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  • In May 2015, an ex-IRA commander was murdered on the street, followed by several IRA bombings.

  • This violence signals that the fight over Northern Ireland’s independence is not yet

  • over. For nearly a century, the Irish Republican Army has been terrorizing Ireland. So, what

  • is the IRA, and what do they want for Northern Ireland?

  • Well, the IRA is an organization most closely associated with militant Irish nationalism.

  • They are known for their guerrilla warfare tactics in support of freeing Northern Ireland

  • from the United Kingdom. Between 1968 and 1998, in a period known asThe Troubles”,

  • over 3,600 people were killed, and up to 50,000 more were injured through bombings and attacks.

  • The original IRA began in 1917 as a volunteer Irish army. In 1921, they won independence

  • from the UK for most of the island of Ireland. However, a small portion of the island, Northern

  • Ireland, remained under British control per the war’s peace treaty. Some IRA members

  • were not satisfied with this arrangement, and in 1922, a new IRA was formed. This IRA

  • was pitted not only against the British, but also against former IRA members who had agreed

  • to the new deal.

  • Throughout the 20th century, the IRA reformulated several times, changing their name to: the

  • Official IRA”, theProvisional IRA”, theContinuity IRAand theReal IRA”.

  • They are thought to contain hundreds of members in small groups around the country, and have

  • potentially thousands of sympathizers. The militant group is also closely associated

  • with the oldest and most popular political movement in Ireland, calledSinnin”.

  • In fact, the current president of Sinnin, Gerry Adams, was on the US’s terrorist watch

  • list until 2006.

  • Several infamous outbreaks of violence have been attributed to both IRA members and opposing

  • British soldiers. One of the most well known incidents wasBloody Sundayin 1972.

  • British soldiers opened fire on a crowd of unarmed Irish protesters, killing 14 people.

  • Despite the presence of the IRA, in recent referendums, it’s acknowledged that most

  • people in Northern Ireland want to remain a part of the UK. But at the same time, a

  • significant portion of Northern Ireland, as well as Ireland itself, are in favor of a

  • united, independent Ireland. In 1973, a majority of residents voted to stay within the United

  • Kingdom. However, the IRA movement has been reluctant to stop terrorist actions. In 2014

  • alone, there were roughly 7 bombing incidents attributed to IRA groups.

  • If youre interested in learning more about Ireland and its standing in the world, check

  • out our video How Powerful is Ireland, up next! Thanks for watching TestTube! please

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In May 2015, an ex-IRA commander was murdered on the street, followed by several IRA bombings.

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