007, the IRA was involved in organised crime on both sides of the Irish border. These activities include smuggling of counterfeit goods, contraband cigarettes and oil.

Casualties

This is a summary. For a detailed breakdown of casualties caused by and inflicted on the IRA see Provisional IRA campaign 1969-1997#Casualties

The IRA was responsible for more deaths than any other group during the Troubles. In addition, they have killed more Roman Catholics, more Protestants, more civilians and more foreigners (those not from Northern Ireland) than any other organisation. Members of the IRA, however, have frequently disputed that the forces ranged in opposition to the IRA throughout "the Troubles" represent separate, distinct "organisations". In the republican analysis of the conflict, organisations like the UDR, British Army, the UVF, and the UDA represent an alliance of state and paramilitary forces, making a tally of this type nonsensical as it does not represent the nature of the conflict in their view.

Two very detailed studies of deaths in the Troubles, the CAIN project at the University of Ulster, and Lost Lives, differ slightly on the numbers killed by the Provisional IRA, but a rough synthesis gives a figure of 1,800 deaths. Of these, roughly 1,100 were members of the security forces: British Army, Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Defence Regiment; between 600 and 650 were civilians and the remainder were either loyalist or republican paramilitaries (including over 100 IRA members accidentally killed by their own bombs).

The IRA lost a little under 300 members killed in the Troubles. In addition, roughly 50–60 members of Sinn Féin were killed. Far more common than the killing of IRA volunteers, however, was their imprisonment. Journalists Eamonn Mallie and Patrick Bishop estimate in their book The Provisional IRA that roughly 8,000 people passed through the ranks of the IRA in the first 20 years of its existence, many of them leaving after arrest, "retirement" or "disillusionment". They give 10,000 as the total number of past and present IRA members at that time.

Categorisation

The IRA is a proscribed organisation in the United Kingdom under the Terrorism Act 2000. In Northern Ireland, the IRA are referred to as terrorists by the Ulster Unionist Party, the Democratic Unionist Party, and the Progressive Unionist Party. Members of the IRA are tried in the Republic of Ireland in the Special Criminal Court. On the island of Ireland, the largest political party to state that the IRA is not a terrorist organisation is Sinn Féin, which is currently the largest pro-Belfast Agreement political party in Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin is widely regarded as the political wing of the IRA, but the party insists that the two organisations are separate. Peter Mandelson, a former Northern Ireland Secretary (a member of the British cabinet with responsibility for Northern Ireland) contrasted the post-1997 activities of the IRA with those of Al-Qaeda, describing the latter as "terrorists" and the former as "freedom fighters" (though Mandelson subsequently denied this sentiment). IRA supporters preferred the labels freedom fighter, guerrilla and volunteer.

The IRA described its actions throughout "The Troubles" as a military campaign waged against the British Army, the RUC, other security forces, judiciary, loyalist politicians and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, England and Europe. The IRA considers these groups to be all part of the same apparatus. As noted above, the IRA seeks to draw a direct descendancy from the original IRA and those who engaged in the Irish War of Independence. The IRA sees the previous conflict as a guerrilla war which accomplished some of its aims, with some remaining "unfinished business". The IRA considers its members guerrillas fighting a war.

A process called "Criminalisation" was begun in the mid 1970s as part of a British strategy of "Criminalisation, Ulsterisation, and Normalisation". The policy was outlined in a 1975 British strategy paper titled "The Way Ahead", which was not published but was referred to by Labour's first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, and came to be the dominant British political theme in the conflict as it raged into the 1980s.

A less loaded categorisation of IRA violence exists. It does not involve the terms "guerrilla" or "terrorist" but does view the conflict in military terms. The phrase originated with the British military strategist Frank Kitson who was active in Northern Ireland during the early 1970s. In Kitson's view, the violence of the IRA represented an "insurrection" situation, with the enveloping atmosphere of belligerence representing a "low intensity conflict"—a conflict where the forces involved in fighting operate at a greatly reduced tempo, with fewer combatants, at a reduced range of tactical equipment and limited scope to operate in a military manner.

Membership of the IRA remains illegal in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, but IRA prisoners convicted of offences committed before 1998 have been granted conditional early release as part of the Good Friday Agreement. In the United Kingdom a person convicted of membership of a "proscribed organisation", such as the IRA, still nominally faces imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Strength and support

Numerical strength

In the early to mid 1970s, the numbers recruited by the Provisional IRA may have reached several thousand, but these were reduced when the IRA re-organised its structures from 1977 onwards. An RUC report of 1986 estimated that the IRA had 300 or so members in Active Service Units and up to 750 active members in total in Northern Ireland. This does not take into consideration the IRA units in the Republic of Ireland or those in Britain, continental Europe, and throughout the world. In 2005, the then Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell told the Dáil that the organisation had "between 1,000 and 1,500" active members. According to the book The Provisional IRA (by Eamon Mallie and Patrick Bishop), roughly 8,000 people passed through the ranks of the IRA in the first 20 years of its existence, many of them leaving after arrest, "retirement" or disillusionment. In later years, the IRA's strength has been somewhat weakened by members leaving the organisation to join hardline splinter groups such as the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA. According to former Irish Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, these organisations have little more than 150 members each.

Electoral and popular support

The popular support for the IRA's campaign in the Troubles is hard to gauge, given that Sinn Féin, the IRA's political wing, did not stand in elections until the early 1980s. Most nationalists in Northern Ireland voted for the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) until 2001. After the 1981 hunger strike, Sinn Féin mobilised large electoral support and won 105,000 votes, or 43% of the nationalist vote in Northern Ireland, in the United Kingdom general election, 1983, only 34,000 votes behind the SDLP. However, by the 1992 UK General Election, the SDLP won 184,445 votes and four seats to Sinn Féin's 78,291 votes and no seats. In the 1993 Local District Council Elections in Northern Ireland, the SDLP won 136,760 votes to Sinn Féin's 77,600 votes.

Few Protestant voters voted for Sinn Féin. In 1992, many of them voted for SDLP West Belfast candidate Joe Hendron rather than a unionist candidate in order to make sure Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin lost his seat in the constituency.
A Provisional IRA wall mural in Coalisland, County Tyrone


The IRA enjoyed some popular support in the Republic of Ireland in the early 70s. However, the movement's appeal was hurt badly by bombings such as the killing of civilians attending a Remembrance Daymarker ceremony at the cenotaphmarker in Enniskillenmarker in 1987 (Remembrance Day bombingmarker), and the death of two childrenmarker when a bomb exploded in Warringtonmarker, which led to tens of thousands of people demonstrating on O'Connell Streetmarker in Dublinmarker to call for an end to the IRA's campaign. Sinn Féin did very badly in elections in the Republic of Irelandmarker during the IRA's campaign. For example, in the December 1981 local government elections, Sinn Féin candidates won just 5% of the popular vote. By the 1987 Irish General Election, they won only 1.7% of the votes cast. They did not make significant electoral gains in the Republic until after the IRA ceasefires and the Belfast Agreement of 1998. Sinn Féin's highest proportion of the popular vote was 7% in the Irish general election, 2007.

Sinn Féin now has 28 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (out of 108), five Westminstermarker MPs (out of 18 from Northern Ireland) and four Republic of Ireland TDs (out of 166).

Support from other countries and organisations

The IRA have had contacts with foreign governments and other illegal armed organisations.

Libya has been the biggest single supplier of arms and funds to the IRA, donating large amounts: three shipments of arms in the early 1970s and another three in the mid 1980s, the latter reputedly enough to arm two regular infantry battalions.

The IRA has also received weapons and logistical support from Irish Americans in the United States, especially the NORAID group. Apart from the Libyan aid, this has been the main source of overseas IRA support. American support has been weakened by the War against Terrorism, and the fallout from the events of 11 September 2001.

In the United States in November 1982, five men were acquitted of smuggling arms to the IRA after they revealed the Central Intelligence Agency had approved the shipment (although the CIA officially denied this). There are allegations of contact with the East Germanmarker Stasi, based on the testimony of a Soviet defector to British intelligence Vasili Mitrokhin. Mitrokhin revealed that although the Soviet KGBmarker gave some weapons to the Marxist Official IRA, it had little sympathy with the Provisionals. The IRA has received some training and support from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In 1977, the Provisionals received a 'sizeable' arms shipment from the PLO, including small arms, rocket launchers and explosives, but this was intercepted at Antwerpmarker after the Israelimarker intelligence alerted its European counterparts. In the 1980s, the Provisionals also had some contact with Hezbollah.

It has been alleged that the IRA had a co-operative relationship with Basque militant group ETA since the early 1970s. In 1973 it was accused of providing explosives for the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco in Madrid. In the 1970s, ETA also exchanged a quantity of handguns for training in explosives with the IRA. In addition, the leaders of the political wings of the respective Irish Republican and Basque separatist movements have exchanged visits on several occasions to express solidarity with each others' cause. Prominent former IRA prisoners such as Brendan McFarlane and Brendan Hughes have campaigned for the release of ETA prisoners. In the mid 1990s after the IRA ceasefire, Basque media outlets followed the process carefully, sending a team to follow the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday as they campaigned for apology.

In May 1996, the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia's internal security service, publicly accused Estoniamarker of arms smuggling, and claimed that the IRA had contacted representatives of Estonia's volunteer defense force, Kaitseliit, and some non-government groups to buy weapons. In 2001, three Irish men, who later became known as the Colombia Three, were arrested after allegedly training Colombian guerrillas, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in bomb making and urban warfare techniques. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations in its report of 24 April 2002 concluded "Neither committee investigators nor the Colombians can find credible explanations for the increased, more sophisticated capacity for these specific terror tactics now being employed by the FARC, other than IRA training".

The Belfast Agreement

The IRA ceasefire in 1997 formed part of a process that led to the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. One aim of the Agreement is that all paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland cease their activities and disarm by May 2000.

Calls from Sinn Féin led the IRA to commence disarming in a process that was monitored by Canadian General John de Chastelain's decommissioning body in October 2001. However, following the collapse of the Stormont power-sharing government in 2002, which was partly triggered by allegations that republican spies were operating within Parliament Buildings and the Civil Service, the IRA temporarily broke off contact with General de Chastelain.

In December 2004, attempts to persuade the IRA to disarm entirely collapsed when the Democratic Unionist Party, under Ian Paisley, insisted on photographic evidence. Justice Minister Michael McDowell (in public, and often) insisted that there would need to be a complete end to IRA activity.

At the beginning of February 2005, the IRA declared that it was withdrawing from the disarmament process, but in July 2005 it declared that its campaign of violence was over, and that transparent mechanisms would be used, under the de Chastelain process, to satisfy the Northern Ireland communities that it was disarming totally.

End of the armed campaign

On 28 July 2005, the IRA Army Council announced an end to its armed campaign. In a statement read by Séanna Breathnach, the organisation stated that it had instructed its members to dump all weapons and not to engage in "any other activities whatsoever" apart from assisting "the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means". Furthermore, the organisation authorised its representatives to engage immediately with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) to verifiably put its arms beyond use "in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible".

This is not the first time that organisations styling themselves IRA have issued orders to dump arms. After its defeat in the Irish Civil War in 1924 and at the end of its unsuccessful Border Campaign in 1962, the IRA Army Council issued similar orders. However, this is the first time in Irish republicanism that any organisation has voluntarily decided to dispose of its arms.

On 25 September 2005, international weapons inspectors supervised the full disarmament of the IRA, a long-sought goal of Northern Ireland's peace process. The office of IICD Chairman John de Chastelain, a retired Canadian general who oversaw the weapons' decommissioning at secret locations, released details regarding the scrapping of many tons of IRA weaponry at a news conference in Belfast on 26 September. He said the arms had been "put beyond use" and that they were "satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal."

The IRA permitted two independent witnesses, including a Methodist minister, Rev. Harold Good, and Father Alec Reid, a Roman Catholic priest close to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, to view the secret disarmament work. However, Ian Paisley, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), complained that since the witnesses were appointed by the IRA themselves, rather than being appointed by the British or Irish governments, they therefore cannot be said to be unbiased witnesses to the decommissioning. However, Nationalists and Catholics, viewed his comments as reflecting Paisley's refusal to support devolution in Northern Ireland with Catholics in power.

Continuing activities of IRA members

The 10th report published in April 2006 from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), an organisation monitoring activity by paramilitary groups on behalf of the British and Irish governments, prefaced its remarks about IRA activity by commenting that the IRA leadership has committed itself to following a peaceful path and that in the last three months this process has involved the further dismantling of the IRA as a military structure.

The report commented that there was no paramilitary or violent activity sanctioned by the leadership; there is a substantial erosion in the IRA's capacity to return to a military campaign; and, that the IRA had no intentions of returning to violence.

The IMC has come in for criticism (mainly by Republicans) as having been set up outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement as a sop to Unionism. Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy stated that the IMC was established outside and in breach of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and that it is politically biased, and had an anti-Sinn Féin agenda.

On 4 October 2006, the IMC ruled that the IRA were no longer a threat.

In late 2008, the Sunday Times newspaper quoted a senior Garda intelligence officer as saying that "the IRA had recruited in recent years, still held arms despite apparently decommissioning the lot, and was being maintained in 'shadow form.'"

P. O'Neill

The IRA traditionally uses a well-known signature in its public statements, which are all issued under the pseudonym of "P. O'Neill" of the "Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, Dublin". According to Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, it was Seán Mac Stiofáin, as chief of staff of the IRA, who invented the name. However, under his usage, the name was written and pronounced according to Irish orthography and pronunciation as "P. Ó Néill". Ó Brádaigh also maintains that there is no particular significance to the name. According to Danny Morrison, the pseudonym "S. O'Neill" was used during the 1940s.

Infiltration

The IRA has been infiltrated by British Intelligence agents, and in the past some IRA members have been informers. Members suspected of being informants were usually executed after an IRA "court-martial". The IRA executed 63 people as informers in the Troubles.

The first large infiltrations of IRA structures occurred in the mid 1970s, around the time of the ceasefire of 1975. Many IRA volunteers were arrested when this ceasefire broke down in 1976. In the 1980s, many more IRA members were imprisoned on the testimony of former IRA members known as "supergrasses" such as Raymond Gilmour and Martin McGartland. Sean O'Callaghan, one of the IRA commanders in the Republic of Irelandmarker, was an informer for the Garda Siochana throughout the 1980s until he was discovered and placed in protective custody in Britain.

In recent years, there have been some high profile allegations of senior IRA figures having been British informers. In May 2003, a number of newspapers named Freddie Scappaticci as the alleged identity of the British Force Research Unit's most senior informer within the Provisional IRA, code-named Stakeknife, who is thought to have been head of the IRA's internal security force, charged with rooting out and executing informers. Scappaticci denies that this is the case and, in 2003, failed in a legal bid to force the then NIO Minister, Jane Kennedy, to state he was not an informer. She has refused to do so, and since then Scappaticci has not launched any libel actions against the media making the allegations.

On 16 December 2005, senior Sinn Féin member Denis Donaldson appeared before TV cameras in Dublin and confessed to being a British spy for twenty years. He was expelled from Sinn Féin and was said to have been debriefed by the party. Donaldson was a former Provisional IRA volunteer and subsequently highly placed Sinn Féin party member. Donaldson had been entrusted by Gerry Adams with the running of Sinn Féin's operations in the U.S. in the early 1990s. On 4 April 2006, Donaldson was found shot dead at his retreat near Glentiesmarker in County Donegalmarker. When asked whether he felt Donaldson's role as an informer in Sinn Féin was significant, the IRA double agent using the pseudonym "Kevin Fulton" described Donaldson's role as a spy within Sinn Féin as "the tip of the iceberg". The former Force Research Unit and MI5marker operative using the pseudonym "Martin Ingram" concurs with "Kevin Fulton" and has alleged that Gerry Adams knew that Donaldson was an agent. Ingram was described in court as a Walter Mitty type character. Ingram has also claimed that Martin McGuinness is a British agent. As evidence for this claim he alleges that McGuinness was involved in the death of IRA volunteer and FRU agent Frank Hegarty in May 1986. McGuinness has denied any involvement in the Hegarty case and brushed off allegations that he is a spy. McGuiness also brushed off the most recent allegations made by Ingram in the Sunday World newspaper on 28 May 2006.

On 8 February 2008, Roy McShane was taken into police protection after being unmasked as an informer. McShane, a former IRA member, had been Gerry Adams' personal driver for many years. Adams said he was "too philosophical" to feel betrayed.

See also



References

  1. Moloney, Ed (2002). A Secret History of the IRA. Penguin Books. p. 246. ISBN 0-141-01041-X.
  2. 1969 - 2001: 1,821 deaths, including 621 civilians. Source: 2002 online update of 1994 book — Malcolm Sutton (1994) Bear in mind these dead ... An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993, Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, ISBN 0-9514229-4-4. Update hosted at CAIN research project at the University of Ulster, CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths - extracts from Sutton's book
  3. 1969 - 2004: 1,781 deaths, including 644 civilians. Source: Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children Who Died Through the Northern Ireland Troubles (2004. Ed's David McKitrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton, David McVea), Mainstream Publishing, ISBN 978-1840185041, page 1536
  4. Lost Lives (2004), p1531 - 294 members; Sutton (2002) - 276 members.
  5. Bowyer Bell, J. (1997). The Secret Army: The IRA. Transaction Publishers, pp. 556–571. ISBN 1560009012
  6. The Irish Troubles: A Generation of Violence 1967-1992 by John Bowyer Bell (ISBN 0-7171-2201-8), page 555
  7. Nineteenth Report of the "Independent Monitoring Commission"
  8. " IRA army council 'no longer operational'". RTE, 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2009
  9. The Provisional IRA by Patrick Bishop and Eamonn Mallie (ISBN 0-552-13337-X), pp. 108–112.
  10. Bishop and Mallie, p. 125
  11. Mallie, Bishop p. 136.
  12. Robert White, Ruairi O Bradaigh, the Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, 2006, Indiana University Press.
  13. Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA by Richard English (ISBN 0-330-49388-4), p. 105.
  14. Mallie, Bishop p. 141.
  15. Patrick Bishop and Eamonn Mallie, The Provisional IRA.
  16. English, pp. 111–113.
  17. English, p. 106.
  18. Taylor, pp. 289–291.
  19. Moloney, p. 80.
  20. Taylor, pp. 104–105.
  21. English, pp. 114–115.
  22. English, p. 43
  23. Moloney, pp. 155–160.
  24. O'Brien p. 158.
  25. Moloney, p. 103.
  26. 1974: Compensation for Bloody Sunday victims
  27. Bowyer Bell, p. 437.
  28. Moloney, p. 377.
  29. O'Brien, p. 158.
  30. Patrick Bishop, Eamon Mallie, The Provisional IRA, p. 40, "It aimed at destroying people rather than property and all units were under instruction to avoid civilian bloodshed. For this reason and because there were doubts about the Belfast IRA, which GHQ in Dublin to contain a traitor, there would be no action in the city".
  31. AC 71842 Operation BANNER
  32. Taylor, p. 139.
  33. Taylor, p. 156.
  34. O'Brien, p. 128.
  35. O'Brien, p. 23.
  36. Irish Times, 30 December 2008, Britain rejected secret IRA peace talks offer, 1978 archives reveal
  37. Richard English, Armed struggle: the history of the IRA, p. 200
  38. O'Brien, p. 127.
  39. Moloney p345. "Adams was frustrated but nevertheless later managed to put some formal distance between Sinn Féin and the IRA. Sinn Féin let it be known in January 1991 that the party would no longer act as 'proxy spokepersons' for the IRA. A Sinn Féin source told the Irish Times, 'The IRA can speak for itself'.
  40. Moloney, p. 432.
  41. English, pp. 134–135.
  42. Moloney, p. 472.
  43. Colonel al-Gaddafi is known to have given the British Government a detailed inventory of weapons he gave to the IRA in the 1970s and 1980s, this list was handed to British intelligence in 1995. See Bowyer Bell Page 578
  44. 10th Report of the IMC Page 15 April 2006, available here.
  45. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/sinn-feins-leaders-gave-green-light-for-ira-robberies-key-report-finds-482864.html
  46. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/fuellaundering-still-in-full-swing-1586776.html
  47. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/ira-kidnap-gang-captured-seven-gardai-and-soldiers-1409654.html
  48. This feeling, that the RUC, B-Specials, UDR, British Army and other arms of the Governmental apparatus in Northern Ireland were biased against the Nationalist & Roman Catholic members of the community was not new. It predates the current "Troubles" and predates organisations like the "Ulster Defence Volunteers" (Home guard) of WW2 who were also widely considered sectarian. For details see Robert Fisk, In Time of War (Gill & Macmillan) 1983 p. 189.
  49. Critics of the Provisional IRA in the Unionist orientated media and political parties such as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) maintain that the IRA itself was involved in "antisocial behaviour" and operated a policy of kneecapping drug dealers not under its control, or not paying it protection money. This was consistently rejected by the IRA as a fantasy.
  50. IRA "collusion" inquiry launched, BBC News
  51. Richard English (2003), Armed Struggle - The History of the IRA, p.378
  52. These accusations were particularly prevalent during the Miami Showband massacre, the 1980s Stalker Shoot to kill inquiry, the assassination of Pat Finucane, and the Brian Nelson/Force Research Unit controversy. During these episodes Republicans were quick to highlight overlap of personnel between loyalist paramilitary organisations and arms of the British security services.
  53. Lost Lives (2004. Ed's David McKitrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton, David McVea)
  54. Lost Lives, p. 1531.
  55. O'Brien, Long War, p. 26.
  56. Mallie, Bishop, p. 12.
  57. Recently released (3 May 2006) British Government documents show that overlapping membership between British Army units like the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and loyalist paramilitary groups was a wider problem than a "few bad apples" as was often claimed. The documents include a report titled "Subversion in the UDR" which details the problem. In 1973; an estimated 5–15% of UDR soldiers were directly linked to loyalist paramilitary groups, it was believed that the "best single source of weapons, and the only significant source of modern weapons, for Protestant extremist groups was the UDR", it was feared UDR troops were loyal to "Ulster" alone rather than to "Her Majesty's Government", the British Government knew that UDR weapons were being used in the assassination and attempted assassination of Roman Catholic civilians by loyalist paramilitaries. 2 May 2006 edition of the Irish News available here.
  58. Gerry Adam's 2006 Easter Message was that "unfinished business" remains, available here. "But in truth The Proclamation is also unfinished business. It is unfinished business which the vast majority of the Irish people want to see brought to completion."
  59. Parliamentary Debates (Official Report - Unrevised) Dáil Éireann Thursday, 23 June 2005 - Page 1
  60. O'Brien, p. 115.
  61. O'Brien, p. 198.
  62. 1993 local election results
  63. (Coogan p284)
  64. Mallie, Bishop, p. 444.
  65. O'Brien, p. 199.
  66. Mallie, Bishop, the Provisional IRA, p 307
  67. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/viewArticle.arc?articleId=ARCHIVE-The_Times-1973-12-27-04-013&pageId=ARCHIVE-The_Times-1973-12-27-04
  68. Mallie, Bishop, p. 308.
  69. for example http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/detail/17845
  70. IRA in arms breakthrough
  71. Maintaining belief in peace aided N. Ireland transformation By Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe, 27 September 2005.
  72. Tenth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission April 2006 available in PDF here NOTE: the IMC report is issued every six months.
  73. IMC should be scrapped
  74. Who is P O'Neill? — BBC News article, 22 September 2005.
  75. "Kevin Fulton" (not his real name) made the comments on a BBC News 24 interview 10 April 2006, Realmedia available here or available on googlevideo here
  76. Ingram claims that Hegarty was an agent he ran as part of his duties working in the Force Research Unit.
  77. For a discussion of the issue, listen to the Radio Free Éireann interview Ingram gave; see links. Also see this summary of the allegations against McGuinness here.
  78. See synopsis of allegations available here.
  79. The Irish Times, 11 February 2008, p. 8.


Sources

  • Martin Dillon, 25 Years of Terror – the IRA's War against the British
  • Richard English, Armed Struggle – A History of the IRA, MacMillan, London 2003, ISBN 1-4050-0108-9
  • Peter Taylor, Provos – the IRA and Sinn Féin
  • Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Penguin, London 2002,
  • Eamonn Mallie and Patrick Bishop, The Provisional IRA, Corgi, London 1988. ISBN 0-552-13337-X
  • Toby Harnden, Bandit Country – The IRA and South Armagh, Hodder & Stoughton, London 1999, ISBN 0-340-71736-X
  • Brendan O'Brien, The Long War – The IRA and Sinn Féin. O'Brien Press, Dublin 1995, ISBN 0-86278-359-3
  • Tim Pat Coogan, The Troubles,
  • Tim Pat Coogan, The IRA: A History (1994)
  • Tony Geraghty, The Irish War, 1998 ISBN 0801864569
  • David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton, David McVea, Lost Lives.
  • J Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army – The IRA, 1997 3rd Edition, ISBN 1-85371-813-0
  • Christopher Andrews, The Mitrokhin Archive (also published as The Sword and the Shield)


External links




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